England hosted the second edition of ICC World T20 in 2009. The inaugural tournament in South Africa was an unexpected success and spawned Indian Premier League (IPL), which in turn gave birth to other franchise-based T20 leagues around the world. By 2009 teams were more used to the idea of T20 cricket, and were starting to take this shortest format of the game more seriously. The 2009 edition of World T20 had 12 teams, namely India, Pakisan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Netherlands. Zimbabwe and Kenya were the two teams missing from ICC World T20 2007, replaced by Ireland and Netherlands.

Despite their victory in ICC World T20 2007 and their experience with IPL, India fared poorly in the tournament, beating only Bangladesh and Ireland and faltering against all the major teams. As was the case in 2007, the two finalists were Asian teams, with Pakistan meeting Sri Lanka. India, New Zealand, and Australia, who had made it to the semi-final stage in the last edition, failed to do so this time around. The semi-finals of World T20 2009 were played among Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and West Indies. Pakistan beat South Africa and Sri Lanka surpassed the West Indies hurdle to meet in the final.

Unsurprisingly, the best batsman and best bowler of the tournament were from the two finalists. Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan took the tournament by fire with his innovative batting. His ‘Dilscoop’ accounted for a large percentage of his runs, and Dilshan’s reputation only grew after the tournament. Likewise, it was Pakistan’s Umar Gul who led the bowling charts. Gul was a class apart with the ball, taking 13 wickets at just 12.15 and getting able backup from Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. In fact, the top five bowlers of the tournament were all from Pakistan or Sri Lanka; Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga being the second and fourth highest wicket-takers of the tournament.

It was a much-needed win for Pakistan who came agonisingly close to winning the title in 2007. In March 2009, a terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lankan team in Lahore resulted in the shifting of the ICC Champions Trophy to South Africa from Pakistan. International teams continue to refuse touring Pakistan since that dreadful incident. Considering the backdrop, it was an emotional win for Younis Khan‘s men.

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Designed by Neeraj Kathale | Infographics by Shiamak Unwalla

(Shiamak Unwalla is a proud Whovian and all-round geek who also dabbles in cricket writing as a reporter with CricketCountry. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)