Champions Trophy: Five memorable games

From the Wills International Cup to the ICC Knockout to the Champions Trophy, the tournament that’s widely billed as the Mini World Cup has evolved ever since its inaugural edition in 1998. While there have been many close matches during its seven editions so far, Sportstar picks five memorable games.
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New Zealand vs Zimbabwe, Dhaka, October 24, 1998. New Zealand won by five wickets off the last ball Zimbabwe 258 for seven in 50 overs (Alistair Campbell 100, Andy Flower 77, Geoff Allott three for 54, Alex Tait two for 37) lost to New Zealand 260 for five in 50 overs (Stephen Fleming 96, Adam Parore 52, Chris Harris 37 not out.) It was the opening match of the inaugural edition, the only pre-quarter-final in a nine-team knockout tournament. Thanks to the left-handed duo of captain Alistair Campbell and wicketkeeper Andy Flower’s 118-run partnership, Zimbabwe put up a decent total on board. Once the Kiwi openers perished in single digits, it was up to the New Zealand combination of captain Stephen Fleming and ’keeper Adam Parore to keep them in the hunt. They did, but mind you, it was the pre-T20 era and a double-digit required run-rate would more often than not sound a death-knell for the team chasing. No wonder then that many had expected Zimbabwe to pull off an upset when both the set batsmen were dismissed in quick succession, leaving the lower order to score 43 off 20 balls. But Chris Harris did the seemingly impossible, helping New Zealand overhaul the target with a cameo that featured six fours in 21 balls, including a last-ball drive through the covers to the fence off Neil Johnson when the Kiwis required three to win and two to secure a bowl-out. In the picture, Chris Harris has just cover-driven a four off the last ball of the match, off Neil Johnson, to give New Zealand a dramatic victory.
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South Africa vs West Indies, Colombo, September 13, 2002. South Africa won by two wickets off the last ball West Indies 238 for eight in 50 overs (Chris Gayle 49, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 45, Ramnaresh Sarwan 36) lost to South Africa 242 for eight in 49 overs (Jonty Rhodes 61, Boeta Dippenaar 53, Graeme Smith 33, Mervyn Dillon four for 60, Carl Hooper three for 42). Despite restricting West Indies on a slowish SSC track for a moderate total, South Africa was dealt with a blow at the start of the chase. Having overshot the time limit for completing its quota of overs, it was penalised one over with the bat, according to the rulebook prevailing back then. The West Indies bowling unit did a remarkable job to keep its team in the hunt in the league match which eventually left Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener to score 13 runs off the last over. Pollock scored a six, then perished off the next ball. When Klusener, the finisher, was caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul, South Africa required three runs off the last ball. The next ball was a wide and Nicky Boje ran a bye to level the scores. Then, tailender Alan Dawson’s thick-edge to the third-man boundary helped South Africa win the match. In the picture, the winning stroke by Alan Dawson off Mervyn Dillon.
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India vs Zimbabwe, Colombo, September 14, 2002. India won by 14 runs India 288 for six in 50 overs (Mohammad Kaif 111 not out, Rahul Dravid 71, Virender Sehwag 48, Douglas Hondo four for 62) bt Zimbabwe 274 for eight in 50 overs (Andy Flower 145, Zaheer Khan four for 45). This match will forever remain one of the most fierce battles in the Champions Trophy. Merely two months after pulling off a heist against England in the NatWest Series final at Lord’s, Mohammad Kaif was required to bail the team out of trouble again in India’s tournament opener. When Kaif joined Rahul Dravid at the crease in the 15th over, the top-order had floundered; the middle-order, including Sachin Tendulkar and Kaif’s ally at Lord’s Yuvraj Singh, had disappointed. And India was precariously placed at 87 for five. Kaif and Dravid then did the rebuilding act with precision, before Dravid was run out in the 38th over. Kaif then found a partner in Anil Kumble, who scored an unbeaten 18 off 36 in an unbroken 84-run partnership that helped India pile on a big total. Andy Flower then played perhaps the best knock in a losing cause, registering his personal best before succumbing to Tendulkar in the penultimate over. With a tearaway fast bowler in Zaheer Khan cleaning up the top-order and then coming back to claim the big-hitters, Guy Whittall and Sean Ervine, Flower was left to wage a lone battle, which was always going to end on the wrong side. In the picture, wicket-keeper Rahul Dravid runs out Grant Flower of Zimbabwe. Dravid had earlier been involved in a reviving partnership with Mohammad Kaif.
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England vs West Indies, Final, London, September 25, 2004. West Indies won by 2 wickets with 7 balls remaining England 217 in 49.4 overs (Marcus Trescothick 104, Ashley Giles 31, Wavell Hinds three for 24) lost to West Indies 218 for eight in 48.5 overs (Shivnarine Chanderpaul 47, Courtney Browne 35 not out, Ian Bradshaw 34 not out, Andrew Flintoff three for 38.) The final of the 2004 Champions Trophy proved a humdinger, thanks to a thrilling rescue act by the West Indies tail. Not many would remember that Marcus Trescothick’s century, aided by support from left-arm spinner Ashley Giles (who wasn’t given a bowl) lower down the order, meant England had a total to defend on a chilly day at The Oval. The fast bowling duo of Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison then virtually ran through the West Indies batters. When Shivanrine Chanderpaul succumbed to Paul Collingwood’s seam-up bowling in the 34th over, the Caribbeans were reeling at 147 for eight and England had virtually begun celebrating what would have been its maiden ICC title. But, it was not be, thanks to a memorable 71-run unbroken partnership by wicket-keeper Courtney Browne and all-rounder Ian Bradshaw. In the picture, Ian Bradshaw and Courtney Browne of West Indies pull off a miracle and celebrate even as the Englishmen are downcast in the background.
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England vs India, Final, Birmingham, June 23, 2013 India won by 5 runs. India 129 for seven in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 43, Ravindra Jadeja 33 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 31, Ravi Bopara three for 20) bt England 124 for eight in 20 overs (Eoin Morgan 33, Ravi Bopara 30). With the Twenty20 format having gripped the cricket arena and with both the Test and ODI varieties under threat, it was ironic that the final of the 2013 Champions Trophy was a 20-over-a-side affair! The weather had intervened frequently towards the end of the English summer. And in the final, Ravi Bopara’s off-cutters and offie James Tredwell’s wares on a turning Edgbaston strip meant India’s middle order couldn’t build on a solid foundation laid by the in-form Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. Despite R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja reducing England to 46 for four in the ninth over, Bopara combined with Eoin Morgan to take England to the cusp of victory. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni then took a calculated gamble by re-introducing Ishant Sharma, the most expensive bowler of the day, into the attack. And the move worked as Ishant dismissed both the set batsmen to help India clinch its maiden Champions Trophy. In the picture, India wins the 2013 event after England had looked to have the trophy in its pocket.
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