It’s been an action-packed decade of cricket and while picking just 10 moments that standout was always going to be a Herculean task, here’s a fair shot at doing just that…
2010 – Tendulkar scores first-ever ODI 200
Arguably the greatest batsman to grace the game, Sachin Tendulkar grew accustomed to raising the bar during his illustrious career. Even in the twilight of his tenure as India’s talisman, he raised the bar in ODIs by registering the first double century in the format.
The 37-year-old proved he still had it with the World Cup the following year, smashing an unbeaten 200 off 147 deliveries to lead India to a winning total of 401/3 against South Africa.
2011 – Dhoni hits winning runs in World Cup final
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was already a reputed finisher but this night at the Wankhede was when the legend was born. Chasing 277 in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka, an excellent middle-order display saw India reach their target with 10 balls to spare as the skipper’s unbeaten 91 steered them home.
He even hit a memorable six to win the match in style. The stroke, the sound of bat cracking ball, the eruption in the stands and finally a pose for the cameras – absolute box office.
2012 – England win first Test series in India in 30 years
It took them nearly 30 years but England finally won a Test series on Indian soil again. It was also India’s only series defeat at home this decade. What made it all the more impressive for England was the fact they were 1-0 down in the four-match series after the first Test in Ahemdabad.
However, Kevin Pietersen played out of his skin to score 186 and win the second encounter with spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar doing the damage with the ball. Alastair Cook was the match-winner in the third Test while the fourth was drawn to secure England the series.
2013 – Mitchell Johnson’s redemption at Ashes
Having endured the chants and jeers from England fans during the lowest point of his career, this Ashes series must be one of Mitchell Johnson’s sweetest memories.
He averaged a miserable 46.75 in the preceding year but bowled with great aggression to pick up 37 wickets with an average of 13.97 to lead Australia to a 5-0 whitewash of England, ending 2013 on a high.
2014 – Phillip Hughes’ tragic death
During a domestic cricket match in Australia Phillip Hughes was struck in the head by a bouncer, ultimately leading to his tragic death in the hospital two days later when he succumbed to the injury.
Matches across the country were abandoned and internationally, the Test between Pakistan and New Zealand in Sharjah was suspended for a day.
2015 – Australia win World Cup
An excellent bowling display saw favourites Australia dismiss neighbours New Zealand for just 183 in the World Cup final at the MCG. The home team strolled to the target with nearly 17 overs to spare and seven wickets in hand.
Captain Michael Clarke scored 74 in what was his final match and he dedicated the triumph to Hughes who died the year before.
2016 – Windies win second World T20
West Indies needed 19 runs from the final over against England in the decider and, remarkably, got 24 with two balls to spare.
Ben Stokes didn’t know what hit him as each of his four deliveries were launched over the ropes by Windies skipper Carlos Brathwaite. The Caribbean men won by four wickets, becoming the first team to with the World T20 twice.
2017 – Pakistan win Champions Trophy
Pakistan entered the tournament as underdogs having only just sneaked into the competition as the last team. But as much as you can’t hang your hat on the Men in Green, you can never write them off either.
A final against India was the stuff of dreams, a staggering 180-run win over their fierce rivals though was well beyond their wildest fantasy. Fakhar Zaman’s ton set Pakistan up and Mohammad Amir’s three for 16 knocked India down.
2018 – Sandpaper gate
Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were at the centre of cricket’s biggest controversy of the decade. Bancroft was caught on camera tampering with the ball with sandpaper during a Test with South Africa but captain Smith and vice-captain Warner were found to be involved.
All three Australian players were banned from international cricket for a year while coach Darren Lehmann stepped down as well. The incident was met with shock and condemnation across the game.
2019 – England lift World Cup after super over
Despite having invented the game, England had never won a World Cup and even finished runners-up on three occasions. 2019 was certainly their year though as some stunning performances during the tournament culminated in what’s being described as the greatest ODI of all-time.
An incredible innings from Ben Stokes – the face of England’s despair in 2016 – took the final at Lord’s to a super over with the home nation eventually emerging victorious over New Zealand.
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