The WT20 has made way for some heartbreaking moments for fans, amidst the unparalleled entertainment and joy.
Nothing can be as heartbreaking as watching your team lose from a good position. The following are such examples, where teams lost a crucial game, despite being in control for the majority of the match.
South Africa vs India; WT20 2007, Super 8
South Africa have been called the chokers of the cricket world for over two decades now. One such incident of choking was the super 8 game against India, in the inaugural edition of the ICC World T20.
Having reduced India to 33-for-3, South Africa were very much in the driver’s seat early on. Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni put up an 85-run partnership which helped shift the momentum in India’s favour.
Even though India put on a respectable score of 153, all South Africa had to do was get to a score of 126, to ensure a superior net run-rate to New Zealand’s and secure a semi-final spot.
Almost characteristically, South Africa capitulated to the challenge.
RP Singh ripped the South African batting lineup apart with his 4 for 13 and a valiant effort from the pair of Albie Morkel and Mark Boucher went in vain as South Africa fell 10 short of the 126 required to qualify.
Australia vs Pakistan; WT20 2010, Semi-Final
This semi-final was always expected to deliver a thriller. Batting first, Pakistan went off to a good start and things just kept getting better, as the innings progressed.
192 against such a skilful bowling attack was always going to be a tall task for Australia. Wickets at frequent intervals helped Pakistan strengthen their grip on the match.
After the fall of the 5th wicket, Micheal Hussey walked out to the crease. Despite him stitching two crucial partnerships with Cameron White and Mitchell Johnson, Pakistan were still comfortably ahead in the game.
Then came the fabled last over. One of the most successful T20I bowlers of the time, Saeed Ajmal, had to defend 18 runs. Johnson managed to hand over the strike to Hussey after a single in the first ball and the carnage began.
A pull shot over mid-wicket indicated Hussey’s intentions clearly. Another six, followed by a four and a match-ending six meant Pakistan’s hopes of defending their World T20 title were over.
South Africa vs Pakistan; WT20 2012, Super 8
Facing a confident Pakistan in their first Super 8 game of the tournament, South Africa could only post a modest 133.
However, they clawed their way back into the game by reducing Pakistan to 37 for 4. When Pakistan found themselves at 76-for-7 in the 15th over, it looked like South Africa’s game to lose.
Staying true to character, lose the game they did. In Jacques Kallis’ second over, Umar Gul hit two sixes and brought Pakistan right back into the game. Gul’s next victim was Morne Morkel, who went for 20 runs, in the 17th over of the innings.
Dale Steyn did his best to bring South Africa back into the game in the penultimate over, which yielded 6 runs and the wicket of Gul but the damage was already done. Umar Akmal batted till the end and helped ensure Pakistan crossed the finish line.
Why AB Devilliers took JP Duminy and Johan Botha off the attack when they were both doing exceptionally well on a spin-friendly pitch, remained a mystery. The defeat seemed to have shattered South Africa’s confidence as they went on to lose both their remaining Super 8 matches.
India vs Bangladesh, WT20 2016
Any Bangladeshi fan would expect this match to be included amongst the major disappointments of the tournament.
After asking India to bat first, the Tigers would’ve been happy to see a target of 147. Although they lost wickets at frequent intervals, the game never looked out of Bangladesh’s grasp.
Bangladesh needed 11 off the final over and an inexperienced Hardik Pandya came on to bowl. Mushfiqur Rahim hit two consecutive boundaries off the 2nd and 3rd deliveries of the final over and his display of euphoria mimicked every Bangladesh fan's reaction.
2 runs off 3 balls is as simple a task one could ask for, especially with the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah at the crease. Unfortunately, that momentary display of euphoria is now remembered as a premature celebration.
Both Rahim and Mahmudullah looked to play glory shots and threw their wickets away when easy singles were on offer. As a result, Shuvagata Hom had to play the final delivery with two runs still required. He missed an attempted cut shot and failed to sneak a by-run as Mahendra Singh Dhoni was alert to what the batsmen will try to do.
Mustafizur Rahman was short of his ground and Bangladesh lost the match by an agonizing single run.
India vs West Indies, WT20 2016 semi-final
After a loss in their first game against New Zealand, hosts India made a strong comeback in the WT20 2016. They went up against the West Indies in the semi-final, in Mumbai.
Taking full advantage of the batting-friendly conditions, India put up 192 on the board, courtesy of a scintillating 89 from Virat Kohli.
When West Indies lost their second wicket in only the 3rd over, their hopes seemed to be diminishing. However, the men in maroon found unlikely heroes in the form of Lendl Simmons and Johnson Charles, who led their team’s resurgence and fought their way back into the game.
What would be the biggest disappointment from India’s perspective, is they would have dismissed Lendl Simmons twice, had the bowlers not committed the unforgivable crime of overstepping.
The game was still in the balance when Charles was dismissed in the 14th over, with the score at 113. That was when Andre Russell walked in and together with the well-set Simmons, he took West Indies to victory with some belligerent power hitting.
A jam-packed Wankhede stadium was left in stunned silence after Russel’s game-ending six in the final over.