Our series on cricket continues with the second edition of the T20 World Cup? Where was it played, what happened and who were the heroes in 2009?
The 2009 T20 WC in England was full of upsets, as one favourite after another fell at the hands of underdogs. The hosts, England, got this trend started in the first match of the tournament. They were humiliated by cricketing minnows, the Netherlands, in a final-ball thriller.
Australia were then soundly beaten by West Indies, thanks mainly to a devastating 88 from 50 balls by Jamaican Chris Gayle. After that, the Australians were also defeated by Sri Lanka, who bowled tightly and batted superbly. Their batting scorecard against the more highly fancied team from ‘Down Under’ featured speedy half-centuries from Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Dilshan is now most famous as the creator of the ‘Dil-scoop’. This innovative ramp shot, deliberately over the wicketkeeper’s head and hopefully behind for a boundary, has since become a common sight in T20 cricket around the world!
Next up, defending champions, India, lost all their matches in the Super Eight stage and were knocked out of the competition!
Finally, South Africa, who hadn’t lost a match before going into the semi-finals against Pakistan, were defeated as Shahid Afridi produced a match-winning performance. He blasted his way to 51 and took two wickets for 16 runs to help secure victory for the Pakistanis.
All of this eventually meant that the final at Lords was a repeat of an earlier group stage match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Pakistan were clearly fired up, as they had lost the previous encounter.
Bowling first, the men in green managed to remove the dangerous Dilshan for 0. This had a big impact on the Sri Lanka innings. Sangakkara put up a fight for the island nation when he hit an unbeaten 64, but Sri Lanka could only set an under-par target of 138. Afridi showed it was nowhere near enough when he smashed an unbeaten 54, which helped Pakistan win the trophy with 8 balls to spare.
Umar Gul (Pakistan) was the tournament’s leading wicket-taker again with 13 wickets. This was a repeat performance of the 2007 edition. India’s Yuvraj Singh hit the most sixes in the tournament. He cleared the rope 9 times before his team were eliminated.
To be continued…