T20 World Cup Awards
Sportsest picks the best batsman, bowler, match, and moment from the T20 World Cups, as well as overs and under from the last few weeks in the UAE, The next T20 World Cup will be held in Australia in late 2022 when the defending champions.
England star Jos Buttler and Australian duo Adam Zampa and David Warner are among the players who have been praised for Sky Sports’ World Cup-winning T20 cricket feed.
There was drama right up to 9 months ago in the United Arab Emirates as Australia edged out neighbors New Zealand in Sunday’s final in Dubai.
Opening batsman Warner, tricky leg-spinner Zampa, and the likes of Josh Hazlewood came to the four for Justin Langer’s winning side, but there were many bright spots, moments of brilliance, and commendable performances across all teams and throughout the competition.
The Best Batter
Pakistan’s fearsome opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan was arguably the wildest of the tournament, and while Sri Lanka’s Charith Asalanka and England destroyer Jos Buttler also impressed, we went for David Warner.
The 35-year-old scored 289 runs at 146.70, hitting a crucial 49 in the semi-final win over Pakistan and laying the foundations for a muscular 53 off 38 deliveries to win the final, making him the official player of the tournament going from ICC. Can he take some of that form into the next T20 World Cup 2022.
The Best Bowler
Sure, watching bowlers like Trent Boult, Josh Hazlewood and Anrich Nortje bowl with flared nostrils is fine.
But the control, variety, and wicket-taking ability of the spinners are key, and so it proved again. Shakib Al Hasan was as skillful as ever and while top wicket-taker Wanindu Hasaranga (16 at 9.75) was unplayable in the whole tournament, his counterpart Adam Zampa was an instrumental part of the Australian side.
Only 76 cricketers in history have hit a T20I century and Jos Buttler etched his name on that list with a sensational 101 off 67 balls against Sri Lanka, the competition’s only century.
On a tough Sharjah wicket, facing by far the worst bowling attack of the tournament, the 31-year-old absorbed the pressure during a 46-ball fifty and then stepped up, needing just 22 more balls to reach three figures.
The Best Bowling Spell
Boult’s effort in the final, taking 2-18 from his four overs, deserves credit, but Josh Hazlewood’s 3-16 in the same game was a masterclass in line, length, aggression, and control.
Also worthy of honorable mention are Pakistan’s Shadab Khan (4-26) against Australia, Liam Livingstone’s inspired 2-22 against New Zealand, and Namibia seamer Ruben Trumpelmann, who took three wickets in the first four balls of the match to suffocate Scotland and Pakistani rising star Shaheen Afridi great spell against India and took 3 big wickets are specials one.
The final did not live up to its top billing, but both semi-finals were excellent in quality.
- There was plenty of late drama elsewhere too, with Bangladesh vs. West Indies being the only match to go to the last ball when Andre Russell prevented Mahmudullah from hitting the four he needed.
The biggest highlight, however, was South Africa’s thrilling win against Sri Lanka, when David Miller’s last-gasp maximum topped Hasaranga’s hat-trick. Scotland’s narrow win against Bangladesh before the Super 12s or Asif Ali Four Sixes against Afghanistan was also cruel.
The Best Moment
There are too many outstanding performances in the field to mention, but two other moments stand out: Daryl Mitchell’s sporting decision not to run after he was booked for defending Adil Rashid. In an often gladiatorial sport, in the white heat of the semi-finals, it was a classy move.
- But the best moment has to be Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissing Rohit Sharma for a golden duck. Pakistan vs India is probably the biggest cricket match watched by up to 100 million people worldwide.
Seasoned pacer Rohit, 34, against young contender Shaheen, 21. Four balls in, the bowler raps his pads and Pakistan wins by 10 wickets.
India almost made it to the semi-finals. But they lost two of three tough group games – and against Pakistan and New Zealand, they played by a wide margin.
Bangladesh also has the talent to do better, but the much-vaunted West Indies will not want to look back on a tournament record of four losses with one (very narrow) win.
Scotland and Namibia may have struggled at the Super 12 stage, but the Scots made history by reaching the group stage of the tournament for the first time, while Namibia won plenty of fans with their committed and honest style.
Arguably the real Heroes were Australia. Sure, they’re talented players, but you’d have a pretty long shot of them winning the tournament before it all started.