Kohli’s 82, Watson’s 124: Seven T20I Innings That Lit Up 2016
In Videos: The Quint takes a look at the seven T20I innings that lit up 2016.
In an era in which the possibility of the co-existence of all the three formats of cricket has been questioned and doubted every time, this year has shown how beautiful the game can become if the three forms of the game are given equal attention.
We are now nearing the end of an amazing year that showed us the beauty of the co-existence of the diverse forms of cricket. The serenity of Test cricket in the later part successfully calmed down our excitement caused by limited overs cricket during the early part of the year.
However, if the hunger for some more excitement and flamboyance of T20 cricket has already begun, there is no need to worry. We have got you covered!
Let us embark upon a journey where we would relive seven of those T20I innings that lit up 2016.
1. Glenn Maxwell 145* vs Sri Lanka at Pallekele
Maxwell was making a comeback into the Australian team after being dropped for a brief period due to poor form with the bat.
However, he made the most of his comeback playing a fantastic innings of 145* off just 65 deliveries star studded with 14 fours and 9 sixes against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in September.
Australian thus posted a total of 263/3 on the board and the bowlers restricted Sri Lanka to 178/9, which helped the men in yellow to earn a 85-run victory.
2. Virat Kohli 82* vs Australia at Mohali, World T20 Group Stage
It had boiled down to a knockout encounter when India and Australia clashed in their final match of the group stage in the World T20 at Mohali.
Australia scored a respectable total of 160/6 batting first and later an inspired spell by Shane Watson had reduced India to 94/4.
But, Kohli accelerated in the later stages and his innings of 82* (51), which included nine fours and two sixes, took India to a six-wicket victory with four balls to spare.
3. Carlos Brathwaite 34* vs England in World T20 final
Nobody can forget those four consecutive humungous sixes that brought joy for one nation and heart-break for the other.
Carlos Brathwaite scripted a perfect ending to West Indies’ fairy tale journey in the World T20 as he took England by surprise when the West Indian smashed Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the last over of the final to take the Caribbeans to a four-wicket win.
A score of 34* from 10 balls may sound like a mere cameo when read on the scorecard but those who have watched the final know how important it was in the context of the game.
4. KL Rahul 110* vs WI in USA
KL Rahul’s innings of 110 runs off 51 deliveries against West Indies in the 1st T20I of the series in USA, which included 12 fours and 5 sixes, was one of the best innings produced by a young batsman while chasing a big target of 246 runs.
He got India very close to victory until MS Dhoni got dismissed in the last ball of the match and failed to score the required two runs of the last ball.
5. Joe Root 83 vs South Africa at Mumbai, World T20 2016
The group stage encounter of World T20 2016 between England and South Africa turned out to be a high scoring thriller. South Africa posted a mammoth total of 229 runs batting first, courtesy fifties from Amla, De Kock and Duminy.
But Joe Root’s 83 runs off 44 balls ensured that the Three Lions were the ones, who would walk off the field as winners.
Root, who came into bat at 71/2 in the fifth over, capitalised on the fabulous start given by the openers.
The English batsman smacked six fours and four sixes and put his team in the driver’s seat when he got out in the 19th over.
Eventually, England won the match by two wickets.
6. Shane Watson 124* vs. India at Sydney
Shane Watson produced the best of his T20I innings towards the twilight of his international career when he smashed an unbeaten 124* off just 71 deliveries against India in the final T20I of the three match series at Sydney.
He started off cautiously and suddenly accelerated during the later stages of the Australian innings hitting 10 fours and 6 sixes in the process.
However, his century went in vain as India cruised to the total comfortably on the final delivery of the match courtesy an unbeaten innings of 49* from Suresh Raina.
7. Chris Gayle’s 100* vs. England, World T20 2016
A T20 batting list without Chris Gayle is completely incomplete. He set the World T20 on fire with his power packed innings of 100* off 48 deliveries at Mumbai, which helped West Indies chase down a target of 183 set by England.
On his way to his century, Gayle hit just a mere 4 fours but smashed 11 maximums. The Caribbeans won the match with 11 balls to spare.
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