There is no doubt that sometimes the game of cricket surprises with unexpected results. So far in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, there were a few instances where some extraordinary cricket was played which was never expected from the nations like Namibia, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Netherlands, and Ireland. Every team participating in the World Cup works hard to give their best in each and every game they play but in the end, the team which plays the better cricket along with a bit of luck wins the match.
Here is the list of the few occasions from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 which will be remembered in the future:
1) Namibia’s historic win
The first match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 was the qualifier match between Namibia and Sri Lanka, which was won by Namibia convincingly by 55 runs. Sri Lanka who recently won the Asia Cup championship by defeating teams such as India and Pakistan got all-out at 108 runs while chasing 164. No one would have ever thought that the tournament’s campaign will start like this. But, Namibia lost the rest of their matches and could not qualify for the Super 12 group.
2) West Indies lost two games in the qualifiers
Two-time ICC Men’s T20 World Cup champions West Indies who’s been struggling for a year due to the severe transition of players had to play the qualifiers was the worst thing that could ever happen to a team like them. There was a time when West Indies looked like one of the most dangerous teams to compete in the T20 format of cricket, they shocked the world first when they were defeated by Scotland with 42 runs in the 1st game of their T20 World Cup 2022 qualifier.
West Indies were looking strong to bounce back after a win over Zimbabwe but they lost their last qualifier encounter against Ireland by 9 wickets. They had to return home because only one win wasn’t enough for the two-time champions. West Indies went neither with Russell, Narine, nor Hetmyer in the World Cup. Recently, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo also took retirement. This Caribbean side has to fill a lot of gaps before they come back stronger.
3) India chased down the unexpected
India vs Pakistan is one of the biggest cricketing matches, especially in tournaments like the World Cup where the tickets are sold out within a couple of hours. Cricket fans, media, and everyone who is connected with cricket apart from the nations contesting also get excited as well.
Pakistan while batting first scored 159 runs with the help of Shan Masood’s and Iftikhar Ahmed’s half-centuries. India while chasing the target of 160 reduced to 31-4 in 6.1 overs, it seemed like fans lost hope that India will ever come back but the crucial partnership of 113 runs between the chase master Kohli and India’s prime all-rounder Hardik snatched the game from Pakistan. The two back-to-back sixes in the last two deliveries of the 19th over by Virat Kohli against Pakistan’s best bowler Haris Rauf shifted the complete momentum towards India.
With the help of a bit of luck and presence of mind from the Indian batsmen in the last over where 16 were required from 6 balls won the game for India by 4 wickets. Virat Kohli who is also known as the King in the sport of cricket was named the “Player of the Match” as well.
4) England faced a shocking defeat
26th October 2022, could be one of the most shocking moments in the history of cricket for England fans when the batting powerhouse England lost to Ireland because they were 5 runs short as per the DLS par score. In the first innings, Ireland’s batsmen showed great intent and scored 157 runs in 19.2 overs. While chasing England lost back-to-back wickets and when it started to rain in 14.3 overs, England was at 105-5, but as per the DLS par score, England should have had 110 runs or more on the board. It was an unexpected loss for England that no one had predicted. They also lost to the same opponents in the 2011 ODI World Cup.
5) Pakistan messed up an easy run chase
Zimbabwe is one of the most improved teams of this T20 World Cup 2022 edition. They already showed intent in the qualifiers but their Group 2 match against Pakistan astonished the whole world that they are here to play some serious cricket. So while batting first, Zimbabwe scored a total of 130 runs in 20 overs.
And while chasing, Pakistan was reduced to 36-3 in 7.4 overs but after that, Shan Masood and Shadab Khan added 52 runs for the 4th wicket. Pakistan was looked in control but a sudden collapse of the middle order due to tight bowling from Zimbabwe made the game more interesting. Pakistan needed just 11 runs in the last over with a well-set batsman Nawaz on the crease, and Zimbabwe conceded 7 runs in the first 2 balls then it was 4 for 4 required but, Pakistan messed up the chase and lost the match by 1 run.
Their fate of playing the semi-finals was almost over. But wait, they were practically still in the race for the semi-finals only if they win all their games, and South Africa or India shall lose at least two games each.
6) South Africa choking continues in a must-win encounter
Last day of the Group league stage, all the calculations were very clear to South Africa that if they win their last encounter against the Netherlands they will qualify for the semi-finals. But again something else was planned that no one had predicted, the nation having a most experienced pace attack which is also reliable for the Australian conditions will lose to a team who played the qualifiers to get a seat in the Super 12 Groups.
While batting first Netherlands scored 158 runs with the loss of just 4 wickets, African pacers Parnell, Rabada, and Ngidi went wicketless. And while chasing, the complete South African batting lineup failed and ended their innings at 145-8 in 20 overs. The Netherlands won the game by 13 runs.
South Africa’s loss was someone’s else gain, their loss made India qualify for the semis, and a few days back Pakistan who also messed up a chase against Zimbabwe gets another opportunity to play semi-finals. Pakistan just had to defeat Bangladesh to reach the semi-finals and India had to win the last encounter to top the Group’s points table. Pakistan and India, both won their respective games convincingly and got selected for the semi-finals as well.