ICC World Twenty20 /

ICC World Twenty20, 2007-08

Fateful scoops, fast yorkers and six sixes

In a tournament where much depended on which team held their nerve at crucial junctures, Dileep Premchandran picks out the moments to cherish

September 25, 2007

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Misbah-ul-Haq had an excellent tournament but did a Devon Loch in the two matches against India © Getty Images
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In a tournament so full of action it was tough to pick out eleven moments. Dileep Premchandran gave it his best shot

The Last Scoop: Against a genuine pace bowler, Misbah-ul-Haq's cute attempt to scoop the ball down to fine leg might have been a four. But with Joginder Sharma offering no pace to work with, it was a stroke laced with risk. As soon as he played it, millions of anxious eyes looked towards the rope, but instead of getting that far, the ball merely looped into Sreesanth's hands at short fine leg. As the Indians basked in the enormity of their achievement, Misbah sat on his haunches in disbelief - the defiant sailor who had evaded the U-boats only to be sunk as the harbour came into view.

Direct hit parade: Rohit Sharma had shown the way against South Africa, and it was Robin Uthappa's turn in the final as Imran Nazir and Pakistan threatened to waltz away with the match. Nazir had blazed his way to 33 from just 14 balls when Younis Khan tapped one to mid-off and called for the run. Nazir, suffering from a groin strain, was slow to react, and Uthappa's pick-up and measured throw caught him inches short at the keeper's end. India were seldom behind the eight-ball after that.

The Eccentric Returns: Matthew Hayden loves to bully the bowlers, but had looked like a novice against an inspired new-ball spell from Sreesanth. But having ridden the rough waves out, he and Andrew Symonds were threatening to see Australia home when Sreesanth was brought back for his final over. Coming round the wicket to Hayden, he produced the perfect ball for the situation, the fast yorker. Hayden missed, the off stump was uprooted, and India were on their way to a famous triumph.

Ton up: When Chris Gayle drove Shaun Pollock down the ground for two in the 15th over of the tournament opener, history was made. It had taken Gayle just 51 balls to bring up the first century seen in Twenty20 at the international level, and no one that watched it will ever forget the amalgam of brute force and sweet timing. A shame that it was all downhill for West Indies thereafter.

All Tied Up: In the space of less than three overs, Misbah had transformed certain defeat into likely victory at Kingsmead. With Sreesanth conceding 11 from the first four balls of the final over, Pakistan needed just one from two. But Misbah missed the penultimate delivery, and then miscued the next to cover before haring down the pitch. Yuvraj Singh swooped, threw to Sreesanth, and the World Cup had its first tie. In the bowl-out that followed, both teams were 100 percent - three Indians hit, and all three Pakistanis missed.

Almost a Michelle: Mornè Morkel had magnificent figures of 4 for 14 two balls into his final over against a struggling New Zealand side. With Mark Gillespie facing, the first five-for in this format was a distinct possibility. Sure enough, his third delivery to Gillespie was a superb yorker that uprooted the off stump. Unfortunately, Billy Doctrove cut short the celebrations with a no-ball call. History would have to wait.

Thrice as nice: Lee's no stranger to hat-tricks, but the tournament hadn't seen the best of him until the Bangladesh game. Having seen Shakib Al Hasan caught behind and Mashrafe Mortaza bowled with a lethal off-stump yorker, the Newlands crowd was buzzing as Lee walked back to the top of his run-up. As the noise grew, he ran in and pitched one on a length. Alok Kapali had shuffled across the crease, and the pace of the ball beat his attempted flick to midwicket. The moment the ball thudded into the pad and Lee went up in appeal, you knew there would only be one outcome.

Maximum Man: By the time the fifth six of the over landed in the crowd at midwicket, Stuart Broad had a glazed look in his eyes, a bit like Ernie Terrell after Mohammad Ali had punched him into a stupor while asking; "What's my name, uncle Tom, what's my name?" The similarity ended there. Ali never administered the knockout punch in that fight, but Yuvraj did, leaning back and hitting the final delivery with pristine power over wide mid-on for another mammoth six. Sobers, Shastri and Gibbs had been there before him, but no one had ever done it against a Test-playing nation.

Can't catch, can bowl: No matter how big a total you're defending, the last thing you want to do as a fielding side is give Sanath Jayasuriya a reprieve. But that was exactly what Sohail Tanvir did in Mohammad Asif's opening over at the Wanderers, fluffing a simple chance at short fine leg. A weaker individual would have slunk away and searched for a corner to hide, but when Shoaib Malik tossed him the ball a minute later, Tanvir produced the perfect riposte. A yorker on off stump, a wild flail from Jayasuriya, and the stumps in a mess.

Brendan the giant-killer: Zimbabwe had exceeded all expectations against Australia, getting to the final over with only 12 needed for victory. Nathan Bracken was the bowler though, one of the stars of Australian successes at the Champions Trophy and World Cup and a man with some canny variations. But Taylor had a trick up his bright-red sleeve too, and when Bracken delivered a low full toss outside off stump, Taylor adjusted his body, stuck the bat out and somehow deflected the ball past the man at short fine leg. Four balls later, four leg-byes clinched one of the great upsets in the game's history.

Fire and ice: Bangladesh had careered out of the blocks against South Africa, slamming their first 38 runs in boundaries. Aftab Ahmed was the chief instigator of the mayhem, clouting 32 from the first 12 balls he faced. When Mornè Morkel was given the ball, Aftab's response was dismissive, a whiplash cover-drive that sped to the rope at Concorde speed. Morkel's response was chilling, a fairly full delivery timed at 146.9 km/hr. Aftab swung and missed, and the off stump was given a long kiss goodnight.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Tournament Results
India v Pakistan at Johannesburg - Sep 24, 2007
India won by 5 runs
Australia v India at Durban - Sep 22, 2007
India won by 15 runs
New Zealand v Pakistan at Cape Town - Sep 22, 2007
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
South Africa v India at Durban - Sep 20, 2007
India won by 37 runs
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Cape Town - Sep 20, 2007
Pakistan won by 4 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Cape Town - Sep 20, 2007
Australia won by 10 wickets (with 58 balls remaining)
More results »
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