2019 was one of the most memorable and exuberant years for cricket fans around the world. Be it the Cricket World Cup, the exciting IPL season, the dramatic PSL edition or the rejuvenated NatWest T20 blast, players and fans alike had a lot to cheer for! Let’s count down and look at some of the best moments from this year’s cricket calendar!
10. Kohli's 11,000 ODI runs record
Year after year, Virat Kohli proves why he is as one of the, if not the greatest ODI batsman. He surpassed the 11,000 runs mark in his 222nd innings, 52 innings faster than the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar who did it in 276 innings.
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9. Papua New Guinea qualified for World T20 2020
The island nation of Papa New Guinea secured their place in next year’s T20 World Cup by an excellent display at the 2019 T20 World Cup qualifiers in UAE, finishing second to the Netherlands. This will be the first time the nation will participate in any senior ICC tournament.
Source: Gulf News
8. Bangladesh Women tour of Pakistan
The Bangladeshi women's cricket team toured Pakistan for an ODI and a T20I series in Lahore. This was an excellent step in the direction of improving sporting relations between the two cricketing nations.
7. Rohit Sharma's centuries at CWC 2019
Rohit Sharma equalled Sachin Tendulkar's record of 6 WC centuries. Moreover, he surpassed Kumar Sangakara’s record of 4 centuries in a single world cup, scoring 5 in the 2019 edition. The Hit Man Rohit scored 6 WC tons in only 17 games, while Tendulkar did so in 45.
6. Quetta Gladiators finally get a PSL title
The Quetta Gladiators finally managed to clinch the throne of PSL after 4 seasons of excellent performances. Despite having the best head to head record against all teams in the PSL, Quetta had only finished as the runner up on two occasions. Due to the excellent performances of Shane Watson and Sohail Tanvir in the 2019 edition, they finally managed to clinch a title under Sarfraz Ahmed’s leadership.
5. India's shock defeat by New Zealand at the World Cup Semi-Final
India looked like favourites to easily chase 240, but as the weather changed, so did India’s luck as they were bewildered by New Zealand’s bowling attack from Matt Henry and Trent Boult. Jadeja and Dhoni tried their best, but after being 5-3, losing Kohli and Sharma to just 1 each, India could never fully recover.
4. Nostalgic Malinga takes 4 in 4 again
Lasith Malinga took us down memory lane as he grabbed 4 wickets in 4 balls against New Zealand in the 3rd T20 of NZ’s tour of Sri Lanka. He reminded us of his 2007 World Cup heroics against South Africa where he achieved the same feat. He also surpassed the great Wasim Akram to be the bowler with the most international hat-tricks with a total of five!
3. Mumbai Indians establish themselves as rulers of IPL
The IPL 12 witnessed its very own El-Classico in the final as The Chennai Super Kings took on the Mumbai Indians, both teams having 3 titles each before the 2019 tournament. Mumbai however, emerged victorious in an intense 1 run victory due to Jasprit Bumrah’s heroics and claimed their 4th title. This was the third time Mumbai defeated Chennai in an IPL final
2. Ben Stokes (and Jack Leach) performed an Ashes miracle.
After being bowled out for just 67 in the first innings, everybody had ruled England out. However, the heroics of Ben Stokes in his second innings, and Jack Leach standing strong with him, lead England to beat Australia in the 4th innings by just one wicket. They managed a final wicket partnership consisting of 76 runs with Leach 1 out of 76 runs in the final wicket partnership.
Source: ESPN Cricinfo
1. World Cup 2019 Final Super Over!
This was the most astounding and overwhelming finish to a cricket match, let alone a World Cup final. The game ended level in the normal 50 overs with both teams scoring 241, and for the first time, the final at the World Cup was to be decided by a super over. In the most miraculous turn of events, the super over also ended in a tie and England took the win on the basis of most boundaries hit. Ian Smith was spot on when he said England won “by the barest of margins”.
Source: ESPN Cricinfo
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Feature image source: The Statesman