The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup promises to be a cracking affair once the Super 12s start from Saturday onwards. Looking at the warm-up games for the sides already in the Super 12s, things look interesting. Players will be keen to settle down and absorb pressure once the action starts. Remember, four teams, qualify for the semis (two each from Group 1 and 2) from the Super 12s. Consistency will be key and delivering the goods in the latter stages will hold importance. Over the years, we have had some top players stepping up in the final and showcasing their attributes. They have gone on to win the Man of the Match award in the final. On the same note, we present the players who won the prestigious award and shined on the big day.
ICC T20 World Cup 2007
The 2007 edition saw Team India overcome Pakistan to win the inaugural trophy. Batting first, India managed 157/5 in 20 overs. Pakistan were well on course to win the match but failed to get past the line in the end. They were shot out for 152 in 19.3 overs. For India, Gautam Gambhir stepped up, scoring a superb 75-run knock. The southpaw’s effort helped India surpass 150. However, it was Irfan Pathan, who bagged the MOM award. Irfan claimed figures worth 3/16 from his four overs. He took the key wickets of Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi. His fine show helped India get key wickets and keep the pressure on the Pakistan cricket team.
ICC T20 World Cup 2009
The 2009 World T20 saw Pakistan reach the final once again as they went on to win this time around. Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the final to claim a maiden title. The match saw Sri Lanka manage just 138/6 in 20 overs before Pakistan chased the total with eight wickets remaining. 2007 WT20 Man of the Tournament – Shahid Afridi – won the MOM award for playing a key role in the final. He gave away just 20 runs from his four overs, picking up a wicket. With the bat, Afridi slammed a fantastic 40-ball 54* to complete the chase. He smashed two fours and two sixes to make a great contribution to his team on the big stage.
ICC T20 World Cup 2010
England saw Australia off in the 2010 WT20 final by claiming a seven-wicket win. The Three Lions played some good cricket after losing their first game. England, who saw Kevin Pietersen win the series award for some top quality cricket, had the unlikely hero in Craig Kieswetter, who helped England win handsomely. Kieswetter hit a brilliant 49-ball 63, sharing a match-winning 111-run partnership alongside KP, who went on to get 47. Kieswetter hit seven fours and two sixes as England chased down the 148-run target with 18 balls to spare.
ICC T20 World Cup 2012
West Indies tasted success in the 2012 edition of the World T20. The West Indies beat Sri Lanka in the final. Notably, this was the second final for Lanka. On a slow track in Colombo, the West Indies posted just 137/6. However, it turned out to be more than enough as the hosts folded for just 101. Marlon Samuels batted on a different plane altogether. He scored a 56-ball 78 in an innings laced with three fours and a whopping six sixes. Nobody else in the match went past 35 to highlight how it was a one-man show with the bat. With the ball, Sunil Narine claimed 3/9 to do the damage.
ICC T20 World Cup 2014
Sri Lanka finally won the World T20 after reaching their third final. Sri Lanka stunned favourites India in the final. Despite Virat Kohli’s 77, India posted a poor total of 130/4 in Dhaka and needed to bowl really well to stay in the match. It didn’t happen as Kumar Sangakkara (52*) helped Lanka seal the deal. The southpaw got his runs having faced 35 deliveries. He hit six fours and a six to help his side get past India’s total. The Lankans won with 13 balls to spare and Sangakkara was handed the MOM award for his gutsy knock. He shared an unbeaten 56-run stand alongside Thisara Perera.
ICC T20 World Cup 2016
West Indies sealed a second WT20 title, beating England at the Eden Gardens in 2016. Chasing 156, the West Indies saw a memorable chase being scripted with Carlos Brathwaite hitting four sixes in a 10 ball 34*. However, the MOM award went to Samuels, who once again was key in helping his side win the decisive game. Samuels remained unbeaten on 85, facing 66 deliveries. He smashed nine fours and two sixes at a strike rate of 128.78. WI were 107/6 after 15.3 overs and changed the complexion once Brathwaite joined Samuels. Their 54-run stand helped WI win the title in a gigantic fashion. Credit should be given to Samuels for the way he handled the pressure.