In an age where time is of the utmost essence, Test and ODI cricket has taken a back-seat, thereby handing over the edge to the shortest, youngest and the most vibrant sibling of the family, T20 cricket. Initially, after being played only for entertainment, the format started gaining traction in quick succession due to its crisp time-stipulation.
However, even in those days, no one would have contemplated even in their wildest dreams that the same format will evolve into a full-blown World Cup and teams will be racing the contest with countless permutation and combinations. What used to be blind experimentations in the initial days changed into a hard-bound strategy and clinical executions of the same through a bunch of new players who weren’t just skilful and fine but also at the peak of their fitness that is the direst need of the sport.
As we have already brooked about the format being played in a World Cup, things are absolutely different now and the format at the highest level gave birth to cricketers who emerged as icons of the shortest format of the game.
In this story, we will be looking into a few records that have been achieved in World T20 that gave birth to countless tales of heroism, insane acts of persuasion and dogged persistence. However, given the multiple editions of the fray already played and enacted, one story won’t really suffice and will be an incomplete homage to the heroes. So we have decided to bring this in bits and pieces. Let’s buckle up, for this is going to be one long road trip with the background score coming from Hans Zimmer, I suppose, or whatever you may choose.
Most runs in T20 World Cup 2007
1. Matthew Hayden – 265 runs
The Australian opener was in his peak form when the tournament commenced and he showed no signs of relent right until the last game that Australia played in the fray. From 6 games he went on to score 265 runs at an enviable average of 88.33 and the blitzkrieg was carried on at a staggering rate of 144.80. His career-best in the tournament was an unbeaten 73 that also saw him clubbing 32 fours and 10 sixes, en route to the onslaught that he levied upon the bowlers.
2. Gautam Gambhir – 227 runs
He was India’s best batting prospect in the fray as his rollicking 75 in the final helped the nation to achieve a competitive total that kept their arch-enemy at bay. He scored at a breezy strike rate of 144.80, smacking 27 boundaries and 5 sixes. He managed to garner 227 runs from 7 games, scoring at a fine average of 37.83.
3. Misbah-ul-Haq – 218 runs
The man who almost took the World Cup away from India, Misbah was Pakistan’s most scintillating moniker in the tournament. Smoking the bowlers at will, he went on to score 218 runs at a sturdy average of 54.50 and scored at 139.74. En route to 218, he clobbered the bowlers for a whopping 18 boundaries and 9 over-boundaries, stamping his class on the tournament. His highest in the fray was an unbeaten 66.
4. Shoaib Malik – 195 runs
It was a closely contested encounter between Malik and Misbah that was eventually won by the latter while the first name came extremely close to Misbah, breathing on his neck, almost until the latter posted a rock-solid performance in the finale to surpass him. Malik amassed 195 runs from 7 games at a brilliant average of 39.00 and scored at a speedy rate of 126.62. He went on to strike 15 boundaries and 5 sixes in the process.
5. Kevin Pietersen – 178 runs
Despite the English batting virtuoso blowing hot and cold in the tournament, he still seemed to be the most consistent of the English lot, pumping 178 runs from only 5 games, before Yuvraj’s heroics eliminated the Englishmen from the fray. He smashed 17 fours and 6 sixes in his haul of those crucial runs that made England seem irrepressible in the World Cup until they clattered against the Indian elements. He boasted of a fine average of 35.60 and a staggering strike rate of 161.81.
Most wickets in T20 World Cup 2007
1. Umar Gul – 13 wickets
The premium Pakistani fast-bowler, Umar Gul raged through the fray in exquisite fashion as he carved open the other batting line-ups at will. He claimed a whopping 13 wickets at the minimal expense of 155 runs from 27.4 overs. He conceded at a frugal rate of 5.60 RPO while his best bowling figures were 4 for 25. A bowling average that read 11.92 was marvellous, to say the least as he spearheaded the Pakistani bowling renaissance in the tournament.
2. Stuart Clark – 12 wickets
The Australian pacer was at the top of his finesse in this fray as he managed to claim 12 wickets from 24 overs, slipping through only 144 runs at a brilliant economy rate of 6.00. His bowling average read 12.00 while his best figures in the fray were 4 for 20. He seemed to be Australia’s best bet in an otherwise expensive campaign from the finest of the Australian bowling gentlemen.
3. RP Singh – 12 wickets
Though he is now forgotten, RP Singh was India’s emphatic epiphany in the 2007 World Cup. The way he swung the ball in either side drastically was simply mesmerizing, to say the least. His toe-crushing yorkers emerged as the best of the fray that got him the majority of the 12 wickets. From 7 games, he went onto scalp 12 wickets at a stunning economy rate of 6.33 runs per over. His bowling average read a fine figure of 12.66 that saw him bowling 24 overs.
4. Shahid Afridi – 12 wickets
The Pakistani all-rounder who was awarded the man of the tournament went on to ransack the campaign, not just with the bat but the ball too. He shone more in the fray with the cherry in his hand. Afridi picked up 12 wickets in the campaign and bowled at an economy rate of 6.71 and boasted about a bowling average of 15.66. His best figures of the tournament were 4 for 19.
5. Daniel Vettori – 11 wickets
The unplayable Kiwi spinner left an impressive mark on the surface of the tournament in the most blazing ways as he went on to claim 11 wickets from the 6 games that he played in the tournament. He went on to bowl his full quota of 24 overs and leaked 128 runs in the process at a fine economy rate of 5.33 runs per over. His bowling average read a fine 11.63 that underlined the stellar legacy which the southpaw has left behind him in his long span of a glittering career.
Most sixes in T20 World Cup 2007
1. Craig McMillan – 13 sixes
The Kiwi all-rounder played an instrumental role in propelling New Zealand to the semi-finals of the fray with an exotic brand of attacking cricket. As we are all aware of the fact that sixes make a significant difference in the T20 games, it was McMillan’s 13 sixes that changed the course of history for New Zealand in this tournament.
2. Yuvraj Singh – 12 sixes
The hard-hitting Indian southpaw left Stuart Broad scarred forever when he clubbed him for six sixes in an over after a heated discourse with Andrew Flintoff. Not only did he rake up the tournament with those massive strikes against the Englishmen, but he also left an enviable trail of carnage that saw him hammering 70 from only 30 balls against Australia in the semis. He is second on this list with 12 sixes in his tally.
3. Chris Gayle – 10 sixes
A lot of expectations were saddled onto the back of the Universe Boss but the Caribbean hard-hitter failed to live up to the expectations after a blistering century in the opener against South Africa. He went on to smack 10 sixes in the tournament opener for West Indies. That remained his solitary haul as West Indies was eliminated from the tournament in a short span of time.
4. Justin Kemp – 10 sixes
The South African all-rounder was one of the early risers in the shortest format of the sport and played an extremely crucial role in transitioning South Africa into one of the most successful T20 sides of all time. Kemp smacked 10 sixes from 5 games that also saw him chronicling a career-best of 89 in T20 internationals.
5. Matthew Hayden – 10 sixes
The ginormous Australian made it a habit to torment the bowlers in the tournament in the most painful ways as he kept on smashing those humongous strikes with consummate ease. He managed to club 10 sixes in the fray from 6 games. He almost took away the semi-final from India before Sreesanth struck the telling blow to level things.
Most fours in T20 World Cup 2007
1. Matthew Hayden – 32 fours
The Australian juggernaut managed to belt out the highest number of boundaries alongside being the highest scorer of the fray. Not only was he effusive to say the least but the way he batted was too hot for the bowlers to handle. He smacked 32 fours alongside the 10 sixes which were clubbed by him in exquisite fashion.
2. Gautam Gambhir – 27 fours
The Indian opener played a fine brand of cricket throughout the fray which culminated in a scintillating 75 in the final, taking out the Pakistani bowlers despite an ailing display from the other Indian batters. He hammered 27 fours in the tournament next to the 5 sixes en route to his 227 runs that saw him become the second-highest scorer of the tournament.
3. Herschelle Gibbs – 18 fours
The South African had an unlucky outing as the Rainbow Nation lost a solitary game in the fray and that ousted them from the tournament. From three games, the hard-hitting opener managed to amass 110 runs that saw him smoking 18 fours and 2 sixes, statistics that underlined his brilliance as an opener.
4. Aftab Ahmed – 18 fours
Despite Bangladeshi players not able to create ripples in the canon, Aftab Ahmed managed to feature in this list as his aggression helped India’s neighbours to salvage some prestige from the tournament. He twisted and turned in stunning fashion in order to climb the rungs of the batting ladder that saw him clobbering 18 fours in the process.
5. Misbah-ul-Haque – 18 fours
The man from Pakistan who almost single-handedly won them the World Cup gifted one of the finest forms of cricket that saw him rocking 18 boundaries next to the nine sixes. He took on the bowlers in every single match, delivering Pakistan out of any ordeal which their mediocre batting-line up came up with.
Most fifties in T20 World Cup 2007
1. Matthew Hayden – 4 fifties
The Australian Titan led almost every single batting list as he went on hewing away at the bowlers without making a fuss. Everything that was tossed up higher the order was shown the ropes in a dominant fashion. He also managed to hammer 4 half-centuries in the fray out of which his highest score was an unbeaten 73.
2. Gautam Gambhir – 3 fifties
The Indian opener played an extremely incredible role in India lifting the World Cup as he gave India the starts from where the famous Indian middle-order inflicted further damage upon their opponents. En route to his 227 runs, he hammered three half-centuries that included the Championship-winning 75.
3. Sanath Jayasuriya – 2 fifties
The Sri Lankan opener showed it to the world that why he is one of the best batters of the sport in any format of sport. Not only did the hard-hitting Sri Lankan left the bowlers devastated, but the two half-centuries that he hammered were a treat for the eyes to be candid.
4. Yuvraj Singh – 2 fifties
The man who wrecked England and Australia in the two mist crucial matches, Yuvraj Singh saved the half-centuries for bringing them up in the most exhilarating fashion. In the match against England that saw Stuart Broad being offered as a sacrificial lamb to the wrath of Yuvraj after Flintoff stoked the fire in him, Yuvi scored the fastest half-century in T20 cricket. He followed it up with another sublime 70 from 30 balls against Australia in the semi-finals.
5. Misbah-ul-Haq – 2 fifties
The Pakistani vice-captain showed exemplary class with the willow in his hand and managed to register two half-centuries in the brilliant showdown that he posted throughout the World Cup. Out of both the half-centuries, the last one came in the final, making it a thrilling finale that the cricketing fraternity will never forget.