03 October 2012 - 12:21pm IST
by Anand Vasu & R Kaushik in Colombo
Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL vs NZ, Sept 27, 2012)
After having excelled at his primary function in regulation overs, Tillakaratne Dilshan found himself posted at long-off for the Super Over against New Zealand. Mahela Jayawardena revealed that he had posted his best fielders in areas where he hoped the ball would go. Martin Guptill obliged, trying to clear the ropes, but Dilshan stood tall and pulled off a smart catch inches in front of the ropes. They say cricket is a game of inches and the composed Dilshan proved it was indeed so.
Umar Gul (Pak v SA, Sept 28, 2012)
Pakistan had made a real mess of chasing down 134 against South Africa, finding itself at 78 for 7, when Umar Gul arrived in a flurry of boundaries. A four and a six off Jacques Kallis and suddenly, South Africa was pushed on to the back foot. Gul kept swinging merrily, smashing two fours and three sixes in a 17-ball 32 to set up an unlikely victory.
Rain (Aus v Ind, Sept 28, 2012)
India had reason to believe it had posted a competitive total after reaching 140 for 7. After all, it had packed its side with three specialist spinners on a slow turner when a brief spell of rain, at the start of the Australian chase, scuttled its designs. A wet ball and a slightly livelier batting surface completely took the spinners out of the equation as Australia won by the proverbial country mile.
Jeevan ‘Gangnam’ Mendis (SL v WI, Sept 29, 2012)
When Sri Lanka got past West Indies, Dwayne Bravo inadvertently provided a moment of pure joy. After reaching 40, Bravo tried to lift the leg-spin of Jeevan Mendis over long-on. When Tillakaratne Dilshan pouched the catch, Mendis did a Gangnam-style celebration, which was flashed on the big screen. Chris Gayle, who introduced the move to cricket, was sitting in the dugout and watching, and could barely suppress a giggle.
Lasith Malinga (SL v NZ, Sept 29, 2012)
Lasith Malinga might’ve taken five wickets in the match against England, but he was worth his weight in gold in a crucial game earlier in the series. When New Zealand scrapped hard enough to tie the match against Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardena did not have to think twice about which bowler to use in the Super Over. As Jayawardena subsequently revealed, there was no player in international cricket he’d have bowl the Super Over than Malinga. Six energetic yorkers later, the game was in the bag.
Xavier Doherty (Aus v SA, Sept 30, 2012)
Xavier Doherty had cooled his heels for the first three games before, in deference to the conditions, Australia drafted the left-arm spinner into the playing XI. Doherty took just three deliveries to make an impact, producing a slider to clean up Richard Levi and then a dream delivery that spun sharply away from Jacques Kallis to find his outside edge. 3 for 20 from four overs – clearly game-breaking.
Shahid Afridi (Pak v Ind, Sept 30, 2012)
Horribly out of form with the bat, Shahid Afridi was pushed up to No. 3 in a bizarre move as Pakistan sought to think out of the box in the mind games stakes even though Nasir Jamshed at No. 3 was always going to be the more logical choice. Afridi lasted just 12 deliveries in making 14, and the tables were comprehensively turned, as it was India that grew fangs when he holed out in the deep.
Tim Southee (NZ v WI, Oct 1, 2012)
What’s the one thing you don’t want to do in a Super Over? Tim Southee, entrusted with defending 17 against Chris Gayle, comfortably overstepped on his first ball, and even before the umpire could signal the no-ball, Gayle had sent the ball into the stands over long-off. Needless to say, the game did not end too well for New Zealand, and Gayle was the one prancing about when all was said and done.
Marlon Samuels (WI v NZ, Oct 1, 2012)
Having not bowled a ball in the 19 overs that had been delivered, Marlon Samuels virtually insisted that he would bowl the last over of the New Zealand innings. Samuels conceded 13 to push the contest into a Super Over. Having done so, he then volunteered to bowl the Super Over, and Darren Sammy went along. This was despite Sunil Narine being the star of the show with 3 for 20 off his four overs in regulation play.
AB de Villiers (SA v Ind, Oct 2, 2012)
South Africa came into the competition as one of the favourites, and exited without a win in three Super Eights games. Distraught and inconsolable, AB de Villiers spoke of “disappointment” and “hurt” at the way his team had played throughout the competition. His voice choking, de Villiers promised his team would come back strongly. And it wasn’t that hard to believe him.
[Moments listed in chronological order]