Cricket witnessed several stirring moments in 2016. It was a year that saw some amazing feats of batting. It was a year that saw one team assert its dominance in the shortest format. It was a year when Asian nations made a big impact on the Test stage. Here are some of the memorable moments.
Brathwaite brings West Indies glory
The World T20 final between England and West Indies in Kolkata. 19 needed off six balls, Ben Stokes was bowling the final over. First ball, six over fine leg. Second ball, six over long on. Third ball, six over long off. Fourth ball, six over deep mid-wicket. In four balls, West Indies secured the World T20 title for the second time, and a superstar was born in the form of Carlos Brathwaite. His four consecutive sixes prompted Ian Bishop to scream on air, “Carlos Brathwaite, Remember the name.”
His exploits summed up West Indies run in the tournament, where they played with flair and aggression to win hearts. It was a magnificent start to 2016 as their under-19 team won the World Cup in Bangladesh while the women’s team won the Twenty20 World Cup for the first time.
Virat Kohli enjoys a Bradmanesque year
The year should be rechristened the Virat Kohli year. In every format, he redefined batsmanship. In the Indian Premier League, Kohli notched up a record 973 runs with four centuries. However, it was bitter-sweet as his team, Royal Challengers , lost the final for the third time.
In Tests, Kohli enjoyed a stupendous year, scoring three double centuries, going 18 Tests without a loss and staying undefeated as captain. Kohli’s form promises bright things for Indian cricket in the coming years.
Pakistan’s push-ups at Lord’s after victory
Lord’s 2010, Pakistan were shamed by the spot-fixing scandal. Lord’s 2016, redemption. When Mohammad Amir, one of the accused in the spot-fixing saga, took the final wicket, the emotions were evident as they won the Test by 75 runs.
The players celebrated in a different way, by performing push-ups on the turf. Misbah-ul-Haq, the skipper, stated that before the series they had gone to an army boot camp to prepare and this was a tribute to the army men.
Hasan creates history
Bangladesh have been playing Test cricket for 16 years. Their success involved series wins only against Zimbabwe. All that changed on October 30 in Mirpur during the second Test against England. This was due to the efforts of the 19-year-old Mehedi Hasan.
In the second Test, he picked up a match haul of 12/159 as England lost 10 wickets in a session to lose the match by 108 runs and suffer their first loss to Bangladesh. Finally, Bangladesh had finally got the better of a big team.
Faf’s ‘Mintgate’ problem after Australia series win
South Africa secured a Test series win in Australia for the third time. Faf du Plessis, who had taken over the realms from AB de Villiers, was on top of the world after the win in the Hobart Test, which the Proteas secured by an innings and 80 runs.
However, the achievement was tarnished by claims that Du Plessis had tampered with the ball. Footage showed him applying saliva to the ball with a lolly in his mouth.
The ICC fined him 100 percent of his match fee but the South Africa skipper pleaded not guilty and decided to appeal the verdict. Although he lost his appeal, the saga soured what was a fine performance by a South Africa team which had bounced back after a tough 2016.