It’s been more than a year when England defeated New Zealand in a thrilling World Cup final. The match went down to the wire, with England beating New Zealand on the count of more boundaries after both the 50-overs match and the super over were tied. It was also harsh on New Zealand as they were done in by a bizarre rule.
Nevertheless, there have been few thrilling finals that have gone down to the wire and made for an eventful match.
Here’s a list of few thrilling finals across both ODIs, T20Is and the domestic league.
1) Mumbai Indians beat Rising Pune Supergiant by 1 run in 2017 IPL
Mumbai Indians had the knack of winning titles every odd year. They won in 2013 and 2015 and looked good to win again in 2017. They had set up a small target of 130 to Rising Pune Supergiant which had MS Dhoni and Steve Smith in the line-up. Smith looked poised to take the team with a well-crafted fifty, but he holed out in the deep in the last over when 7 runs were needed off 4 balls.
On the last ball when 4 runs were needed to win, Washinton Sundar was run out going for the third run to tie the final, and eventually, MI won by just a run. MI repeated the feat again in 2019 IPL final when they defeated CSK by just a run.
2) West Indies beat England in 2016 World T20 final
It was a great contest between bat and ball in this final. West Indies were struggling to chase 156 for a win. It all boiled down to 19 runs off 6 balls, with Marlon Samuels batting on 85 at the non-striker’s end, while a lesser-known all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite facing the last over from Ben Stokes. What followed next was brutal and clean hitting from Brathwaite, who cracked four straight sixes to steal the win. None expected a finish like this, not even Stokes.
3) 1998 Independence Cup final
It was the best of three finals between India and Pakistan. India had won 1 and lost 1 ahead of the third final. Pakistan set a then-record target of 315 in 48 overs in the third final. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly got off to a flying start, putting 71 runs in 8.2 overs before Sachin was dismissed for 26-ball 41.
Ganguly (124) and Robin Singh (81) then put up a 179-run stand for the second wicket to put India in driver’s seat. But a few quick wickets saw India staring defeat as the light started fading. A young player in Hrishikesh Kanitkar then struck a four on the second-last ball to seal India the title.
4) 2018 Nidahas Trophy final
This final would probably go into one of the best title rounds ever. India was down and out chasing 167 for a win. With 34 runs needed off last 12 balls, Dinesh Karthik walked into the crease and went after the Bangladesh bowlers straight away. He cracked 6, 4, 6 in his first three balls, before hitting another four in the over. With 5 runs needed off the last ball, he struck a wide-yorker into the cover boundary for a six to steal a win. Karthik ended with 8-ball 29 not out to take India home.
5) 2012 Asia Cup final
Bangladesh was eyeing their first major title when they faced Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup final. They had done well to restrict Pakistan to 236/9 and were giving a good chase, with 47 runs needed off the last 5 overs.
But Mushfiqur Rahim fell in the first ball of the 45th over to demoralize Bangladesh. But Mashrafe Mortaza and Mahmudullah kept the fight on.
With just 10 runs needed off the final over, Aizaz Cheema tightened things up. Cheema bowled Abdur Razzak on the second-last ball to leave Bangladesh 4 to win off the last ball. Bangladesh could manage just a run as Pakistan managed to save face and win the title by just 2 runs.
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