It is difficult to fathom that the year 2019 marked the end of the decade that began in 2010. During this last decade, the International Cricket Council hosted a total of nine competitions, including two ICC Champions Trophies, three fifty-over World Cups, and four Twenty20 World Cups. This post is about live cricket highlights of famous matches.
During that period, we were able to see a number of very amazing international matches that will be talk about for many years to come. It was not easy to choose which five cricket matches were the best of this decade, but we gave it our best try and included them all below.
India vs. Bangladesh (2016 World T20)
In terms of India’s World Cup hopes, this game was must-win. They were in jeopardy after posting a below-par score of 146 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. India was predicted to win, but a looming victory against Bangladesh would have prevented them from relaxing till the very end.
It seemed hopeless for India after Mushfiqur Rahim hit two fours off his first three deliveries. However, as a result of his famously premature celebrations, Bangladesh needed two runs off the last ball in order to win after Hardik Pandya took two wickets in the two deliveries that came before it.
Before Mustafizur grounded his bat, Shuvagata Hom missed, sending MS Dhoni racing in to break the stumps. A miraculous one-run victory propelled India into the semi-finals.
New Zealand vs South Africa (2015 ICC CWC)
The intensity of the players’ feelings and their dedication to the game made for a memorable contest. South Africa faced a New Zealand team that was playing well and had not yet been defeat in the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Despite the rain in Auckland, they were able to put up a respectable 281 runs in their first innings. The new tally for New Zealand was 298. The Black Caps routinely lost wickets at crucial times, but South Africa ultimately blew some opportunities that will stick with them and their fans forever. The drama was superb.
With five needed from two deliveries, hero Grant Elliott struck a six off Dale Steyn to win the match for Kiwis. Both Ian Smith in the commentator’s box and the 50,000 in attendance at Eden Park could hardly contain their delight.
Elliott scored 84 not out and was name Player of the Match in a historic one-day international. But what stays with me is the elated Elliott picking up a downcast Steyn and helping him to his feet.
Sri Lanka and South Africa (2019 Test)
It was a match for the ages, one that will live on in infamy. No one, not even the most ardent of Sri Lanka’s fans, really thought they had a chance in South Africa. The Lions had recently return home from a two-Test series in Australia, where they were trounce so badly that the home team scarcely broke a sweat in their victory.
Sri Lanka need 304 runs to win the first Test, but they were reduce to 206/5. They might hope for an unbelievable victory. However, having lost 4/20, their fate seemed all but sealed, and their dream threatened to become a nightmare instead.
However, Sri Lanka won thanks to a masterful effort from Kusal Perera (153 not out), widely considered to be the greatest in cricket history. His hitting sent South Africa’s best bowlers flying all around Kingsmead. With Vishwa Fernando (6*) providing shaky but capable support at the other end, Sri Lanka won by one wicket.
Ashes Test (2019)
Here we go again with another Test match. The Ashes, this time.
After wrapping up Australia for 179 in the first innings, England were rocked for a humiliating 67 in response at Headingley.
The situation became much more dire for England as Australia scored 246 runs in their second innings. After a strong start, England lost four wickets quickly and appeared to be hopeless. The Ashes were nearly over at that point (286/9).
Ben Stokes, however, was still at the crease, just as he had been in the World Cup Final a few weeks prior. Thus, there was hope for England. He put Australia on the back foot and then scored 135 not out to win by the slimmest of margins; Jack Leach, meantime, scored the best one-day century ever.
Thanks to one of the greatest Test knocks in history, the Summer of Stokes, this is a Test match that will be remember for decades to come.
2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Final
A perfect One-Day International. The focus was on Ben Stokes. It was anyone’s game at the end of the regular and Super Over overs, with the last ball bowled.
You could say that this game had it all. An abundance of excitement and tension. Emotional ups and downs like a roller coaster. Just about anything you can think of.
To start the game, New Zealand batted and scored 241 runs. When compared to modern one-day internationals, this total seems small. However, having runs on the board in a championship game is a whole different story.
The assumption was verified. The intensity of England’s pursuit varied. Losing key players like Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, and Eoin Morgan at regular intervals may have cost England the game.
However, with Ben Stokes in the lineup, England had a fighting chance. The innings he had were incredible. He gave his all on every play, sprinted fast, and dove for the ball countless times (with one resulting in four overthrows off his bat). He was unfazed by the mayhem around him.
The game went into a Super Over in case the climactic finish wasn’t enough. Needing 16 to win, New Zealand only managed to score 15, losing by a whisker on the boundary count.
Even if it was a contentious topic, we’ve had enough of a debate. It’s no surprise that cricket is a top-tier sport. Aside from being the best ODI of the decade, this might have been the best ODI ever.