© Getty Images
© Getty Images

We have started to get a grip on one of the most revered trophies in cricketing circles, the ICC World Twenty20(T20), which has made its way to the television screens  from March 8 in India with Round 1 of the tournament underway. It is only a matter of time that we are exposed to thrills and chills that the big teams bring with them in Super 10 stage in a week’s time. ICC World T20 2016 has so far given us a few glimpses of the excitement with Oman defeating Ireland in a nail biting finish, it only deems fit for us to open our minds and consciousness to few of the many iconic moments that the shortest format has embedded our brains with, in the past. Vishal Mehra goes through a flash flood of memories and brings to you top 10 such incidents from previous editions of ICC World T20.

1.  Chris Gayle’s inaugural T20 hundred: ‘Universe Boss’, as he is known as lately, West Indies’ thundering beast Gayle smashed first ever T20 century in an ICC World T20 match in very first match against the hosts South Africa in the 2007 edition. Gayle, in his effervescence style, hit South African bowlers all around the park, managing as many as 10 massive sixes and seven rocketed boundaries. His innings of 117 came in 57 balls. Sadly for Gayle, his innings came in a losing cause as Herschel Gibbs’ 90 off 55 balls inspired the Proteas to an eight wicket win chasing 205.

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 2.  Yuvraj Singh’s 6 sixes: No list is complete without India’s Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj smashed Stuart Broad for a no-return-trip to Durban with a 360-degree view. Yuvraj just before the over had a small altercation with Andrew Flintoff, which only acted as fuel to the already lit spark. Starting with a six over mid-wicket till final six over mid-wicket again, Yuvraj engraved his name in the history books forever. Yuvraj’s 36 runs from that one over were the difference between India’s win over England as they came just 18 runs short.

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3.  India’s victory over Misbah-Ul-Haq’s misery: India and Pakistan met again in the final of the ICC World T20 2007, with the earlier match ending in a bowl out. Indian batting led by Gautam Gambhir managed to get 157 runs giving Pakistan a fair chance of winning the game. It was Misbah who helmed his team to a winning position needing 13 off 6 balls to win the first ever T20 trophy. With a relatively unknown Joginder Sharma into the attack, it seemed all but lost for India, with Misbah milking the attack. It was until a sudden rush of blood or moment of madness that he tried to scoop over fine-leg only to hand the wobbling S Sreesanth his wicket and the inaugural T20 trophy to India.

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4.  Mike ‘Freak’ Hussey: Australia were in deep trouble with Pakistan picking up half the team for just 105 runs chasing 192 runs in the semi-final of 2010 edition. Needing 92 from 45, it was Mike Hussey aka ‘Mr Cricket’ who came in like a breeze and took the game away like a thunderstorm from the men in green. Hussey not only did tear apart Saeed Ajmal, who was Pakistan’s star bowler, but decimated his confidence for years after amassing 23 runs is just 4 balls to win historic match for Australia.
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5.  England stunned by ‘Flying Dutch’ at Lord’s: The 2010 edition was the year of upset but none bigger than the Dutch defeating the Englishmen at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord’s. Netherlands chasing 163 runs had the match in control all throughout until the ending moments, where they needed 2 off 1 ball with Ryan ten Doeschate and Edgar Scheferli in the middle. Final over by Stuart Broad was no less than a British Spy movie filled with suspense, with the hosts missing as many 2 run-out chances with the final one costing them the match as Broad failed to catch hold on to the ball. Netherlands innings was well crafted by Tom de Grooth’s 30 balls 49.

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6.  Brendan Taylor’s blitzkrieg stun world champs Australia: Only the second match of the 2007 edition and Zimbabwe toppled 50-over world champions Australia by 1 wicket chasing 139 runs. It was then young Brendan Taylor, who nurtured Zimbabwe to an astounding chase making 60 off 45 balls, remaining not out till the very last run. Taylor weathered the likes of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken by playing them without much trouble. Taylor also had a superb day behind the stumps affecting as many as three dismissals. 

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7.  Dale Steyn four-for in thriller at Chittagong: Dale Steyn’s display of fiery pace and skin-bursting emotions strangle held New Zealand in the very final over of the match needing just seven from it. Steyn made a mockery of the batting picking three wicket in the over, letting the ball rip with speeds of 145 kmph consistently. Chasing 171 from 20 overs, the Kiwis looked in complete control with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor cracking half-centuries only to be overshadowed or rather outpaced by Steyn.

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8.  India-Pakistan penalty bowl out: ICC World T20 2007 was the tournament of first in every sort, witnessing the first ever bowl out in the history of cricket with arch rivals India and Pakistan participating in it after both teams ended on 141 runs in their respective 20 overs.  With both India and Pakistan relatively unknown to the process, it only created a sense of suspense around itself. India managed to get all three hits with only one regular bowler, while Pakistan’s all-out regular bowling line up ended up missing all the three attempts.

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9.  Afghanistan’s watershed moment in cricket: Afghanistan came into the world of cricket after a lot of backlash at home and country being in a state of chaos did not help their cause either. Hence, when they qualified for ICC World T20 2010, it was received with much fan-fare and enthusiasm by the cricketing world. Afghanistan since then have grown leaps and bounce in the world of cricket and are constantly knocking the door of ICC for a permanent membership, currently ranked No. 9 in world in T20I Championship. Since Afghanistan’s arrival, many other associate teams have tried to emulate their success story.

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10.  Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara’s T20 swan-song: Sri Lanka’s legendary pair of Jayawardene and Sangakkara, who have carried the team to more than one World Cup final across formats, finally managed to achieve the ultimate trophy a cricketer always desires for. Chasing just 131 runs in a low scoring final against India in 2014, Sri Lanka were in a spot of bother before Sangakkara struck impressive partnerships with Kusal Perera and Jayawardene to guide his team to an emphatic victory, thus enabling them to be called as world champions after losing out in many finals.

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Notable Mention: The West Indies team would have been an outright winner, if this was a list of teams having most number of appearances in the highly accounted memorable and amazing moments from ICC World T20 so far. From Chris Gayle’s first ever hundred, Gayle and Marlon Samuels’ super over chase against New Zealand (2012), Darren Sammy’s annihilation of Mitchell Starc (2014) and finally their Gangnam style celebration after winning the trophy in 2012,  the world has seen it all and still wants more of them. West Indies in recent times have been masters of the T20 format and will surely unleash a couple of more memorable flashes this year. 

Video, Chris Gayle and Co Gangnam:

This article first appeared in Criclife

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime, and plays cricket once a white moon. His twitter handle is @vishal_oxyjinn.)