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Cricket is considered to be one of the funniest sports played at international level in today’s world. This is not because some kind of comedy is involved in the game of cricket but because of the fact that often result can’t be predicted until last ball has been bowled and played. Teams have been seen to win matches after performing quite poorly for most part of the game. Similarly, often teams on various occasions lost matches after dominating a match for most part. Such instances are quite rare in other sports but often seen in the game of cricket. When this happens however, not only fans are seen having tears in their eyes but great performances of players also went in vain.
It is also true that people tend to forget those performances by individual players when the team as whole losses the match. However, such great performances deserve some kind of recognition, hence we have prepared a list of 10 such performances when individual players or team as a whole performed splendidly well but their performance went in vain as other team had won the match either due to better performance or stroke of luck.
Sachin’s 100th hundred:
What could have been more memorable than a great international batsman scoring century of centuries at international level but the fun was spoiled as the team lost the match. It was a greatly anticipated cricket event as whole cricketing world was waiting for Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar to score his 100th century for some time. Opponent was relatively a weak team and Sachin had a great chance to achieve this outstanding milestone. Sachin actually scored a century in this 4th match of Asia cup 2012.
Sachin brought smiles and happiness on the faces of whole India and cricket fans throughout the world. However, Sachin’s happiness couldn’t remain for very long as India went on to lose this match. A great performance of scoring 100th international century, which could have been a greatest day for Indian fans, went in vain as India lost this match to Bangladesh by 5 wickets. Perhaps Sachin should have chosen another day for his century of centuries.
First T20 World Cup final match:
The game of 20 overs quickly became popular after its introduction at international level during last decade. Unlike, one day international cricket world cup, T20 world cup is played after every two years. Most cricket fans remember that first T20 world cup was played in 2007 and it was one of the most remarkable ICC events. This world cup also introduced few new players and recently retired Pakistani skipper Misbah Ul Haq was one of these players.
Misbah emerged as a batting hero for Pakistani cricket team and helped Pakistan win few crucial matches during the event. One such good performance was seen in the final of this world cup. While chasing a not-so-difficult target of 158 against India, Pakistani batting line-up faced few difficulties. The situation worsened when Pakistani team had lost 6 wickets for only 77 runs. Misbah tried to rescue Pakistan at this moment and brought match up to the last over. Misbah ul Haq scored 43 runs in 38 balls. No real cricket fan can forget those 4 sizes by Misbah towards the end of the inning. However, Misbah was caught by Sreesanth before he could finish the job. Pakistan lost this final match by merely 5 runs and Misbah saw his performance getting wasted.
South Africa’s unlucky Semi-final:
It would be unjust not to discuss one of the most dramatic event in the history of the game. It happened when South Africa couldn’t see its dream of playing World Cup final coming into reality in spite of playing reasonably well against England in the Semi-final of 1992 Cricket world cup. South Africa was chasing a total of 253 and had lost 6 wickets on 231 in 42.5 overs. The remaining target of getting 22 runs in 13 balls with 4 wickets in hand was not a piece of cake but still was very much achievable. However, it is rain and some poor rule making from ICC which has to be blamed for ending a good semi-final on sad note. Rain interrupted the game and South came to bat again with revised target of 252 (instead of original target of 253) and total of 43 overs (instead of earlier 45 overs). This meant South Africa needed 21 more runs to win in 1 ball. Which was obviously impossible and a great effort from South African team was wasted due to uncontrollable circumstances.
Declared and lost:
Often teams declare in test matches when they are sure about their victory. England in the 1st test match of 2008-09 series against India expected the same but only later they realized that it was a big mistake. England declared its second inning at 311-9 and gave India a very challenging target of 387 runs. However, thanks to a century of ‘little master’, India managed to get this score for the loss of only 4 wickets.
Victory after being followed-on:
Surprisingly next match also involves India. It was one rare event in the cricket history when India went on to win a match against Australia after being followed-on in the first inning. In first inning, India scored only 171 in response of Australian first inning of 445 runs. However, thanks to astonishing 281 by VVS Laxman and 180 by R. Dravid, India managed to score a giant total of 675. Australia could only score 212 in the fourth inning and lost the match by 171 runs.
872 runs in 100 overs:
Since its start, most teams dreamt to score 400 runs in ODIs for very long time. 400+ score was first scored by Australia in 2006-06 season against South Africa. Ricky Ponting score 164 of just 105 to help his team make a world record. Almost everyone had considered Australia the winner of the match even before the end of first half. However, it was unbelievable batting by South Africa that it went on to chase this giant target in 49.5 overs. A great century by Ponting went in vain.
2 centuries but still lost:
Scoring two centuries in one test match could be a real achievement by any batsman. However, happiness is pretty much ruined if your team lose match even after you have scored two centuries in the same game. It happened with Virat Kohli during 2014 series when Kohli score 115 in the first and 141 in the second inning in 1st Test match of 2014 series. However, it ended badly for Kohli as India lost by 48 runs.
Starc tried to rescue his team against New Zealand in a world cup 2015 pool match by taking 6 wickets for only 28 runs. He bowled 42 dot balls in total of 9 overs. However, his efforts were wasted as New Zealand was finally able to achieve a small target of 152 runs in 24th over of the inning.
10 Sixes in T20 match:
West Indies thunder storm, Chris Gayle, is known for bashing huge sixes. He did the same in the 1st group match of 2007 T20 world cup against South Africa. It was an awesome start to the first T20 word cup as Gayle scored brilliant 117 runs inning in just 57 balls. His inning included 10 big sixes and 7 fours. However, he still couldn’t save the match as South Africa went on to chase a massive total of 205 runs.
160 runs from Dilshan:
It was 2009 in Rajkot, when India compiled a huge total of 414 runs in the 1st ODI of India VS Sri Lanka series. In response, Sri lanka also started in a great fashion and its first wicket fell at 188 runs when Tharanga was stumped by Dhoni. Sangakara came to bat with Dilshan and both built upon this great start. However, Sanagakara lost his crucial wicket at the individual total of 90 and team total of 316. Best thing with Sri Lankan point of view was that Dilshan kept on scoring runs. Dilshan went on to score 160 runs in just 124 balls. Dilshan’s delicious inning included 20 4s and 3 sixes.. Dilshan’s great inning helped Sri Lanka to get very near to the target of 415 runs. However, his efforts were in vain as Sri Lanka finally lost by just 3 runs. V. Sehwag got man of the match award for scoring 146 runs in 102 balls.
We have seen a list of 10 brilliant performances from few individuals and whole team when these players excited cricket fans but unfortunately lost the match. However, it must also be kept in mind that true victory is in performing well while winning or losing a game is part of the game. Credit shouldn’t only be given to players when team wins the match. Instead, every individual player and team should be praised for performing well, regardless of the match results.