T20I cricket is characterized by buzzing crowds, quick match-action, commentators shouting, and a flurry of maximums. No wonder, this form of the game brings the two teams closer despite any difference in skill because, in such a short format, one small performance can turn the match on its head. In this article, we look at 5 such performances that have come in the last overs and have been delivered by Indian bowlers to turn the games in favor of.
5. Mohammed Shami vs New Zealand, Hamilton, 2020:
The third T20 between New Zealand and India was a decider after India had chased down the target set by hosts New Zealand in the first two T20Is. In the third game, India batted first and set the Kiwis a target of 180. Martin Guptill got New Zealand off to a good start and when his wicket fell, NZ was poised at 47 runs. The NZ captain Kane Williamson, who would play a blinder on the night was the next man in. The Indians were able to pick up regular wickets and didn't leak many runs. Williamson, however, showed how to master the art of playing spin. He, in fact, played Jasprit Bumrah as no one could imagine. It was a real treat to watch that night.
In the last over, NZ needed only 9 runs to win with Kane Williamson batting on 95*. Ross Taylor was on 10*(7). The responsibility of defending 9 runs was Mohammed Shami's.
The first ball of Shami's last over was hit for a six by Taylor, and then he took a single off the next ball. 2 were needed off 4 balls, with Kane Williamson on strike and Indian hopes were diminished. However, the game was not done yet. After missing an attempted yorker on the first ball, Shami bowled a slightly short ball, and the NZ captain was caught behind.
Tim Seifert walked out with NZ still in the driver's seat. Shami stuck to his shortish length but Siefert missed the next two balls by trying to swing hard. On the second occasion though, NZ stole a bye. On the last ball, with a single needed to win, Ross Taylor was on strike. Shami went for a fuller delivery, Taylor missed it and got bowled.
India pulled an unlikely super over and they managed to win the super over too. It was a heart breaker for the Kiwis.
4. Jasprit Bumrah vs England, Nagpur, 2017:
In the 2nd T20I vs England in 2017, Jasprit Bumrah told the world he is one of the best death bowlers in the world.
England was set a modest 144 to win on a tricky Nagpur pitch. England lost 2 wickets quickly with a mere 22 runs on board. However,they quickly progressed with Joe Root and Ben Stokes making valuable contributions. They needed just 8 runs to win in the last over, and Jasprit Bumrah was given the responsibility to bowl the last over.
Bumrah got Joe Root out LBW with a good length ball that was angling in. However, the replays showed an inside edge but the review was not available. On the next ball, Moeen Ali took a single. With 7 required off 4 balls, Jos Buttler failed to deliver and was bowled on the 4th ball of the over.
Chris Jordan was the next man in with 7 needed off 2. He took a single leaving Moeen Ali with the task of hitting a six to win the game off the last ball. Bumrah went for a wide delivery and All could only manage a single. India won the series 2-1.
3. Hardik Pandya vs Bangladesh, ICC T20 World Cup, India 2016:
Hardik Pandya's last over against Bangladesh can be categorized either as an epic choke or a heroic rescue but whatever it was, it kept India's hopes alive in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016. Jasprit Bumrah's 19th over had made things difficult for Bangladesh. They played him over cautiously and left themselves 11 runs to get off Pandya's last over.
Pandya changed his line and as he attacked the off-stump but Rahim outsmarted him with a scoop for four, and just 2 runs were needed off the last 3 balls now.
On the next ball, Rahim made the mistake of going for the glory rather than going for a single and hit the ball straight down to Shikhar Dhawan's throat in the deep.
Mahmudullah was on strike the next ball, and Pandya hurled a low full-toss to him. Mahamudulla made the same mistake and picked Ravindra Jadeja out at deep mid-wicket. 2 off 3 had now turned into 2 off 1.
On the Last ball, Pandya went for a short and wide ball, which was missed completely by the batsman. MS Dhoni did the rest by running to the stumps and taking the bails off, instead of throwing at them as the batsman was looking to steal a bye. India kept its hopes alive by winning by just 1 run.
2. S. Sreesanth vs Pakistan, ICC World T20 Group Stage, South Africa 2007:
S Sreesanth was a potent weapon for the Men in Blue due to his ability to swing the new ball in the T20 World Cup 2007.
Sreesanth was given the job of bowling the last over in India's first game of the tournament against Pakistan Pakistan needing 9 to win. Misbah-ul-Haq managed to smash two boundaries back-to-back and this left the equation at 1 of 2.
Sreesanth went around the wicket and bowled a short ball on the 5th ball. Misbah failed to connect, and the scores were tied with Pakistan needing 1 off the last ball. Sreesanth again went with a short ball and Misbah failed to connect well again and was run-out by a yard. It was a tie and India then went on to win the bowl-out wherein Pakistan was pretty ordinary.
1. Joginder Sharma vs Pakistan, ICC World T20 Final, 2007:
It wasn't just a World Cup- it was also India's shot at redemption after a forgettable 50 over World Cup campaign in the West Indies. It was also a test for their young captain MS Dhoni who called up Joginder Sharma to bowl the last over, despite the fact that Harbhajan Singh had one over left.
Misbah found himself at the crease yet again looking to. correct his failure of the group-stage game. Pak needed 13 runs to win the game. Joginder started strangely with a wide delivery. The pressure was telling on him. He tried the wide-line again and Misbah missed it. Misbah danced down the track on the next delivery and smashed a maximum.
Just 6 runs were needed off 4 balls, Joginder Sharma bowled a decent line and length, Misbah attempted a scoop shot. However, since Joginder had taken all the pace off the ball, the ball went straight up and was caught at fine leg. It was another unexpected result but this victory changed Indian cricket forever.