Final over thrillers in the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup

With the Super Eight stage of the Men’s T20 World Cup in sight, we revisit every nail-biting finish that the group stage of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 has witnessed.

By Aranyak Mojumder

The group stage of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 has witnessed some enthralling action including record performances, upsets and nailbiting finishes.

As the teams ready themselves to battle it out in the Super Eight stage from June 19, we take a look at the thrilling encounters that went right down to the wire.

Namibia v Oman, Kensington Oval, Barbados

On 3 June, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 witnessed its first Super Over as the thrilling encounter between the two teams from Group C ended on level terms after both innings.

Namibia restricted Oman to just 109 runs, thanks to exceptional spells from their bowlers, with Ruben Trumpelmann (four wickets), David Wiese (three wickets), Gerhard Erasmus (two wickets), and Bernard Scholtz (one wicket) sharing the 10 wickets between them.

Mehran Khan’s incredible spell with the ball in the second innings, where he picked up three wickets in his three overs, helped Oman pull the game till the last over where they restricted Namibia to 109/6. In the final over, Mehran gave only four runs to tie the match.

In the Super Over, Wiese (13 runs in 4 balls) and Erasmus (8 runs in 2 balls) showed their skills with the bat as Namibia scored 21 runs. During Oman's Super Over, Wiese delivered once more with the ball and picked a wicket for 10 runs.

USA stun Pakistan in a dramatic Super Over finale in Dallas at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024.

USA v Pakistan, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Texas

In their opening fixture of the Men’s T20 World Cup, on 6 June, Pakistan were stunned by the USA, in the second Super Over thriller of the tournament.

Batting first, the Asian side set a 160-run target for the USA, courtesy of a stable knock from captain Babar Azam (44 runs in 43 balls) and explosive innings from Shadab Khan (40 runs in 25 balls) and Shaheen Afridi (23 runs in 16 balls).

But USA kept fighting with their all till the very end with Monak Patel (50 runs in 38 balls), Aaron Jones (36 runs in 26 balls) and Andries Gous (35 runs in 26 balls) all making valuable contributions to force the game to a Super Over.

In the Super Over, USA scored 18 runs and then Saurabh Netravalkar followed it up with a solid effort as Pakistan fell short by five runs.

India bowlers shine in low-scoring thriller in New York

India vs Pakistan, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York

On 9 June, in the much anticipated between the arch-rivals, India edged past Pakistan in what could be considered as one of the best comebacks in the Men's T20 World Cup history.

Pakistan’s exceptional bowling attack contained the Indian batters to just 119 runs. Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf stood out with three wickets each. Rishabh Pant top-scored for India with a stroke-filled 42 from 31 balls.

In reply, Mohammad Rizwan (31 runs in 44 balls) played a steady hand that almost guaranteed Pakistan a win but Usman Khan's dismissal in the 10th over turned the game in India's favour. Jasprit Bumrah played a decisive role with his 3/14, which included a brilliant 19th over wherein he conceded only two runs for a wicket.

With 18 needed off the last over, Naseem Shah managed a couple of lusty blows but the Men in Blue secured a six-run win, leaving Pakistan with a tough qualification scenario.

South Africa booked their spot in the second round from Group D with a tense win over Bangladesh.

South Africa vs Bangladesh, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York

The Nassau County International Cricket Stadium witnessed yet another classic nail-biter when South Africa and Bangladesh locked horns on 10 June.

South Africa got 113 runs on the board with Heinrich Klaasen scoring 46 runs in 44 balls. Tanzim Sakib and Taskin Ahmed dominated the South African batters, sharing five wickets between them.

The Proteas did not go down without a fight as they pushed the game to the last over, with Bangladesh requiring 11 runs from the last six balls. Despite Mahmudullah's best attempts, Keshav Maharaj held on for the Proteas. The left-arm spinner picked two wickets including the all-important scalp of Mahmudullah, who fell to a stunning catch from South Africa skipper Markram in the deep as Bangladesh fell short by four runs.

Alongside Maharaj’s three-wicket spell, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje bagged two wickets each.

The Proteas won by one run

South Africa vs Nepal, Arnos Vale Stadium, St Vincent

South Africa pulled off another thriller when they faced Nepal in their final group match on 15 June.

Batting first, South Africa set a 116-run target for the Asian side as Reeza Hendricks scored 43 runs off 49 balls. In a dominant bowling display for Nepal, Kushal Bhurtel bagged himself a four-wicket haul, followed by Dipendra Airee who picked up three wickets.

Defending a low target, South Africa failed to pick up a wicket in the Powerplay. But with Tabraiz Shamsi coming into action in the 8th over, the tide started to turn as he picked up two wickets in his opening spell while conceding only two runs.

With a total of 4 wickets in his 4 overs for just 19 runs, Shamsi eventually led South Africa to a one-run win. In the final over, Nepal needed 8 runs to register a historic win but Ottneil Baartman held his nerve and gave away only six.

Gulshan Jha was within inches of taking the match to the Super Over but couldn't level the scores as a throw by keeper Quinton de Kock ricocheted off his back into the arms of Heinrich Klaasen who affected a direct run-out.

Australia vs Scotland, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia

On June 15, Scotland took on Australia in a must-win encounter. The latter edged past Scotland with two balls in hand, in a close game.

An exceptional innings from Brandon McMullen (60 runs in 34 balls), with support from captain Richie Berrington (42 runs in 31 balls) and George Munsey (35 runs in 23 balls), led Scotland to a good score of 180/5.

Despite losses from the other end, Australian opener Travis Head took the attack to the opposition and impressed with a knock of 68 runs in 49 balls. Marcus Stoinis joined him in the ninth over and boosted the attack in the middle stage with a quickfire 59 runs off 29 balls. In the end, Tim David finished it off in style with a six when the Aussies required one run from three balls.

Revisit the last two overs of the nail-biting Super Eight clash in St Lucia

England vs South Africa, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia

On June 21, in Group 2 of the Super Eights phase, South Africa registered a narrow win over England, to book their spot in the Semi-Finals.

Batting first, Quinton de Kock (65 runs in 38 balls) and David Miller (43 runs in 28 balls) helped South Africa set a 164-run target for England to chase in 20 overs.

Early strikes rocked the England chase, but Harry Brook (53 runs in 37 balls) and Liam Livingstone (33 runs in 17 balls) stitched an important stand in the middle overs, taking their side closer to the target. The equation eventually became 21 off the last two overs. Marco Jansen's discipline ensured that South Africa gave only seven in the penultimate over. With 14 required off the final six deliveries, England's hopes rested on Brook's shoulders, but he was dismissed off the very first ball delivered by Anrich Nortje.

Although a boundary from Sam Curran saw the target reduced to 9 runs from 3 balls, the defending champions fell 7 runs short of the target.

The all-important final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 saw the match go down to the wire. Batting first India set a 177-run target for South Africa courtesy of a Virat Kohli knock of 76 runs in 59 balls and a fiery innings from Axar Patel(47 runs in 31 balls).

South Africa looked well in the driver's seat to win their first ICC trophy in over 25 years as they required merely 30 runs off 30 balls, with a well-attacking Heinrich Klassen and David Miller on the crease.

A quiet over from India star Jasprit Bumrah, turned it to 26 off 24, the game still very much in the Proteas favour.

India dragged the game back with Hardik Pandya getting the wicket of the dangerous Klassen followed by another special over from Jasprit Bumrah. The pacer conceded merely one run for the wicket of Marco Jansen.

Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh then bowled a disciplined over to bring the equation to 16 off the last six balls.

Unbelievable catch from SKY | SA v IND

Off the very first ball of the last over, delivered by Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav took an unbelievable catch on the boundary of David Miller to push the game firmly into India's grasp.

The Men in Blue kept their cool, and won their first ICC trophy in 11 years defeating South Africa in the final by 7 runs.

Special Word

Afghanistan vs Bangladesh, Arnos Vale Stadium, St. Vincent

Though the final fixture in Group 1 of the Super Eights didn't go to the last over, it was a riveting contest that was played to the final ball.

Prior to the contest, Australia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh all stood a chance to make it through to the Semi-Finals based on the result of the decisive battle between Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

A number of permutations and combinations were in play, including the weather in St Vincent. Afghanistan innings couldn't take off on a trying surface, and Bangladesh restricted the side to 115/5 courtesy of Rishad Hossain's bowling brilliance.

Despite frequent rain interruptions, Bangladesh were off to a spirited start, led by opener Liton Das, who finished with an unbeaten 54*. But attacking bowling from Naveen-ul-Haq and Rashid Khan ensured a flurry of wickets, which turned the game into a see-saw battle featuring the DLS score, due to the frequent interruptions.

After 17 overs, Bangladesh required 12 runs from 12 balls with only two wickets in hand, but Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman, couldn’t stand up to Naveen’s wily bowling resulting in them getting bowled out for 105, handing the Afghans their maiden Semi-Final berth in the Men’s T20 World Cup.

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