Starring: angry Laxman, animated Shakib, and spooky Razzaq
Nail-biters, rollercoasters, unexpected contests and sweet comebacks - our correspondents and writers pick their most memorable matches of the last ten years
Nail-biters, rollercoasters, unexpected contests and sweet comebacks - our correspondents and writers pick their most memorable matches of the last ten years. More picks here
England v New Zealand, World Cup final, Lord's, 2019 By Sambit Bal
So, what do we remember? The dream or the tragedy? The drama that lasted all day or the mockery in the final moments? Ben Stokes' nerveless brilliance, or the accidental six that rolled off a ricochet? The two heart-stopping ties, or the ridiculous tiebreaker? England's coronation after 40 years of longing, or New Zealand's heartbreak to last a lifetime?
The truth is that we will forget nothing: the slow burn, the twists, the blunders, the absurdity, the unimaginable finish, the cruelty and the euphoria, and the whole damn rollercoaster of it. Add to this the weight of the occasion and the poignancy of the two perennial World Cup bridesmaids seeking their first title. This was a match like none other.
It was just as well that the World Cup belied the expectations of being a run fest, because rarely do run fests produce the humming tension of low-scoring thrillers, and at long last, we were rewarded with a final that can lay claim to be the greatest World Cup match ever.
Some would argue that it would have been just to have joint winners after the Super Over was tied, but in some ways, the imperfect result etches the match even deeper in memory. Beyond outcomes and heroics, the purest joy of sport lies in the experience, and if you were at Lord's that Sunday, to even consider any match to be greater would feel like infidelity.
Sambit Bal is editor-in-chief of ESPNcricinfo
India v Australia, first Test, Mohali, 2010 By Sharda Ugra
This is a favourite, which edges out Durban 2010 for sheer sentimentality, and the madcappery of its last day. The Test was one final flourish of the big rivalry of the previous decade - Australia v India. At its centre was the batsman who, amid many skirmishes between the two sides, became his team's totem.
A target of 216, the eighth wicket falling at 124, with only Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha to follow. There was only one being who could haul tailender-ass over the finish line, and had made a habit of pulling victory out of the straitjacket of looming defeat. Mohali 2010 was the complete VVS Laxman package - the impossible task, the dicky back, the snarling Aussies, the company of two eager but far from qualified companions.
Our composure was being shred one over at a time. We, who had sort of given up, couldn't move, because Laxman kept the score moving. Then, finally, when there were six runs left, Ojha was almost run out, and there came a rare sighting: total meltdown from Mr Equanimity, an all-around pleasant fellow with an absence of epithets. We saw Laxman lose it, in an angry, bat-jabbing tirade - but he ensured that India didn't. At the end, all was forgiven in a sunburst of smiles and celebrations.
India won a few more home Tests that followed, and then began the slide of the last of their titans into their other lives as coaches, commentators, celebrities, comics. They have left us, of course, with the memory of many Mohalis.
Sharda Ugra is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo
Bangladesh v New Zealand, fourth ODI, Dhaka, 2010 By Mohammad Isam
New Zealand's record against Bangladesh coming into this 2010 ODI series was 17-1, and the home team was without regular captain Mashrafe Mortaza and Tamim Iqbal. It was supposed to be a cakewalk. Enter stand-in captain Shakib Al Hasan, then 23 years old.
Shakib was instrumental with bat and ball in the first two games, and with the series on the line, he made a century from 44 for 3, which gave Bangladesh a competitive 241 to defend. As ever, he was not content with doing well in just one department. He took 3 for 54 with his slow left-arm spin, sometimes teasing the batsmen in the air, sometimes making the ball fizz off the black pitch. He was the most animated person in the field too, especially while talking to his bowlers.
In front of a full house at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Bangladesh prevailed by nine runs, in a match that has entered folklore. It was their first ever series win against strong opposition, and it was fitting that it came at the start of the decade, starring the man who would define Bangladesh cricket in the 2010s.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent
Pakistan v South Africa, second ODI, Abu Dhabi, 2010 By Danyal Rasool
That this game took place this decade is incongruous enough. Just look at that Pakistan line-up: Fawad Alam actually playing; Zulqarnain Haider - who would famously disappear before the final game of the series - the first-choice wicketkeeper; and, as cricket looked ahead to a decade dominated by T20 opulence, Asad Shafiq opening the batting.
They took on a juggernaut of a South African side, which had won ten ODIs on the bounce, including the first one of this series. Now, a Colin Ingram hundred helped them to 286, and Pakistan were already battling history: never had they chased down a score north of 223 to beat South Africa. They slumped to 70 for 4, and at 228 for 7 needed 59 in 5.5 overs.
They had Abdul Razzaq, though, a T20 finisher since before the format existed, and on his day as unstoppable a hitter as - the comparison is unapologetic - Viv Richards himself. It wasn't until Razzaq's three sixes in the 47th over that a Pakistan win appeared even conceivable.
It came down to the last wicket and 14 off the final over, but by then Razzaq had found all the cheat codes to batting, and unleashed them upon Albie Morkel. He hit six sixes and three fours off his final 19 balls, getting himself up to a 72-ball 109, while the tail contributed a solitary run. Pakistan swung an absurd one-wicket win on Halloween night, thanks to a man possessed who had spooked South Africa.
There were many high points, but nothing was better than the MCG - and specifically the opening day. Australia had won in Perth to make it 1-1 and anticipation was high that they could halt England's ambitions on Boxing Day at the G. Midway through the day, the scoreboard read Australia 98 all out. A few hours later there was the added line, England 157 for 0. It was a thing of beauty.
The rest of the match was a procession towards England retaining the Ashes. And there was also the bonus of watching Ricky Ponting lose his cool. Early on the fourth day, with the 19,000-strong crowd made almost entirely of England supporters, Tim Bresnan claimed the final wicket. There are worse ways to spend Christmas.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
England v South Africa, third Test, Lord's, 2012 By Firdose Moonda
South Africa have not won the World Cup, but their pinnacle came at Lord's in 2012, when they took the Test mace off England in a match worthy of the occasion. After Hashim Amla's triple-century opened the series in emphatic fashion at The Oval, where South Africa won, and rain and a rampant Kevin Pietersen ensured a draw at Headingley, the teams headed into the final Test, which England had to win to stay No. 1.
England eked out a six-run first-innings lead, and at 259 for 4 in the second innings, South Africa looked as though they would be content to bat England out of contention. An inspired second-new-ball performance from the home attack ensured that did not happen: England took 6 for 92 and needed 346 to win. At 16 for 2 on the fourth evening, with Vernon Philander giving a masterclass in the art of subtle seam movement, England looked unlikely to get there. But on an electric final day, Jonathan Trott, Jonny Bairstow and Matt Prior made a fight of it.
Eventually, Philander - loved at home, looked down upon away - seamed it South Africa's way. His 5 for 30 took South Africa to the top of the Test rankings, where they stayed for the best part of three and a half years, and his "stats don't lie" comment will be long remembered as the crowning moment for South Africa's golden generation.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent