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The T20 World Cup is now an established tournament on the cricketing calendar but let’s take a look back at the very first edition in 2007.
2007 ICC World T20: The First T20 World Cup
Who Won the First T20 World Cup?
Twelve teams took part in the very first T20 World Cup which was held in South Africa in 2007. India were the winners of the inaugural tournament after the team beat Pakistan in the final. The final itself was a thrilling contest to cap off a memorable competition as India won by the narrow margin of five runs.
The First T20 World Cup Final
Two great cricketing rivals assembled at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg to contest that first T20 World Final organised by the International Cricket Council. Pakistan were the only team to win all three games in the Super Eight section and may have been marginal favourites after India had earlier lost to New Zealand.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup final itself, India won the toss and elected to bat first. The tournament had tended to favour the batsmen and MS Dhoni’s men got off to a fast start thanks to Gautam Gambhir. The opener made 75 from 54 balls but India lost wickets at the other end and no-one could stay with him in the early stages.
Gambhir was out on the final ball of the 18th over with his side’s score at 130. The team needed a late rally and they got it through a young Rohit Sharma who made 30 from just 16 balls. India finished on 157/5 and, in the early days of T20, that was a competitive total.
The star performer with the ball for Pakistan was Umar Gul who took 3/28 in his four overs.
In reply, Pakistan started badly with Mohammad Hafeez being dismissed in the first over. Imran Nazir blasted a rapid 33 from 14 balls while Younis Khan aided the recovery with a run-a-ball 24. Irfan Pathan was proving to be India’s most productive bowler and his 3/16 would see him claim the Player of the Match award.
Pakistan lost wickets steadily and looked out of the hunt before Misbah-ul-Haq made 43 from number six. Misbah was still in when Pakistan faced the final over needing 13 runs to win. Joginder Sharma was India’s nominated bowler and, when his second ball disappeared for six, Pakistan were the new favourites.
Pakistan now needed just six from four balls. The good news was that Misbah remained on strike but this was the final wicket pairing. Having hit that six from Joginder’s second ball, Misbah then scooped the third delivery straight in the air, leaving Sreesanth with a simple catch.
Many felt at the time that this was the most entertaining final match of any international cricket competition. T20 was a new phenomenon at the time but this thrilling climax to a ‘topsy-turvy game had certainly set the standards for tournaments that followed.
T20 World Cup Winners
Pakistan became the second country to lift the ICC T20 World Cup trophy when the tournament came to England in 2009. Led by Younis Khan, Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in the final which was held at Lord’s.
Sri Lanka batted first and set what looked to be a competitive total of 138/6. However, an unbeaten 54 from Shahid Afridi helped Pakistan to win by eight wickets with eight balls to spare.
England won their first ever ICC T20 World Cup when they won the 2010 edition of the T20 World Cup. In an entertaining competition in the West Indies, Australia were the runners up as the final match was held at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Australia took first knock and posted 147/6. Once again, it was a total that looked to be competitive but England were dominant in this international tournament and they chased down that target with a full three overs to spare. Opener Craig Kieswetter took the Player of the Match award with his 63 from 49 balls.
2012: West Indies
Sri Lanka were the host nation in 2012 but they would finish the tournament as runners up. West Indies claimed their first trophy with the final held at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
The West Indies batted first and posted what looked to be a sub par total of 137/6 from their 20 Overs. Sri Lanka chased but were dismissed cheaply for 101 with Sunil Narine claiming the brilliant figures of 3/9.
West Indies player Marlon Samuels claimed the Player of the Match award for his brilliant 78 from 56 balls as his side won by 36 runs.
2014: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka put disappointment behind them as they claimed their first T20 title in Bangladesh in 2014. The final, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka saw the Sri Lankan team up against 2007 winners India.
The Indian cricket team would have to settle for the runners up slot this time after batting first and posting a target of 130/4. Sri Lanka won by six wickets with 13 balls to spare as Kumar Sangakkara made an unbeaten 52.
2016: West Indies
In 2016, the West Indies became the first team to win two T20 World Cups as the International Cricket Council-organised tournament headed to India. The final, at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, would become the most memorable in the history of the ICC T20 World Cup.
England faced the West Indies in that final and posted 155/9. For most of the game, the 2010 winners were coasting to victory until Carlos Brathwaite hit Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the final over to win the game at the death.
Australia won their first ever ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE with New Zealand having to settle for the runners up slot. The tournament venue was switched at the last minute and the Aussies won with the highest ever run chase in a final.
New Zealand posted a target of 172/4 but Australia chased it down with seven deliveries to spare. Mitchell Marsh claimed the Player of the Match award for his unbeaten 77.
Changes Since the 2007 T20 World Cup
Since the T20 World Cup 2017, there have been six subsequent tournaments. The laws of T20 have largely remained the same but there have been some changes to the format of the competition.
12 teams featured in that inaugural T20 World Cup and, by the time the tournament was hosted by the UAE in 2021, that number had risen to 16. Even though the stronger teams tend to enjoy more success, the aim for the International Cricket Council is to grow cricket by involving more of the associate nations.