T20 batting nominees

Fireworks in Bangladesh

The best knocks from the World T20 feature prominently
January 13, 2015

Click here for the T20 bowling shortlist

Stephan Myburgh
63 v Ireland
World T20, Sylhet

To qualify for the World T20 main draw, Netherlands needed to beat Ireland with a bonus point, which left them having to score 190 runs in 14.2 overs - odds most teams might think would rule them out. But Stephan Myburgh was the master mathematician. He took four sixes off offspinner Andy McBrine's first over and three off Alex Cusack to bring up the team fifty in 3.1 overs, and take them to the highest Powerplay score of 91. His fifty came off 17 balls, to equal the record for the second-fastest in T20s but he fell soon after. Still, he put his team on course to believe and ultimately to win the game.

Tom Cooper
45 v Ireland
World T20, Sylhet

Myburgh started it; Cooper finished it. Although Netherlands had got off to the perfect start in pursuit of 190 in 14.2 overs, they needed a finisher. That man was Cooper. Flown in from Australia just days before the tournament started, he showed no signs of jet-lag as he took four sixes off a George Dockrell over and hit two more in a blitzkrieg which saw him strike at 300, ensuring Netherlands went through to the the World T20's main draw - the only Associate country to do so.

Umar Akmal
94 v Australia
World T20, Mirpur

Umar Akmal turned the innings around after it was threatening to stall at 25 for 2 in the fifth over, dominating a third-wicket stand of 96 with his brother Kamran, although he was dropped on 22 by Brad Hogg. His 94 was, at the time, the second-highest score by a Pakistan batsman in T20 internationals after Ahmed Shehzad's unbeaten 98 against Zimbabwe in August 2013. Umar was on strike at the start of the last over, and a hundred was there for the taking, but he picked out long-on. Still, though, it was a match-winning innings.

Alex Hales became England's first T20 century-maker © PA Photos

Glenn Maxwell
74 v Pakistan
World T20, Mirpur

Australia's World T20 campaign never really got going, but the same could not be said for Maxwell, who lit up their opening match with his first T20 international fifty, from just 18 balls. Chasing a target of 192, Australia were 8 for 2 at the end of the first over, which brought Maxwell to the middle at No. 4. He attempted to reverse-sweep his first delivery (and was nearly bowled), thoughts of careful rebuilding far from his mind, but he powered Australia to 126 for 3 in the 12th over. He took 20 off four legitimate balls from Bilawal Bhatti but no one below him reached double figures, as Pakistan held on for the win.

JP Duminy
86 not out v New Zealand
World T20, Chittagong

It was in Bangladesh that New Zealand beat South Africa to knock them out of the 2011 World Cup, but Duminy exorcised those ghosts with an authoritative knock in Chittagong. South Africa inched to 97 for 4 in 14 overs and needed to get a move on, which Duminy provided. He steered the final five overs, in which South Africa scored 70 runs, including 17 each off the 17th and 19th overs. His half-century came off 31 balls but every one of his runs proved crucial: South Africa were victorious by just two.

Alex Hales
116* v Sri Lanka
World T20, Chittagong

England had never chased a score of 190 and none of their batsmen had ever reached three figures in T20 internationals until the night Hales rained destruction on Sri Lanka, inflicting the only defeat of the tournament on the eventual winners. Twice out in the 90s before, this time Hales sailed gloriously on to an unbeaten century, sealing England's chase with his sixth six. He crashed 24 off one over from Ajantha Mendis during a partnership of 152 with Eoin Morgan, which came after England were 0 for 2 at the end of their first over. Though they needed two runs a ball for more than half the innings, victory was achieved with room to spare. Hales provided England's sole World T20 highlight.

Darren Sammy
34 not out v Australia
World T20, Mirpur

West Indies had not successfully chased a score of 179 or above in T20s before and it did not look like that would change when they needed 31 off the final two overs in this match. Sammy took 19 off the penultimate over from Mitchell Starc, including a six from the first ball, and kept strike to leave himself with 12 to get off the final six balls. Despite padding up to the first ball and digging out a yorker off the second, he smashed two maximums in succession to stun the Australians.

AB de Villiers
69 not out v England
World T20, Chittagong

Asked to captain in the absence of Faf du Plessis, who was banned for an over-rate violation, de Villiers assumed full responsibility by scoring the knock that allowed South Africa to post a match-winning total. He arrived after South Africa were in a good position at 90 for 1 in the 11th over and immediately put his foot on the pedal. He moved across the stumps with authority and flayed bowlers down the leg side. His fifty came in 23 balls, the fastest by a South African in T20s, and in the last 14 balls he faced, he ransacked 48. South Africa defended 196 to qualify for the semi-final.

Darren Sammy was in complete control when he shellacked Australia in the World T20 © AFP

Ahmed Shehzad
111 not out v Bangladesh
World T20, Mirpur

An innings that kept Pakistan's World T20 hopes alive going into their final game, Shehzad's hundred also staved off the threat of another humbling from Bangladesh. No other Pakistan batsman managed to pass 26. Already the holder of Pakistan's highest T20 score, Shehzad became their first century-maker, carrying his bat to underpin a total that proved to be well beyond the hosts' reach. There was plenty of power, including 15 boundaries, but it was backed up by canny thinking: with the pitch more suited to spin, he reined it in when required while clattering 87 off 39 deliveries from Bangladesh's unfortunate seamers.

Darren Sammy
42 not out v Pakistan
World T20, Mirpur

West Indies were meandering at 81 for 5 after 14 overs when Sammy arrived and almost doubled the score. He led their charge of 82 off the final five overs, meting out a thrashing to Pakistan and taking West Indies into the semi-final. Sammy's performance included a 71-run stand with Dwayne Bravo, off 32 balls. Pakistan, stunned, were bowled out for 82.

Virat Kohli
72 not out v South Africa
World T20 semi-final, Mirpur

The familiar sight of Kohli eating up the road of a limited-overs chase accompanied the familiar sight of South Africa exiting in the knockout stage of a limited-overs competition. Kohli's talents are well known but the key feature of this innings was how perfectly his run-scoring intent was expressed. He faced only three dot balls over the course of 44 deliveries, giving the South Africa attack almost no respite as they failed to defend 170-plus for the first time in T20s. Kohli scored less than half of his runs in boundaries, with two sixes, but still managed a strike rate of 163.63 and moved to the top of the tournament run scorers' list.

Eoin Morgan
71 v India
Only T20, Edgbaston

After a one-day drubbing, England were desperate to end a difficult season on a high, but it did not look promising when they lost Jos Buttler at the start of 18th over to sink to 130 for 5. However, the next 17 deliveries brought 50 runs, most of them to Morgan, who flayed 71 off 31 balls in a brutal display of striking. The breakdown was astonishing: having reached 15 off 15 balls, he smashed 56 off his next 16, which included six of his seven sixes. Each was vital: England won by just three runs.

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Posted by o on (January 14, 2015, 9:05 GMT)

Has to be big Darren Sammy v the Aussies incredible finish

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 14, 2015, 8:56 GMT)

Alex Hales against Sri Lanka! That knock by far is one of the handful of superior innings I've ever witnessed.A team having a plenty of bowling talent it was only Hales who was left with.They lost big wickets cheaply,however Hales had other ideas.

Posted by Johnathon on (January 14, 2015, 0:03 GMT)

Steven Myrburgh should win the award. Chasing 180 in 14 overs is no joke and was perhaps one of the craziest things to happen in Cricket history. Also, considering the match situation (either Zimbabwe, Ireland, or the Netherlands World Cup hopes were hinged on that vital match) and this makes it an easy candidate for best batting

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 13, 2015, 18:38 GMT)

alex hales knock..no arguments

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 13, 2015, 16:03 GMT)

1. Virat Kohli (Match Winner) 2. Darren Sammy 3.Alex Hales (clean striking)

Posted by VIJAY on (January 13, 2015, 15:48 GMT)

Alex Hales 116 was the best among these, then comes Virat Kohli's 72 in semi final against SA while chasing 170+ total, third is Sammy's 34* against Aussies also stands unique

Posted by abhishek on (January 13, 2015, 15:34 GMT)

For me this must go to yuvraj for those extraordinary runs in WORLDT20 finale

Posted by Nilesh on (January 13, 2015, 14:46 GMT)

My picks: 1. Stephan Myburgh (63). 2. Virat Kohli (72* - World T20 semi-final winning innings). 3. Alex Hales (116* against eventual World T20 winners SL).

Associate countries don't get much recognition. However, the self-belief and audacity with which they (Netherlands) went about the chase to make 193 in 13.5 overs) was heartening to see.

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 13, 2015, 12:39 GMT)

this is really going to be the thoughest of all nominations to be picked... the dutch were awesome in that chase to complete in less than 15 overs. Sammy took the victory from the jaws of opponents in both those innings hales inning was superb and the only bright spot in an usual flop performance by england in a world cup Virat proved he is still the king of all formats with that valuable innings and taking india to finals

Posted by Abhijith on (January 13, 2015, 12:38 GMT)

Alex Hales.He single handedly did it for England.He was calculated and did take his risks before Malinga came onto bowl at the death.

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The ESPNcricinfo Awards recognise the best individual batting and bowling performances in cricket over the calendar year. They are voted on by an independent jury of former cricketers, commentators, and ESPNcricinfo's senior writers. Previous winners have included Dale Steyn, Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi and Kumar Sangakkara.

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