Top 6 memorable matches of T20 World Cup 2024

Top 6 memorable matches of T20 World Cup 2024

India vs South Africa, T20 World Cup 2024 final

The 2024 version of the T20 World Cup finally reached its end after 29 days of exciting cricket and India emerged as the champion. The tournament saw 55 matches in total including the Group stage, Super-8, Semi-finals and Final. There were some one-sided games like a couple of games involving Uganda when the first-timers were all out for 39 and 40 respectively against West Indies and New Zealand. However, some cracking contests started from the opening match between the USA and Canada. Here is a look back at the top six memorable matches.

Pakistan vs USA

When USA beat Canada comfortably in their opening match, many thought that would be their greatest moment in this tournament as they were playing three Test-playing nations in their next three matches starting with Pakistan. However, the Americans showed great application and skill as they shocked Pakistan in one of the biggest upsets of the history of the tournament.

Bowling first, they restricted the Pakistani batters to 159/7 with Left arm orthodox spinner Nosthusha Kenjige opened the bowling and picked up 3 wickets including Usman Khan, Shadab Khan and Azam Khan. Pakistan at one stage were 26/3 but 44 from Babar Azam and 40 from Shadab helped them to a respectable score. USA did not start well but a 50 from the captain Monank Patel and handy contributions from Andries Gous (35) and Aaron Jones (36*) helped them to tie the score.

In the Super Over, team USA scored 18/1 which was defended comfortably by Saurabh Netravalkar, Ex-Under-19 World Cup winner from India as he conceded just 13 runs and get USA a memorable win.

India vs Pakistan

Any encounter involving India and Pakistan are memorable more often than not. The clash between the arch-rivals at the Nassau County Ground was no different. In a tight contest, India snatched victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to their bowlers. Pakistan dominated most of the match as India could score a paltry 119 in their 20 overs. They lose Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma early and except Rishabh Pant’s 42 and Axar Patel’s 20 no other batter could contribute as India collapsed from 89/3 to 119 all out within 8 overs. For Pakistan, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf both picked up 3 wickets for 21 runs.

Pakistan raced to 26 runs before Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Babar Azam. Mohammad Rizwan held one end and built handy partnership with Usman Khan and Fakhar Zaman. At the end of the 14th over, Pakistan were 80/3, requiring just 40 runs in 36 deliveries with 7 wickets in hand. However, once Bumrah bowled Rizwan for 31 runs in the first delivery of the 15th over, the Pakistan chase was derailed. In next five overs only 22 runs could be added as Pakistan lost three more wickets during this period. Eventually they could score only 113 for 7 and lost the contest by just 6 runs.

West Indies vs New Zealand

New Zealand had a shocking defeat against Afghanistan in their opening encounter but looked to make a strong comeback against West Indies in their second match. They won the toss and elected to bowled. By the 7th over, West Indies lost their 5 wickets for just 30 runs and looked like New Zealand was in driver’s seat. Young Sherfane Rutherford rally around with the lower order batters like Akeal Hossein (15), Andre Russell (14) and Romario Shepherd (13) but West Indies lost regular wickets and were 112/9 at the end of 18th over. However the aggressive approach of the Kiwi captain Kane Williamson resulted in all his fast bowlers completing their overs and last two overs were bowled by Mitchell Santner and Daryl Mitchell. Rutherford took full advantage of that and scored 37 runs in last two overs to finished on unbeaten 68, one of the best knocks of this tournament.

The New Zealand batters were not confident and lost regular wickets in font of Alzari Joseph (4/19) and Gudakesh Motie (3/25) as they could score only 136/9 and lost the match by 13 runs.

South Africa vs Nepal

The fans of Nepal made a significant mark in the tournament with their strong support from the stands. Although they could not win a match in this edition, their match against South Africa turned into a low-scoring classic.

On a pitch, helpful for the spinners, South Africa started strongly thanks to a slow but useful 43 from the opener Reeza Hendricks. However, Nepal made a strong comeback in the second half the innings as the leg spinner Kushal Bhurtel and off break bowler Dipendra Airee picked up 6 wickets between 11th to 20th over to stop the run flow. Bhurtel picked up 4/19 and Airee got 3/21 as South Africa could score 115/7.

During the chase, at one stage Nepal were 85/2, needing just 31 runs in 39 balls but once the captain Aiden Markram broke the 50-run partnership between Aasif Sheikh and Anil Shah, the run-scoring became difficult. Tabraiz Shamsi did the rest as his 4/19 ensured a 1-run victory for South Africa and a heart break for Nepal.

Afghanistan vs Australia

Afghanistan qualified for the Super-8 in a handsome manner and despite being in a group with India and Australia, continued to play their attractive brand of cricket. Their openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (60) and Ibrahim Zadran (51) added 118 runs in 15.5 overs and although Australia had some late wickets including a hat-trick from Pat Cummings, Afghanistan put up a fighting 148/6 on board.

Australia lost Travis Head on the 3rd ball of their innings and also lost Mitchell Marsh and David Warner within the Powerplay. A 49-run partnership between Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis provided them hope but a brilliant spell from Gulbadin Naib helped Afghanistan to get their first victory over the Aussies as 8 Australian batters could not reach double digit. Naib was the Player-of-the-match for his 4/20.

India vs South Africa

A great tournament deserves a great final and the final of T20 World Cup 2024 at Bridgetown did not disappoint. It saw a balance between bat and ball and the match was in balance till the last over. India won the toss and despite losing Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav early the innings was held together by Virat Kohli, playing his last T20I. He got an able ally in Axar Patel, who played the innings of his life to score 47 off 31 balls with 1 four and 4 sixes. Kohli reached his fifty off 48 deliveries but played some brilliant shots after reaching the milestone and finished on 76 off 59. Some lasty blows from Shivam Dube helped India to reach 176/7 as Keshav Maharaj and Anrich Nortje picked up 2 wickets each.

South Africa lost 2 quick wickets but Quinton de Kock and Tristan Stubbs built a partnership of 58 runs in quick time. At 106/4, David Miller joined Heinrich Klaasen with South Africa needing 71 runs in 45 deliveries. The duo batted brilliantly and when Klaasen hit Axar for 24 runs in an over it looked like the match was over for India. However, Jasprit Bumrah Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya bowled brilliantly to defend 30 runs off 30 balls. Pandya first dismissed the dangerous Klaasen who scored a 27-ball 52 and then dismissed Miller and Kagiso Rabada in the last over to take India to a 7-run win. The catch from Suryakumar Yadav to dismiss Miller was an outstanding example of athleticism and quick thinking and will be now part of Indian cricket folklore forever.

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