Yet another ICC trophy has gone Down Under to Australia as they beat their Oceanic neighbours, Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the final at the Dubai International Stadium. The World Cup, in general, produced some magnificent performances on the field and it was a joy to witness both for spectators at the venues and on the television.
From Buttler’s scintillating century to Williamson’s classy fifty, here are the top five performances that stood out from the 2021 T20 World Cup.
JOS BUTTLER MAGICAL 100
England’s wicket-keeper batter Jos Buttler was amongst the most exciting batters in this edition of the T20 World Cup. He was all class throughout the tournament but one knock that he’d hold special would be the one against Sri Lanka at Sharjah. On a sluggish surface, Buttler displayed some composure in the middle and brought about his slowest half-century. Wickets were tumbling from the other side and batters were struggling to get the ball off the square but Buttler had different ideas. He flawlessly switched gears in the second half of his innings and ended up with a 67-ball 101*. It proved to be a match-winning exploit from the Englishman.
HAT-TRICK HERO HASARANGA
Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner Wanindu Hasaranga finished the tournament with the most wickets. It was the game against South Africa that he’d keep closest to his heart. Even though the Lankan lions finished on the wrong end of the result, Hasaranga picked up the first and the only hat-trick of the Super 12 stage. The South African batters tried to take the attack to Sri Lanka’s spinner but failed miserably.
MITCHELL ‘BISON’ MARSH
One of the key reasons for Australia’s dominance in this World Cup has been the form of Mitchell Marsh. Plenty of Aussie batters have come out and said that Marsh has been hitting the ball better than ever and the all-rounder proved that in the final against New Zealand. The intent with which he started his innings in the final, as he was 14 off just three balls in the beginning. He bullied the Kiwi bowlers and stood like an actual ‘bison’. It was hard-hitting of the highest calibre in the final by the younger Marsh brother.
MATTHEW WADE PROVES HIS WORTH
Sticking with another Australian who most certainly has had the most important tournament of his career is Matthew Wade. He was so criminally underrated coming into the World Cup that now his stocks in white-ball cricket would be at an all-time high. His innings against Pakistan in the semi-final was just unexpected. The ease with which he was able to scoop a bowler of Shaheen Shah Afridi’s pace was unreal. He won Australia the game that seemed all but lost. A stunning display of power hitting as well as some smart cricket.
KANE WILLIAMSON IS ALL CLASS
Kane Williamson was having a disastrous tournament up until the final. He was scoring less than a run a ball and was struggling with his elbow injury that he has been nursing for quite some time now. Come the final, the Kiwi captain stepped up big time. That innings of 85 in the final won’t be talked about that much now as it came in a losing cause but it is one of the best knocks of this tournament. He started off in typical Williamson fashion, slow off the blocks, 18 off 19 balls. Soon he unleashed his might on the Aussies, he scored 67 runs off his next 20 deliveries, to level the highest score by a player in a T20 World Cup final.
It is just remarkable to see how this man can adapt between formats with so ease and how he always steps up on the big occasion.
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