2020 has been a different year for every human being on earth. During the second quarter of the year, everything, including cricket came to a standstill. The only way cricket fans could see their cricketers was via Instagram Live or Facebook Live on social media platforms. Gradually, cricket resumed in the third quarter of 2020.
BCCI planned the IPL in the United Arab Emirates, while the England cricket team hosted Pakistan, West Indies, and Australia at home. The Indian cricket team did not play a single home Test match in 2020. Meanwhile, the ICC altered the World Test Championship’s rules because of the massive changes in the schedule.
Nevertheless, the cricketers still entertained the fans in these testing times. They lived inside bio-bubbles for months to deliver top-quality cricket for the cricket universe. In this article, we will look at-
Top 10 thrilling cricket games of 2020.
1. St. Lucia Zouks vs. Barbados Tridents, CPL 2020
The fans witnessed one of the weirdest T20 matches of all time in the Caribbean Premier League this year. St. Lucia Zouks battled the Barbados Tridents in the 19th match of the season at Port of Spain. Barbados won the toss and invited the Daren Sammy-led outfit to bat first.
Tridents did an excellent job with the ball as they restricted the Zouks to only 92 runs in the first innings. Hayden Walsh took a three-wicket haul while Raymon Reifer picked up two wickets in his one over as Barbados bowled out their rivals in 18 overs. Chasing 93 runs, Tridents made a good start as they were 34/1 after the powerplay.
However, what followed that was something that cricket fans might not have expected. The likes of Jason Holder, Johnson Charles, Corey Anderson, Rashid Khan, and Ashley Nurse failed to score 59 runs off the next 14 overs. Kesrick Williams and Mohammad Nabi bowled tight spells to ensure the Tridents managed only 89/7 in their 20 overs. Roston Chase bowled a fantastic last over, defending nine runs to help the Zouks win the contest.
2. South Africa vs. England, 1st T20I
South Africa and England played two T20I series in the year 2020. England cricket team won both series. However, South Africa, who usually succumb under pressure defeated them in a close contest at the Buffalo Park. Batting first, South Africa scored 177/8 in their 20 overs.
Chasing 178, Jason Roy got England off to a flier. The right-handed batsman smacked 70 runs off 38 deliveries, hitting seven fours and three sixes. Eoin Morgan supported him to perfection with a fifty. The visitors were 132/2 at one moment. Still, they lost the plot in the final overs.
Beuran Hendricks dismissed Roy and Morgan, while three English batsmen lost their wickets in the final over bowled by Lungi Ngidi. England needed only seven runs off the last six balls. However, Tom Curran, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid failed to guide England as the Proteas won a thriller.
3. Sri Lanka vs. West Indies, 3rd ODI
Another match from the pre-COVID era of cricket to appear on this list is the final ODI of the series between Sri Lanka and West Indies. Pallekele hosted this fixture. The home team won the toss and opted to bat first. Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva’s half tons helped Sri Lanka post 307 runs in their 50 overs.
Kusal Perera and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne scored 44 runs each. In the second innings, Shai Hope, Sunil Ambris, and Nicholas Pooran hit half-centuries for the visitors. Captain Kieron Pollard aggregated 49 runs as it seemed like West Indies would avoid a 3-0 clean sweep.
However, a dramatic middle-order collapse took the game down to the wire. Fabian Allen tried to save the day for West Indies with a 15-ball 37. Unfortunately, none of the other batsmen could support him. Angelo Mathews scalped four wickets in his 10-over spell. He kept his nerve and defended 13 off the last over to give Sri Lanka a memorable win.
4. Bangladesh vs. Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI
Zimbabwe cricket team showed glimpses of returning to their old form in 2020. They defeated Pakistan in an ODI match and almost beat Bangladesh at home. In the second ODI of their series, Tamim Iqbal played a record-breaking knock of 158 runs to take the home side to 322/8 in 50 overs.
The Bangladeshi bowlers dismissed Regis Chakabva, Sean Williams, and Brendan Taylor early. However, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe kept Zimbabwe’s hopes alive with a fifty. Sikandar Raza and Wesley Madhevere had an 81-run stand for the fifth wicket. Bangladesh dismissed the two all-rounders and almost sealed the deal.
Number 8 batsman Tinotenda Mutombodzi then joined forces with Donald Tiripano to give Bangladeshi fans a scare. Tiripano scored 55 runs off 28 deliveries, while Tinotenda hit a quickfire 34. The equation came down to 20 runs off 6 balls. Tiripano hit back-to-back sixes off Al-Amin. Unfortunately, he could not finish off the game as Bangladesh won by four runs.
5. England vs. Pakistan, 1st Test
There were few close Test matches in 2020. The first Test between England and Pakistan was arguably the most thrilling Test of 2020. Shan Masood’s brilliant 156 took the visitors to 326 runs in the first innings. Mohammad Abbas and Shaheen Shah Afridi then reduced England to 12/3.
It looked like Pakistan would record a memorable victory in Manchester. Ollie Pope scored a fifty to take England past 200. The home side’s first innings ended at 219 runs. However, Pakistan could not build on their first innings lead. They managed only 169 runs in the second innings as Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, and Ben Stokes tormented the Pakistani batsmen.
Pakistan still came back in the Test as they had England down to 117/5 in a pursuit of 277 runs. Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes had a match-winning partnership of 139 runs for the sixth wicket to take England close. Buttler departed to the pavilion but Woakes remained unbeaten on 84* to help England win by three wickets.
6. Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2020
The Kings XI Punjab were the most entertaining team in IPL 2020. They could not secure a place in the playoffs. Still, they won the fans’ hearts with their performances. In a do-or-die match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Kings XI Punjab managed only 126 runs in their 20 overs.
Captain KL Rahul scored 27 runs from 27 balls. Wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran was the best batsman for the team as he remained unbeaten on 32. Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, and Sandeep Sharma took two wickets each for SRH. David Warner provided a top-class start to the SRH innings with a 20-ball 35.
Unfortunately, the middle order could not capitalize on it. Chris Jordan and Arshdeep Singh wreaked havoc in the second innings, taking six wickets in their 7.5 overs. Ultimately, SRH lost all their wickets for 114 runs. It never looked like Punjab would win the match but they came from behind to stun the Orange Army.
7. Rajasthan Royals vs. Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2020
As mentioned earlier, the Kings XI Punjab had some nerve-wrecking contests in IPL 2020. They faced the Rajasthan Royals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the early phase of the competition. Mayank Agarwal’s century powered the Mohali-based franchise to 223/2 in the first innings.
KL Rahul backed Mayank to perfection with a 54-ball 69. Nicholas Pooran finished off the innings magnificently with an 8-ball 25. RR lost Jos Buttler early in the run chase of 224. Steve Smith and Sanju Samson launched a counter-attack after Buttler’s departure.
When Smith lost his wicket, Rahul Tewatia received a surprising promotion. He made a slow start and at one moment, Samson denied easy singles. However, Tewatia turned the match in a matter of moments, striking five sixes in Sheldon Cottrell’s over. He finished with 53 runs off 31 deliveries. In the end, Jofra Archer’s 3-ball 13 guided RR home with four wickets in hand.
8. India vs. New Zealand, 3rd T20I
India visited New Zealand in January to play a 5-match T20I series. The Men in Blue were in great form as they had defeated Bangladesh, West Indies, and Sri Lanka at home. The Indian cricket team made a fantastic start in the 5-match series, defeating the hosts in the first matches.
The third game went down to the wire. Rohit Sharma’s fifty took India to 179/5 in 20 overs. In reply, Kane Williamson played a captain’s inning of 95 runs. Mohammed Shami had to defend 9 runs in the final over. Ross Taylor hit a six on the first ball but Shami came back in style, giving away only two runs in the next five balls.
The match ended in a tie as the two teams crossed swords in a Super Over. Jasprit Bumrah bowled for India and the Kiwis blasted 17 runs off his bowling. Rohit and KL Rahul took eight runs from the first four balls. Sharma then finished the match off in style, smashing two sixes back to back. India won the game on the Super Over’s last ball.
9. India vs. New Zealand, 4th T20I
Another entry from the same series is the 4th T20I between India and New Zealand. The Indian cricket team had already taken an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the 5-match series. However, the Kiwis bounced back in the fourth T20I. Ish Sodhi’s triple burst reduced the Indian cricket team to 88/6.
Manish Pandey then played a match-saving knock of 50 runs. Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini supported him to perfection as India set a target of 166 runs for the hosts. Colin Munro and Tim Seifert had a 74-run partnership for the second wicket. New Zealand were 96/1 in 11.3 overs.
Unfortunately, Seifert and Munro got run out. The equation came down to 7 runs off 6 balls. Four wickets fell in the final over that Shardul Thakur bowled. Once again, India and New Zealand played a tie. This time, India received a target of 14 runs in the Super Over. KL Rahul took 10 runs off the first two deliveries before losing his wicket. Skipper Virat Kohli guided the team home with six runs off the next two balls.
10. Mumbai Indians vs. Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2020
The fans got to witness a double Super Over for the first time in cricket history during IPL 2020. The Mumbai Indians took on the Kings XI Punjab in Dubai. Quinton de Kock’s half-century took the Mumbai Indians to 176/6 in 20 overs. Incidentally, KXIP finished with the same score, riding on KL Rahul’s 77.
The match went into a Super Over. Jasprit Bumrah bowled a dream over and kept Punjab down to 5 runs. However, Rohit Sharma and de Kock could take 5 runs only off Mohammed Shami’s Super Over. The players who participated in the first Super Over could not bat or bowl in the 2nd Super Over.
Chris Jordan bowled the second Super Over for Kings XI and gave away 11 runs. Mayank Agarwal saved four runs for his team with an epic save at the boundary on the last ball. Agarwal then came out to with Chris Gayle and the two former RCB stars guided Punjab with two balls of Trent Boult’s Super Over remaining. Many cricket fans believe this was the best match in 2020.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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