World T20 2010 recap: India's struggles, Hussey overcomes Ajmal challenge and England clinch maiden title

·6-min read

The 2010 edition of the World T20 was held only nine months after the second edition of the tournament, which was won by Pakistan.

On 21 June, 2009, the World T20 final between Sri Lanka and Pakistan took place at Lord's and on 20 April, 2010, the first ball in the third edition of the mega event was bowled in the match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

There was a less-than-a-year gap between these two editions because of the hectic ICC calendar. Initially, the T20 World Cup was meant to be held every two years. However, with the ODI World Cup scheduled to take place in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2011, ICC brought the T20 WC one year earlier as they could not hold two mega ICC events in the same year.

Pakistan, obviously, were not a happy side as it meant there was a possibility of the trophy remaining with them for just nine months.

Format

Like the 2009 edition, 2010 edition was also played between 12 nations: 10 Test-playing countries and 2 qualifiers.

India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe qualified directly while Afghanistan and Ireland qualified for the event through the qualifiers that took place months earlier.

Afghanistan were playing their first ICC tournament, becoming the only Affiliate member of the ICC then to compete in an ICC event.

There were four groups with three teams each and the top two teams from these groups would qualify for the Super 8s that was further divided into two groups - Group E and F and the two teams that top the Sup 8 groups would go on to play the semi-finals.

Group A: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia Group B: Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Zimbabwe Group C: South Africa, India, Afghanistan Group D: West Indies, England, Ireland

Group stages:

India, led by MS Dhoni, were quite dominant in the group stages, beating Afghanistan and South Africa respectively. While India breezed past Afghanistan, The Proteas provided a stiff challenge to Indians. The star of this match was Suresh Raina who stroked 101, becoming the first Indian, and only the third in the world, to score a century in T20Is.

India registered 186/5 in 20 overs and managed to keep the Proteas to 172/5, winning the match by 14 runs.

India topped the group stage and qualified for the Super Eights. The other seven teams were Australia and Pakistan from Group A, New Zealand and Sri Lanka from Group B, West Indies and England from Group B.

Super 8s

There were two groups in Super 8s: Groups E and F. Group E consisted of England, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa while F consisted of India, Australia, West Indies, Sri Lanka.

India had a horrid time in the Super 8s, losing all their three games. In this group, West Indies only won one match while Australia won all three to top the group and get into the semis. Sri Lanka won two games to qualify as well for the semis.

From Group E, England and Pakistan made it to the semis. England topped the group while Pakistan won only one match but made the cut thanks to their better Net Run Rate (0.041). South Africa and New Zealand, who won one game apiece too, could not go ahead because of poor NRR.

Semi-finals

The first semi-final was played between England and Sri Lanka on 13 May and the second was played between Australia and Pakistan the next day, on 14 May.

In the first semi-final, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first against Paul Collingwood's men who had lost only one match so far. Openers Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya flopped and Tillakaratne Dilshan too disappointed as Lankans were reeling at 26/3 at one stage. Angelo Mathews held one end tightly but he kept on losing partners at the other end. Mathew struck a valiant 58 off 45 balls to take islanders to a total of 128/6. Lankans had to fight with this.

But the England batting unit had found a rhythm in the tournament. Openers Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb had given good starts to earlier and they did not disappoint on the big day as well. They stitched a 68-run stand in no time. Both departed soon but then Kevin Pietersen took over and smashed a quickfire 42 to take England home and into their first final of World T20.

The second semi-final saw an anti-climax. Australia elected to field and Pakistan scored a massive 191/6 in their 20 overs. Brothers Kamran and Umar Akmal struck fifties while Aussies gave away 20 extras to help Pakistan post a daunting total on the board.

Chasing the total, Aussies got off to a horrible start and lost David Warner in just the first over, for a duck. This was possible thanks to a breath-taking catch by Akmal junior at backward point.

Aussies never got going in the chase till the halfway mark. One of the big reaons was Saeed Ajmal, whose mystery spin, was indecipherable for the Aussies. Cameroon White played a good hand of 43 runs as Michael Hussey, coming in at 7, was expected to finish the game for Australia. It was a roller-coaster match that swung from one way to the other. The equation came down to 18 needed off the last over. The momentum was with Pakistan. With Ajmal to bowl the last over, it seemed as if Pakistan were the favourites. Hussey, however. smashed 23 off the first five balls to take his side into their first final. The first ball was a single, the next two went for six, the fourth for a boundary and Hussey finished it off with another maximum.

Pakistan were left stunned and Australians roared their way into the final.

The final

Ashes rivals Australia and England, in a World Cup final. The stage was set for another cracker. Collingwood won the toss and asked Aussies to bat first. England banked on chasing the total, something which they had become very good at in the tournament.

The Australian top-order struggled again as they were 8 for 3 in no time. This time the other Hussey, David, shone with the bat and batted Australians out of trouble with a fifty. White played well for 30 off 19 and Michael Hussey scored 17 off 10 to take Aussies to a respectable total of 147/6.

With Lumb gone early in the chase, it seemed England would have a tough time chasing in the final. However, Kieswetter and Pietersen ensured none of this happened. They stitched a 111-run stand for the second wicket in quick time to put England in the driver's seat. They both departed quickly but Collingwood and Eoin Morgan made sure England were on track. They surpassed the total in the 17th over to clinch their maiden ICC title.

Also See: T20 World Cup 2021: Pakistan 'know conditions really well' in UAE, says Babar Azam

T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam says 10-match winning streak gives Pakistan the edge over India

T20 World Cup 2021: Michael Hussey 'pretty optimistic' about Australia's chances in tournament

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