In our build-up to the fourth edition of the ICC World Twenty20, we take a look back at the previous editions of the tournament. Today, a look back at the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007, when India defied the odds and Misbah-ul-Haq – twice – to lift the trophy.
Gibbs gem outdoes Gayle century
On September 11, 2007 the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 kicked off with a humdinger at The Wanderers. A record match aggregate of 413 runs, the highest partnership in Twenty20, the first century in the format, the highest total batting second, most fours in a Twenty20 international, most boundaries in an individual innings and the first time that two bowlers gave away more than 50 runs in a Twenty20 international.
Powered by Chris Gayle’s 57-ball 117 – which surpassed Ricky Ponting’s 98 as the highest score in Twenty20s – West Indies stormed to 205 for 6 against South Africa. It was an innings of robust power from Gayle, inclusive of 10 sixes that doubled the previous tally for a batsman in a Twenty20 international. However, Herschelle Gibbs produced a blinder to take the hosts home with 14 balls in hand, the highest score chased in 20 previous Twenty20s. His 90 off 55 balls included 14 fours, the most in an innings. South Africa lost just two wickets, and their total of 208 for 2 was the highest batting second in a Twenty20 international.
Taylor-inspired Zimbabwe shock Australia
The first and major upset of the tournament came at Cape Town a day later, when Zimbabwe pulled the carpet from under Australia’s feet in a thriller. Brendan Taylor followed a skillfull display with the gloves behind the stumps – a catch, stumping and run out – by carrying his bat for 60 off 45 balls and the winning hit off the penultimate delivery.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers put in an all-round effort to keep Australia to 138 f0r 9, at one stage having them 19 for 3, and then pulled off a memorable chase. Taylor was the architect, batting with composure, haring between the wickets and thumping two sixes in the 15th over to bring the asking rate down.
With 12 needed off the final over, Taylor hit the first for four. With four needed off two balls, Taylor flicked Nathan Bracken to fine leg and the Zimbabwe bench was cleared even before the ball could reached the boundary. The Australians, especially Ricky Ponting, looked stunned.
Ashraful and Aftab knock out West Indies
A second upset came the following day, and again it was West Indies who lost in Johannesburg. There was to be no smashing from Gayle, who was out for 0 duck, but thanks to a string of cameos West Indies reached 164. It looked a strong total, but Mohammad Ashraful and Aftab Ahmed proved otherwise.
From 28 for 2, the pair added 109 in brisk time with Ashraful atoning for conceding 55 in four overs. His attack on the West Indian bowlers was stunning, and his 20-ball fifty was the fastest in Twenty20 internationals. Aftab weighed in with an unbeaten 62 off 49 balls as Bangladesh chased their target in 18 overs with six wickets remaining. West Indies had been knocked out of the tournament.
India pip Pakistan in bowl-out
Another pulse-setting match between the two archrivals. India, from 36 for 4, reached 141 for 0 with Robin Uthappa (50), MS Dhoni (33) and Irfan Pathan (20) striking crucial runs to counter some high-quality bowling from Mohammad Asif (4 for 18). In reply, Pakistan struggled to get going before the 33-year-old Misbah-ul-Haw produced an excellent innings. However, his run-out dismissal off the final ball of the match left the scores tied. Per the tournament rules, a bowl-out was the option to determine a winner.
Neither team had ever participated in a bowl-out and the expressions on both sides suggested a sense of bewilderment. But Dhoni got it right in giving taking pace off the ball: Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Uthappa each hit the stumps, while Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi all missed. A packed Kingsmead had been treated to a thrilling finale – twice.
Yuvraj assault on Broad stuns England
By hitting six consecutive sixes off a hapless Stuart Broad, Yuvraj Singh etched his name in the record books. It was an assault of savagery that catapulted India to 218 for 4, after Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir hit half-centuries in a record opening stand of 136, a total that India defended to win by 18 runs and stay alive in the tournament.
Yuvraj’s unforgettable innings saw him reach fifty in 12 balls, beating Ashraful’s record with those six sixes in the 19th over leaving England shell-shocked. Their top order replied strongly to get the chase off to a brisk start, but eventually England ran out of steam. Poignantly, they were 171 for 5 after 18 overs – the same score India had been at after the 18th over before Yuvraj ransacked 38 from Broad’s over.
Australia crush Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka had looked a formidable Twenty20 team coming into their final group match at Cape Town, but were overwhelmed by an Australian team far removed from the one that was beaten by Zimbabwe. Adam Gilchrist’s decision to put Sri Lanka in was vindicated by a stellar performance from Australia’s quick men, with Sri Lanka’s batsmen putting in a deplorable effort.
Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken and Man-of-the-Match Stuart Clark (4 for 20) had the opposition on the mat at 43 for 7 and a few lusty hits down the order could only get Sri Lanka to 101 in 19.3 overs. Gilchrist (31 off 25 balls) and Matthew Hayden (58 off 38) then pulled out all stops in racing to a ten-wicket victory in 10.2 overs. It was a terribly one-sided affair that highlighted Australia’s ruthlessness going into the semi-finals.
Rohit helps India ouster South Africa
Another must-win match, another South African choke. At Kingsmead on September 20, India knocked out the hosts with a memorable win that sealed their place in the semi-finals against Australia.
It was a stirring win from India, without Yuvraj owing to tendonitis of the left elbow and quickly in trouble at 33 for 3. Stepping up was Rohit Sharma, in his first innings of the tournament, with an unbeaten 50 off 40 balls and a match-winning partnership of 85 with Dhoni. Of those, 56 came in the last five overs as India finished on 153 for 5, Rohit hitting the last ball for six.
India were on a high and it was channeled into an outstanding spell from RP Singh (4 for 13) as South African, previously unbeaten in the tournament, falling ten runs short of the 126 runs that would have taken them into the final four and eliminated New Zealand.
Nerveless India outdo spirited Australia
In one of the finest Twenty20 internationals played, India beat Australia in a riveting game of cricket to reach the final of the World Twenty20. Again it was Yuvraj who had a big impact on the outcome of the semi-final, hitting 70 off 30 balls to propel India to 188 for 5. After a slow start India scored 140 off the last 11 overs, with Dhoni contributing a special 18-ball 36. Clark, so miserly against Sri Lanka, went for 9.50 in his four overs.
Hayden and Andrew Symonds powered Australia’s reply, adding 66 in six overs, but Dhoni’s introduction of Sreesanth for the 15th over turned the tone of the innings. An around-the-stumps yorker did for Hayden (62) leaving Australia to chase 55 from 32 balls. With 30 needed from 18 balls, Dhoni gave the ball to Harbhajan who proceeded to york Michael Clarker in a superb three-run over. RP allowed five from the 19th over, and Joginder Sharma denied Australia any chance of getting the 22 needed from the last six balls. The wickets of Michael Hussey and Lee were a precursor to what Joginder would produce at the death two evenings later.
India become Twenty20 champions
On September 24, 2007 at The Wanderers, India beat Pakistan by five runs to win the World Twenty20. Gambhir was the star with the bat for India, hitting 75 off 54 balls to get the total to 157 for 5 against a spirited Pakistan performance in the field, but Rohit’s unbeaten 16-ball 30 proved a crucial cameo.
RP struck early with the wickets of Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal, and Irfan was excellent with figures of 3 for 16 in his quota as India applied the squeeze. Once again it was Misbah left with the task of taking Pakistan to an improbable win, and with 54 needed from 24 balls with three wickets in hand he almost did. Almost. After hitting Harbhajan for three sixes in the 17th over, Misbah appeared at his unflappable best until the final over.
After much thinking Dhoni put faith in Joginder for the last six balls, from which Pakistan required 13. The first ball was a wide; the second a full toss which Misbah put away for six. The Pakistan fans at the ground were jubilant, the Indian supporters crestfallen. That’s when Misbah walked across his stumps to paddle Joginder to fine leg, only to miscue the shot and find Sreesanth lurking at short fine leg. The second Sreesanth took the catch, The Wanderers exploded.