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T20Is reach a thousand: Revisiting the milestone matches

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T20Is_1000_matches_CricketThe first T20I between India and Bangladesh at Delhi on November 3 was a significant fixture, as it was the 1000th men’s T20I. The first men’s T20I was played in February 2005, and since then the format has evolved at a fast pace – in fact, thanks to the expansion of T20I status to all ICC members, over 25% of all men’s T20Is so far have been played in 2019. In this article, we look at when men’s T20I cricket reached each of its centuries on the way to the four-figure mark.

#1 – New Zealand v Australia, Auckland, 2004-05

Interestingly, the first men’s T20I was played six months after the first women’s T20I. The venue was Eden Park, where Ricky Ponting’s Australians prevailed over the hosts, who famously donned ‘retro’ beige uniforms. Ponting himself starred with the bat, smashing an unbeaten 98 from 55 balls to propel Australia from 54/4 to an imposing 214/5. New Zealand were bowled out for 170, with Scott Styris (66) top-scoring and Michael Kasprowicz taking 4/29.

#100 – Sri Lanka v West Indies, Trent Bridge, 2009

It took men’s T20I cricket more than four years to reach its first hundred. This was a group game of the second World T20, with both teams having already qualified for the Super Eight stage at the expense of Australia. Sri Lankan openers Tillekaratne Dilshan (74) and Sanath Jayasuriya (81) put on 124, laying the base for a total of 192/5. Lendl Simmons was the standout bowler with a haul of 4/19. Despite the effort of Dwayne Bravo (51), the Windies were limited to 177/5.

#200 – West Indies v India, Port of Spain, 2011

India’s 2011 tour of the Caribbean commenced with this one-off T20I at the Queen’s Park Oval. Subramaniam Badrinath (43), playing what would remain as his only T20I, anchored the Indian innings after captain Darren Sammy (4/16) had reduced the score to 56/4. A late surge further boosted India, carrying the total to 159/6. The West Indies struggled to keep up with the required rate, and though Christopher Barnwell struck 34* off 16 balls, they had to be content with 143/5.   

#300 – Australia v Sri Lanka, Melbourne, 2012-13

Sri Lanka were looking to seal the two-match series after a five-wicket win at Sydney. The start was not ideal, as they slipped to 39/3. However, Mahela Jayawardene (61*) put on 63 with Jeevan Mendis for the fourth wicket and 59* with Thisara Perera (35* in 15 balls) for the fifth wicket, lifting the total to 161/4. Rain arrived when Australia were 60/2 in ten overs, revising the target to 122 from 15 overs. The hosts could only reach 119/3, handing Sri Lanka a two-run win.

#400 – India v Sri Lanka, Dhaka, 2013-14

The 400th T20I was incidentally the final of the 2014 World T20, played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. Sri Lanka were in their third final, having finished as runners-up in 2009 and 2012, while India aimed to add to their 2007 triumph. India managed a modest 130/4 after being inserted, with Virat Kohli top-scoring with 77. Sri Lanka’s chase was guided by Kumar Sangakkara (52*), who ensured that the islanders secured a six-wicket win with 13 balls to spare.

#500 – United Arab Emirates v Ireland, Abu Dhabi, 2015-16

The UAE, who would go on to qualify for the Asia Cup T20 in Bangladesh a week later, levelled a two-match series against Ireland with an unlikely win in what was the 500th T20I. Replying to the UAE’s 133/7, Ireland rode on an opening stand of 61 in seven overs between captain William Porterfield (72) and Paul Stirling. But the Emirati bowlers staged an incredible comeback, sending the score crashing from 91/1 to 126/9. The Irish innings eventually terminated at 128/9.

#600 – Afghanistan v Ireland, Greater Noida, 2016-17

A year later, Ireland were involved in the 600th T20I as well, and again finished on the losing side. In what was the second of a three-match series, Ireland posted a competitive 165/5, thanks in main to Stuart Thompson (56) and Gary Wilson (41*). But Afghanistan, who were holding a 1-0 lead, bagged the series by motoring to 171/4 with two overs left. The chase revolved around a second-wicket alliance of 73 between Mohammad Shahzad (47) and Samiullah Shenwari (56).

#700 – United Arab Emirates v Australia, Abu Dhabi, 2018-19

This was the first time that the UAE were facing Australia in a T20I. They lost two wickets for no run, before further falling to 17/3. Shaiman Anwar (41) repaired the damage, and after his dismissal, Mohammad Naveed’s 27* in 13 balls pushed the total to 117/6. Amir Hayat removed captain Aaron Finch in his first over and later also accounted for Chris Lynn to make the score 32/2, but D’Arcy Short (68*) ensured an Australian win by seven wickets with 23 balls to spare.

#800 – Denmark v Italy, Castel, 2019

The ICC’s decision to expand T20I status to all its members came into effect in January 2019 for men’s matches, and as a result, the number of T20Is on the calendar began to increase rapidly. In June 2019, Guernsey hosted the T20 World Cup Europe Regional Qualifier, the fourth round of which saw Denmark pitted against Italy. However, rain caused the game to be called off after Denmark opted to bat. A replay was held two days later, which was won by Denmark by 30 runs.

#900 – Malaysia v Vanuatu, Kuala Lumpur, 2019-20

Trailing by 2-0, Malaysia needed a win to stay alive in the five-match series. The medium pace of Nalin Nipiko (3/22) and the off-spin of captain Andrew Mansale (3/34) helped Vanuatu restrict the hosts to 134/8. But the Malaysian bowlers, led by left-arm spinner Pavandeep Singh (3/12) and left-arm pacer Wafiq Irfan (3/10) did even better – Vanuatu lost their last seven wickets for just 38 to be bowled out for 108 in the 17.1 overs, even as Nipiko top-scored with 42.

#1000 – India v Bangladesh, Delhi, 2019-20

Coming into this match, Bangladesh had not beaten India in a T20I in eight attempts. Shikhar Dhawan scored 41 after the Tigers elected to field, but his innings consumed 42 balls. The last two overs fetched 30, thus enabling India to finish at 148/6. The reply was steered by Mushfiqur Rahim (60* in 43 balls), who put on 60 for the third wicket with Soumya Sarkar and negotiated an equation of 35 off 18 balls to seal a seven-wicket win for Bangladesh with three balls to spare.



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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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