In just over a decade, T20Is have reached a landmark of 1000 matches. The 1000th T20I happened to be India’s party as Rohit Sharma and his men thrashed Bangladesh by 8 wickets at Rajkot. Co-incidentally, Rohit was also playing his 100th T20I, the first Indian player to reach this landmark.
So, which T20I have been the most entertaining out of 1000 T20Is?
Cricwizz takes a look at the top five T20Is.
India beat Pakistan in 2007 World T20 final
India were opposed to the T20 format, and top players such as Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar opted out of the inaugural World T20 in 2007. A youngster in MS Dhoni led India in the tournament. And Dhoni’s men surprised themselves, leave the mad-cricket nation, by beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the tense 2007 World T20 final by 5 runs.
The final was laced with drama, action and had the perfect plot for a Bollywood flick. Dhoni handing out the last over to Joginder Sharma to Misbah-ul-Haq miscuing a scoop to hand India the title was a perfect advertisement for T20Is.
And since then, this format has not looked back, giving tough competition to Test and ODIs.
India beat Bangladesh by 1 run in 2016 World T20
India were under pressure to win the game after losing to New Zealand in the inaugural match. But they produced a below-par performance with the bat to manage just 146/7.
Bangladesh looked comfortably placed to win the match and knock India out when Mushfiqur Rahim slammed two fours in the last over bowled by Hardik Pandya to bring down the equation to 2 runs off 3 balls.
And then Bangladesh threw it away, losing three wickets in last three balls to lose the match by just a run.
MS Dhoni’s sprinting to the crease to run out Mustafizur Rahman on the last ball will remain immortal in the T20I journey.
West Indies beat England in 2016 World T20 final
West Indies were in trouble while England looked to finally beat the World Cup jinx. With 19 runs required off the last over, and a new West Indian youngster Carlos Brathwaite occupying the crease, the match was England to lose. And England lived up to the loser’s tag with Ben Stokes becoming a villain.
Brathwaite slammed four sixes off four balls to steer West Indies to second World T20 title & spoil England party and give a nightmare to Stokes for the rest of his life.
The celebration of Brathwaite of raising his arms as his players surround him is part of the cricketing folklore.
2010 World T20 semi-final between Australia and Pakistan
T20 cricket is considered a game of young legs. But a 35-yr-old Australia Michael Hussey, who is known for accumulating his runs, stunned a packed St Lucia crowd with his big hits in 2019 World T20 semis against Pakistan.
Hussey came out to bat at 105/5 in the 13th over. Australia needed 87 runs to win the match then. But Pakistan bowling line-up kept Australians in check.
With Australia needing 52 runs off the last three overs, Hussey came to the rescue and knocked out Pakistan. Hussey slammed 24-ball 60* with 3 fours and 6 sixes to steer Australia into the final. Pakistan were stunned with Hussey’s calculated risks and big-hitting.
Afghanistan vs West Indies in 2016 World T20
Afghanistan were minnows then and were destroyed by every opponent in the 2016 World T20. Meanwhile, West Indies boasted top T20 cricketers who can decimate any attack on their day. But Afghanistan held their nerves to polish off West Indies and post a memorable win in their T20I history.
Afghanistan were just defending 124, but they managed to restrict WI for 117/8 to romp home by 6 runs. What’s even more memorable from this match is that West Indian legend Chris Gayle did a champion dance with the Afghanistan players and even took a selfie with them, winning hearts of cricket fans.