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The Financial Express

Top 5 thrilling matches of T20 World Cup 2021


Photo: ESPNcricinfo Photo: ESPNcricinfo

A boundary by Maxwell from a Tim Southee delivery put an end to 4 weeks of enthralling cricket. 

45 matches ended in the blink of an eye with some of them gifting some breathtaking actions. Here we pick the best ones among them.

Netherlands vs Namibia  

Namibia's World T20 2021 journey has been a fairy tale. And the “once upon a time” part of that tale was against Netherlands. 

The dutch started as the favourites and put up a hefty 164 which till then was the highest score in the tournament. 

Chasing that, Namibia started slowly. They struggled and were at 52/3 after 8.2 overs. 

And then they turned it around. A 93(51) runs partnership from skipper Erasmus and Wiese put them in a strong position. After Erasmus dismissal, Wiese with Smit completed one of the most astonishing stories this World Cup. 

Bangladesh vs West Indies 

Arguably one of the most eventful games of the world cup, both the teams desperately needed a win to keep their semi-final hope alive. 

Bangladesh bowled first and was all over Windies. They picked 3 wickets within 6.4 overs.  

The Caribbeans never looked like having a chance. But two dropped catches of Roston Chase, one of Pollard and a late flair of Pooran let West Indies put a challenging total of 142. 

Bangladesh struggled as they did the whole tournament. They were in control till the last over. But the experience of Russell proved too heavy for Mahmudullah and Bangladesh lost the match by 3 runs.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 

Another moderate scoring thriller at Sharjah, this game had seen it all. Half-centuries, hat-trick, back-to-back sixes - everything one could ask. 

Sri Lanka batted first and put 142 runs on the board, thanks to a fine 72 runs knock by Nissanka. 

In reply, South Africa found it difficult to unleash losing 3 wickets within 8 overs. They took 15 overs to reach 100. 

Although Hasaragna hat-trick made things difficult for the Proteas, David Miller and Kagiso Rabada with the bat appeared as saviours. 

They needed 18 in the last over. Rabada took a single and then it was Miller all the way. He hit two sixes that put South Africa in a winning position from where Rabada finished things off. 

England vs New Zealand  

The first knockout game of the tournament was as good as it should be. England put on a target of 167 for New Zealand. In reply, New Zealand lost both Williamson and Guptill early. 

Then Conway and Mitchell stitched a partnership of 82 runs to steady the ship. But the fall of two quick wickets once again put England ahead. 

The Kiwis needed 60 runs from the last 5 overs with Neesham and Mitchell batting. A quick 40(17) runs partnership brought New Zealand back in the game. And then a 20 run 19th over by Mitchell sealed the deal for the Kiwis. 

Australia vs Pakistan  

An identical version of this clash, which happened back in 2010, is still one of the classics of the T20 World Cup. 

Pakistan was sent to bat first by Australia and put up a big total of 176, thanks to Rizwan and Fakhar. 

In reply, Aaron Finch was back to the pavilion early. But Warner and Marsh didn't let the guards down. 

However, after a 50 runs powerplay, the Aussies lost 4 wickets within 6 overs. When a win seemed a matter of time for Pakistan, the Australia of knockouts appeared.  

Wade and Stoinis became the counterpart of Neesham and Mitchell that night as 62 runs from the last 5 overs became quite achievable for them. In fact, they needed only four overs to finish things off. 

16, 17, 18 and 20 runs were the scores of the last 4 overs. Wade won the match with 3 consecutive sixes, thus completing a famous win for the Aussies.

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