As the year-comes to an end, we recall the numerous memorable moments which cricket fraternity enjoyed over the span of 12 months. Especially, when it comes to Twenty20 (T20) cricket, both players and fans go in a different mood altogether. Abhishek Kumar digs out such 10 memorable moments from T20 cricket of 2015.

1. West Indies pulling off highest successful run chase: After winning the first T20 International against South Africa, West Indies were eyeing for the another victory. The Proteas had almost spoiled their party with Faf du Plessis’ fabulous knock of 119 runs from just 56 balls. Along with him, David Miller also scored a handy 47 from 26 balls and the team posted a huge total of 231.

Darren Sammy (left) and Chris Gayle celebrate the famous win © Getty Images
Darren Sammy (left) and Chris Gayle celebrate the famous win © Getty Images

To chase down such humungous total, West Indies needed their star batsman Chris Gayle to fire from the start and he did the same by scoring 90 from 41 with 9 fours and 7 sixes. Gayle was provided excellent support by Marlon Samuels and built a rock-solid partnership of 152 runs. Samuels scored 60 from 39 balls and later, captain Darren Sammy ended the chase in style with a six, and West Indies registered the highest-successful run chase in the history of T20Is.

Taskin Ahmed (left) and Mashrafe Mortaza celebrate in their unique way © Getty Images
Taskin Ahmed (left) and Mashrafe Mortaza celebrate in their unique way © Getty Images

2. Taskin Ahmed and Mashrafe Mortaza’s typical celebration: During the only T20I match between Bangladesh and Pakistan at Dhaka, on April 24, 2015, Taskin Ahmed took the wicket of Ahmed Shehzad in his first over. They tried to redo their ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 trademark celebration — seen in the quarter-final against India —with Mortaza and Taskin doing the chest-bump. It was probably the turning point of the match as Pakistan openers had a decent partnership of 50 runs before the wicket of Ahmed Shehzad fell. Later, Bangladesh won the match easily by seven wickets but the celebration of Taskin and Mortaza made it memorable.

3. Chris Gayle runs after Yuvraj Singh: You just cannot keep Chris Gayle out of action. He is always the cynosure of all eyes — be it with the bat or with his antics, dancing or banter. During the group match between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chinnaswamy Stadium, it was Gayle antics which caught the attention. Just after an over was bowled during the RCB run chase, it started raining heavily. Even as the teams ran to the safety of the pavilion, Gayle ran after Yuvraj with his bat raised as if he wanted to beat Yuvraj. Arguably, it was the best moment from this year season of Indian Premier League.

Pakistani fans welcome international cricket to the country after six long years © Getty Images
Pakistani fans welcome international cricket to the country after six long years © Getty Images

4. Welcome, Zimbabwe, to Pakistan: It was a great moment of cricket fans in Pakistan when Zimbabwe decided to play in their country after a gap of six years. Pakistani people are known for welcoming their guest with open arms and they did the same for Zimbabwe. During the whole series between both the nations, many banners were carried by the spectators in the stand but the one which won many hearts was this, which made this series unforgettable.

Quinton de Kock does the unbelievable!  © Getty Images
Quinton de Kock does the unbelievable! © Getty Images

5. Quinton de Kock grabs a reverse sweep of Sabbir Rahman: In the first T20I match between Bangladesh and South Africa at Mirpur, Quinton de Kock stunned everyone with his presence of mind from behind the stumps. Bangladesh were chasing a stiff target of 149 and they were four wicket down for 56 runs. It was the second ball of the 10th over by JP Duminy, off which Sabbir Rahman tried to play a reverse sweep and began moving to the right. De Kock was in the perfect position when the ball came straight at him, off the batsman’s gloves. It hit his left thigh and he just about managed to hang on while falling to the floor, with his hands bunched together at his stomach. Probably, this was one of the best catches by a wicketkeeper this year.

6. Nepal player plays helicopter shot: In the 34th match of the ICC World T20 Qualifier, Siddhant Lohani of Nepal played one of the most unique strokes seen in the cricket field while batting against Jersey. It was a replication of Indian star cricketer MS Dhoni-popularised helicopter shot and it did go for the desired result. But, Lohani had his own touch to it. The bat was wielded like how a batsman plays the helicopter shot, but instead of taking the route to long-on; the ball sailed away over the covers for a maximum. Further, Lohani’s entertaining 27 from 16 helped Nepal get to a score of 105 but they lost it by seven wickets.

7. John Mooney’s hat-trick: After getting two back-to-back defeats against Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong, Ireland needed to win their 40th match against Jersey. All-rounder John Mooney emerged as the hero of the match by taking hat-trick in the last over of the first innings, and turned the match into Ireland’s favour. After getting a promising start, Jersey were all out for just 122 runs and Ireland pulled off a comfortable win by seven wickets.

8. Barbarism at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack: The scenes at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack during the second T20I between India and South Africa witnessed terrible behaviour from the spectators, as the visitors were cruising towards a series win. Chasing only 93 for a win, South Africa were placed at 64 for 3 in 11 overs when a major section of the crowd started hurling bottles at the ground. Soon the crowd trouble became the talking point on social media and users didn’t hesitate in criticising the Orissa crowd for the unruly behaviour.

9. Mohammad Aamer’s comeback: Disgraced Pakistani bowler Mohammad Aamer announced himself back in cricket after five years with a bang, by taking four wickets and conceding only 30 runs. All his four wickets were of game-changing batsmen which included, Lendl Simmons, Soumya Sarkar, Misbah-ul-Haq and Thisara Perera. In his spell, he also bowled a maiden over. Though his team lost the match by two wickets but he made it sure that Aamer is not going to give it up easily.

 

10. Kevin Pietersen’s ‘helihook’ shot: During the semi-final match of Ram-Slam T20 Challenge, Kevin Pietersen — who was playing for Dolphins, played a very unique shot in the fifth ball of the 18th over.


Wayne Parnell of Cape Cobras bowled a waist-height, a wide full toss outside off as he attempted a yorker. Pietersen walked across the stumps and with just a mere flick, he got the ball over the square leg fence. Many would have expected this shot as helicopter shot but as per Pietersen, it’s a ‘HeliHook’ shot.

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with Criclife.com. He can be followed at abhicricket.kumar and @abhishekkr2593)