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Top 7 best last-ball finishes in T20I history

by Navyatha Sandiri
best last-ball finishes

We take a look at some of the best last-ball finishes in T20I history in light of Dinesh Karthik’s heroics in the Nidahas Trophy final.

Last-over finishes are nearly the norm in Twenty20 cricket, and they happen so frequently that you don’t even notice it. The results of the last ball are likewise quite consistent, making the matches in which they appear to be exactly the type for which the format is known.

The Nidahas Trophy final was won by Dinesh Karthik on Sunday at the R. Premadasa Stadium, hitting a six off the last ball to join an elite group of players who have won a tournament — ODIs or T20Is – with a six off the last ball. The most notable of these is perhaps Javed Miandad’s hit off Chetan Sharma in Sharjah in April 1986, which won Pakistan the Australasia Cup 50-over trophy.

Looking exclusively at T20Is, here are some of the tensest last-ball endings over the years, beginning with the first such incident globally.

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New Zealand defeated India by 5 wickets on February 27, 2009.

T20 cricket was still in its infancy, and no one knew how entertaining it might be. When Brendon McCullum faced Irfan Pathan with 12 on the board, he got off six balls. Three runs came off the first three deliveries, then McCullum went boom and boom, over midwicket and then straight, leaving only one run to come off the final delivery, McCullum took advantage of a mis-hit by Rohit, who almost caught it.

London (Lord’s Cricket Ground), 5 June 2009 England was defeated against the Netherlands by four wickets.

In this ICC World T20 match, England had scored 162/5, and it was up to Ryan ten Doeschate and Edgar Schiferli to grab seven runs off the final over. They got one off each ball until the penultimate one when Stuart Broad had two more to get off. Broad fielded and missed all three stumps, giving the batters time to get a few and create a memorable upset. Schiferli shot it straight back to Broad, who fielded and missed all three stumps, giving the batsmen time to get a couple and plot a remarkable shock.

Dubai Scotland defeated Canada by four wickets on March 23, 2012.

Scotland had reached 129/5 before the last over of the ICC World T20 Qualifier’s fifth-place play-off, chasing 136. Rizwan Cheema had the ball and did an outstanding job, getting Fraser Watts out on the first pitch and then allowing three runs in the next four balls. The final one required four points, and Ryan Flannigan delivered, driving Cheema through the offside for four.

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England defeated India by 6 wickets at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on December 22, 2012.

England skipper Eoin Morgan had teed off the instant he walked in, with his team 94/2 after 11 overs, just behind the asking rate. The aim was 178, and England required nine runs in the final over, bowled by Ashok Dinda. The paceman maintained it fully throughout, and England only got six points off the first five balls, leaving the final one to be all or nothing.

Pakistan defeated the Windies by two wickets on July 27, 2013, in Kingstown.

Windies scored 152/7, and it was six from six, then one from one with Zulfiqar Babar on strike to Marlon Samuels. Samuels was firing them in yorker length, and he was doing a good job. Babar is better recognized for his left-handed spinning than for his batting. Not to mention, it was his first international appearance.

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Sylhet Zimbabwe defeated the Netherlands by 5 wickets on March 9, 2014.

When Ahsan Malik started the final over, Zimbabwe needed just seven runs to overtake the Netherlands’ 140/5, but six runs and a wicket brought the score to a tie with one ball remaining. Vusi Sibanda was on strike, and Malik, who had been doing well up to that point, pitched up; Sibanda swung high over long-on for six.

Melbourne, 17 February 2017 Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets against Australia.

When the last over of Sri Lanka’s chase began, Australia had scored 168/6, and just six runs needed to be scored. Despite Sri Lanka’s advantage, the game was still tied at the end of the last ball. Andrew Tye had been mixing things up wonderfully up until that point, preventing any boundary hits, but on the final pitch, he threw full outside off, and Chamara Kapugedara was ready, slamming it through the covers for four “as read and reported by www.icc-cricket.com”.

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