Last-ball thrillers in T20Is


Last-over finishes are almost the fashion in Twenty20 cricket, so common one often doesn’t realise it has happened. Results off the last ball are also pretty regular, making the matches in which they feature exactly the kind the format is popular for.

Dinesh Karthik was the hero as India clinched it against Bangladesh off the last ball in the Nidahas Trophy final at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Sunday, joining an elite group of players who have won a tournament – ODIs or T20Is – with a six off the last ball. Javed Miandad’s hit off Chetan Sharma to win Pakistan the Australasia Cup 50-over trophy in Sharjah in April 1986 is probably still the most famous of them.

Looking at T20Is specifically, here are some of the most gripping last ball finishes over the years, starting with the first such instance internationally.

27 February 2009, Wellington New Zealand beat India by 5 wickets

It was still early days in T20 cricket and people had only guessed how exciting it could be. Brendon McCullum showed them, when he took on Irfan Pathan with 12 to get off six balls. Three runs came off the first three balls, and then McCullum went boom and boom, over mid-wicket and then straight, leaving only one to get off the last ball, which McCullum got with a mis-hit that Rohit almost caught.

Netherlands beating England at Lord’s

Netherlands beating England at Lord’s

5 June 2009, London (Lord’s Cricket Ground) The Netherlands beat England by 4 wickets

England had scored 162/5 in this ICC World T20 game, and it was over to Ryan ten Doeschate and Edgar Schiferli to get seven off the last over. They got one off every ball till the last one, when they had two more to get off Stuart Broad. Schiferli hit it straight back to Broad, who fielded, and with all three stumps to aim at, missed, giving the batsmen time to get a couple and script a memorable upset.

23 March 2012, Dubai Scotland beat Canada by 4 wickets

It was the fifth-place play-off in the ICC World T20 Qualifier, and chasing 136, Scotland had reached 129/5 before the last over. Rizwan Cheema had the ball and did brilliantly, getting Fraser Watts out first ball and then giving away three runs off the next four balls. Four needed off the last one, and that’s when Ryan Flannigan connected, driving Cheema through the off side for four.

22 December 2012, Mumbai (Wankhede Stadium) England beat India by 6 wickets

Eoin Morgan, the England captain, had teed off the moment he walked in with his team slightly behind the asking rate at 94/2 after 11 overs. The target was 178, and when the last over – bowled by Ashok Dinda – started, England needed nine. The paceman kept it full all along, and England scored just six off the first five balls, making it all or nothing off the last one. It was an attempted yorker that ended up pitching right in Morgan’s hitting arc, and he smashed it, sending the ball soaring over the bowler’s head for six to help England square the two-match series 1-1.

27 July 2013, Kingstown Pakistan beat Windies by 2 wickets

Windies scored 152/7, and it came down to six from six, and then one from one with Zulfiqar Babar on strike to Marlon Samuels. Samuels was doing his stuff well, firing them in yorker length. And Babar is more known for his left-arm spin than his batting. Not to forget, it was his international debut. But he converted the last ball into a low full toss and swung with all his might, over long-off for six to give Pakistan victory in the St Vincent rain.

19 March 2014, Sylhet Zimbabwe beat the Netherlands by 5 wickets

When Ahsan Malik began the last over, Zimbabwe needed just seven to overhaul the Netherlands’ 140/5, but six runs and a wicket left scores level with one ball to go. On strike was Vusi Sibanda, and Malik, who had done well till then, pitched up; Sibanda swung, high over long-on for six.

South Africa win a thriller by 2 runs v New Zealand

South Africa win a thriller by 2 runs v New Zealand

24 March 2014, Chittagong (Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium) South Africa beat New Zealand by 2 runs

This went the other way, of the bowler – little surprise, seeing that the bowler was Dale Steyn. South Africa had scored 170/6 with JP Duminy scoring a 43-ball 86*, but when the last over started in this ICC World T20 game, New Zealand needed just seven runs with Ross Taylor and Luke Ronchi in the middle. Easy, you’d think. Ronchi fell first ball, nicking behind to Quinton de Kock, and then there were two dot balls to Nathan McCullum, who powered the fourth ball over the covers for four to bring the equation down to three from two. McCullum holed out off the fifth ball, but Taylor came on strike for the first time in the over, for the last ball, with three to win and two to tie. It was an excellent delivery that Taylor could only sent back to Steyn, who calmly ran Taylor out at the non-striker’s end to finish off the match.

31 January 2016, Sydney India beat Australia by 7 wickets

This went the way of the batsmen, Shane Watson’s 71-ball 124* helping Australia to 197/5 before Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli hit half-centuries in India’s chase. Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh were in the middle when the last over, Andrew Tye with the ball, started with 17 to get. The paceman’s inexperience showed, as the first two balls were directed at the pads and Singh flicked one for four and one for six. Five runs off the next three balls left Raina on strike for the last ball with two to get. Short, into the body, and Raina moved leg side; he hit it over the off-side infield for four. That made it a 3-0 clean sweep for India.

6 March, 2016, Johannesburg Australia beat South Africa by 5 wickets

David Warner was still in the middle, on 77, when Kagiso Rabada started the last over with Australia 11 away from their target of 205. First ball: bowled, Warner gone for a 40-ball 77. Rabada messed it up after that with a couple of wides, and though there were no fours or sixes, nine runs came off the first five deliveries to leave Mitchell Marsh with two to get off the last ball, and he did it with a hit down the ground for two.

17 February 2017, Melbourne Sri Lanka beat Australia by 5 wickets

Australia had scored 168/6, and when the last over of Sri Lanka’s chase started, only six runs needed to be scored. Advantage Sri Lanka, but it still went down to the last ball, with scores tied. Andrew Tye had mixed things up nicely till then, preventing any boundary hits, but he pitched full outside off on the last ball and Chamara Kapugedara was ready, smashing it through the covers for four.

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