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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2009 T20I batting nominees: Clobberers united

Five aggressive innings are in the running for the Twenty20 batting prize, including one from a Dutchman

George Binoy
George Binoy
Shahid Afridi drives, Pakistan v South Africa, ICC World Twenty20, 1st semi-final, Trent Bridge, June 18, 2009

Shahid Afridi's 34-ball 51 took Pakistan to the World T20 final  •  Tom Shaw/Getty Images

Tillakaratne Dilshan
96 not out vs West Indies
World T20 semi-final, The Oval
Dilshan powered Sri Lanka to the final of the World T20, smashing 96 off 57 balls, the tournament's highest score. Despite his opening partner Sanath Jayasuriya struggling to 24 off 37, Dilshan led his team to 73 in 10.3 overs. None of the others made more than 12 and Dilshan was responsible for nearly 61% of Sri Lanka's 158.
David Warner
89 vs South Africa
first T20I, Melbourne
Warner, a 22-year-old left-hander, was the first player since John Hodges and Tom Kendall, in the first-ever Test in 1877, to play for Australia without having any first-class experience. That didn't matter a jot in Twenty20, though: Warner exploded against the South Africans, clearing the MCG's formidable boundaries six times with immense power in this innings, which came off 43 balls.
Tom de Grooth
49 vs England
World T20, Lord's
The damp-squib opening fixture of the World T20 eventually was the match of the tournament. Set a target of 163, de Grooth was the rock of the Dutch chase, with 49 off 30 balls. Far from losing steam like everyone expected them to, Netherlands were fired to 116 by de Grooth by the 13th over, before he was dismissed. From there on, it was only a matter of his team-mates keeping their nerve.
Chris Gayle
88 vs Australia
World T20, The Oval
Those who were at The Oval on June 6 are unlikely to ever forget Gayle's assault. He ransacked the Australian attack, clobbering 88 off 50 balls, to make short work of the target of 170. He picked out Brett Lee for special treatment, and the two sixes - onto Harleyford Road and the top of the Bedser Stand - in the space of three deliveries were among the most monstrous hits you're likely to see.
Shahid Afridi
51 vs South Africa
World T20 semi-final, Nottingham
Pakistan needed an extraordinary performance to prevent 11 fit, in-form and clinical South Africans from realising their goal of a first major tournament final. And Afridi provided it. His innings was a deadly blend of aggression and maturity, kept a hostile attack at bay, and gave Pakistan 149 to defend. He then took 2 for 16, dismissing Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers, to help secure a final berth by seven runs.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo