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Brathwaite to Yuvraj: Top Performances From Past T20I World Cups

The T20I World Cup over the years has given us some moments that have made time stop for cricket fans all around the globe. Whether it was Carlos Brathwaite striking four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes to win the 2016 edition or Yuvraj Singh smacking six sixes in an over off Stuart Broad to score the fastest ever T20I half-century.

There have been plenty of stunning moments over the years and in this piece we are looking at the ones that stood out from each edition of the competition. Get ready to get nostalgic as we relive some of the best individual performances in crunch matches at the T20I World Cup over the years.

CARLOS BRATHWAITE | 34 (10) & 3/23 | vs ENGLAND | 2016

England in 2016 did everything right till the very last over of the Final, as one man stood in their way whose name we won’t forget any time soon. With 19 required off six balls, Ben Stokes took the ball in the final over and he was up against Carlos Brathwaite who was on 10 off 6 balls.

Marlon Samuels told Brathwaite to swing as hard as he could and the latter took the advice head-on. He smashed four consecutive sixes off Stokes’ first four balls to give the Windies their second World T20 title. This match will go down in ages as one of the greatest finals in cricket history.

VIRAT KOHLI | 72* (44) | vs SOUTH AFRICA | | 2014

King Kohli had two memorable years in the T20I World Cup in 2014 and 2016, where he was named as the Player of the Tournament. This particular knock is from the 2014 World Cup, a semi-final game against South Africa. Chasing a stiff target of 173 in a knockout game can never be easy. After a blazing start by the openers, Virat Kohli marched to the middle with 132 required off 16 overs.

Kohli, who is a master when it comes to run chases, started off in a typical circumspect manner but soon put the foot on the accelerator when the team started losing a few wickets in the middle overs. Kohli timed the chase perfectly and finished it off with five balls to spare.

MARLON SAMUELS | 76 (56) | vs SRI LANKA | 2012

When you talk about the T20 World Cup finals, then one man whose name is instantly associated with that is West Indies’ Marlon Samuels. He has been influential in both the final wins the Windies have achieved in the T20 World Cup.

This innings however wasn’t like the one you’d expect from someone like Marlon Samuels. It barely had anything to do with his brute force. Rather it was his dogged determination that made this innings so special. His innings of 76 helped the Calypso Kings reach a respectable total of 137 and it was enough to get them their first world title since 1979.

MICHAEL HUSSEY | 60* (24) | vs PAKISTAN | 2010

Don’t you dare count Australia out from any situation in a game, especially when someone like Mr Cricket, Michael Hussey is out in the middle. That’s what Pakistan realised back in 2010 in Saint Lucia. With 34 needed off two overs against a strong Pakistan bowling lineup, few would have backed Australia to get the job done in this semi-final, but this is where Michael Hussey stepped up. He scored 16 off Mohammad Amir’s 19th over, leaving 18 to get off the final one against one of the best T20 bowlers of that time, Saeed Ajmal.

The mystery spinner was up against Hussey who wasn’t renowned for his T20 power-hitting but never underestimate the ability of Mr Cricket. He hit two consecutive sixes off the second and the third ball. Then followed that up with a boundary and finally he finished it off with a maximum to take Australia to the final of the 2010 World Cup.

SHAHID AFRIDI | 51 (34) & 2/16 | vs WEST INDIES | 2009

After just slightly missing out on the T20 title back in 2007, Pakistan came into the 2009 tournament with a renewed vigour in England. They had learned from their mistakes in the previous edition and were planning to go all the way this time around. One man who was in the mood to have a tournament of his lifetime was their all-rounder, Shahid Afridi.

Pakistan were up against tournament favourites South Africa in the semi-final and Afridi yet again stepped up. The all-rounder was promoted to number three and made that count, he scored a blazing 51 off 34 balls to help Pakistan reach 149. With the ball as well, Afridi was effective as he finished with match-winning figures of 2/16, thereby getting the Man of the Match award in the semi-final.  

YUVRAJ SINGH | 58 (16) | vs ENGLAND | 2007

Nobody took to T20 cricket better than India’s middle-order swashbuckling batter, Yuvraj Singh. The southpaw usually saved his best for the ICC tournaments and he certainly was at his peak during the 2007 triumph in South Africa. Yuvraj Singh pulled off a Gary Sobers as he smashed England’s pacer Stuart Broad for six consecutive sixes in an over and went on to score an astonishing 50 off just 12 balls.

In the build-up to that particular over, Andrew Flintoff may have had some words to say to Yuvraj but unfortunately from England’s perspective, it was Broad who was on the receiving end of this harsh treatment by Singh. Yuvi took to Instagram recently to re-create that moment and that content is pure gold.

Read: India vs Pakistan: A Look At Possible Team Combinations