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Top 10 cricket moments of 2017

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Top_10_cricket_moments_year_20172017 was a year filled with incredible sporting events that caused a wide array of feelings. Some nail biting matches were played and mind blowing performances witnessed. Here are the top 10 cricketing moments of the year.

10) Australia regain the Ashes

The fight for the urn between Australia and England is still one of the most significant rivalries in cricket. The series is still going on, but Australia gained an unassailable lead in the first three Tests itself.

The Aussies managed to pull off a splendid 10 wicket victory in the first Test at Brisbane, riding on Steve Smith’s fantastic knock of 141. The second Test was a day/night affair at the Adelaide Oval where Shaun Marsh’ brilliant hundred powered Australia to 442/8. After England got all out for 227, Anderson and Woakes ran riot, restricting Australia to 138 in their second innings. Chasing a target of 354, England seemed on course for a while before Starc and Hazlewood wrapped them up on Day 5, leading to a 120 run victory.

The third Test, the last at the WACA, was a run fest. England’s innings saw centuries from Malan and Bairstow before a collapse restricted them to 403. Australia slammed a massive 662/9 in response, featuring a double century by Smith and a formidable 181 by Mitchell Marsh. England failed to overcome the deficit and succumbed to an innings defeat as Hazlewood picked up a 5 wicket haul. Australia thus sealed the series with a 3-0 lead.

9) Rashid Khan spins a web around the Windies

Weaving his magic at St Lucia, Rashid Khan finished with stupendous figures of 7/18 in an ODI game against the West Indies. The leg spinner has been creating a furor in the cricketing universe with his tricks and this amazing spell was proof of the same. The teenager didn’t waste any time as he struck twice in his first two balls.

The 19 year old struck twice again in his next over. The West Indies were reduced from 68/2 to 70/6 within a space of two Rashid overs. He went on to take three more wickets as the West Indies were bundled out for 149 in response to Afghanistan‘s 212/6. These were the fourth best figures in an ODI.

8) Amazing Hat tricks

Moeen Ali

For the first time in almost 60 years, a Test match ended with a hat-trick. Moeen Ali grabbed the honors as he ended the third Test against South Africa with three wickets in as many balls. The off spinner snared Dean Elgar, Rabada and then Morkel in the first delivery of his next over.

Kuldeep Yadav

After having been struck for two consecutive sixes off Glenn Maxwell, Kuldeep Yadav came back to take a marvelous hat-trick. He sent the trio of Wade, Agar and Cummins packing, becoming only the third Indian to grab a hat-trick. For a player who made his debut just a couple of months ago, taking a hat-trick at this stage is phenomenal.

7) India’s dominant run post CT17

The defending champions were blown away by arch rivals Pakistan in the final of the Champions Trophy. However, what followed was a season filled with Indian victories and pure domination in all departments. They ended the season unbeaten in the last 9 series. The streak began as India decimated Sri Lanka at their own backyard in all the three formats.

The Men in Blue completed a clean sweep over the islanders, not losing a single game in the tour. India followed it up with wins in the ODI series against Australia and New Zealand. While Australia leveled the T20I series, the Kiwis lost 2-1. Sri Lanka came to India for a reverse tour. Though fought back this time, they still ended up losing in every format. By the end of 2017, India was ranked No.1 in Tests and No.2 in both ODIs and T20Is.

6) Bangladesh’ first test win against Australia

History was created at Mirpur as Bangladesh registered their first ever Test victory against Australia. Shakib Al Hasan’s magnificent 84 followed by a ten wicket haul in the game sealed the win for the Bangla Tigers. On a pitch offering turn, Australia’s struggle against spin continued.

Chasing 265 for victory, Australia were cruising at 158/2. David Warner had slammed his 19th Test century. Once he got out, a flurry of wickets followed as the Australian middle order collapsed. Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam managed to turn the tables as the visitors fell 20 runs short of the target, handing Bangladesh their maiden win against the Aussies.

5) World XI Tour of Pakistan

An attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2008 led to the complete isolation of Pakistan as a host country. The World XI tour was seen as a series which may pave the way to bring international cricket back to the country. The PCB left no stone unturned in making it a grand event as Lahore was full house for all the three games.

Many Pakistani players got a chance to represent their team at home for the first time. A World XI led by Faf Du Plessis, including renowned players like Hashim Amla, George Bailey and Thisara Perera, took on Pakistan in three T20 internationals. The hosts went on to win the T20I series 2-1, but it was a proud moment for the fans.

4) Rohit Sharma blitz 208 (153)* & 118 (43)

If 2017 was Rohit Sharma’s year, then December was the icing on the cake.

The whole world was awestruck when Rohit Sharma first struck a double century. At many grounds, it would be a winning total and Rohit Sharma made it all alone. Hitman, as he’s known, did it a third time in 2017 against Sri Lanka. Scoring 208 runs from 153 balls, Rohit Sharma set the stage on fire with 12 sixes and 13 fours, carrying the bat through the Indian innings.

If the double hundred in the One Day Internationals wasn’t enough, Rohit slammed the joint fastest century in T20 Internationals. He transcended into a state of demolition from the first over itself. Hitting 10 sixes and 12 boundaries, Rohit blasted the Sri Lankan bowlers. India went on to post their highest T20 total of 260/5.

3) Women’s World Cup

2017 will always be remembered as the year which witnessed a significant change in women’s cricket. Some nail biting games, show stopping performances with bat & ball, and the electrifying atmosphere in the Women’s World Cup kept the viewers glued to their screens. England recorded their third World Cup victory as they defeated India by 9 runs. Over 180 million people witnessed the final over the globe.

While it was a disheartening defeat for India, they held their heads high after a splendid performance in the tournament. The fact that the Indian Women’s team reached the final grabbed the World Cup more eyeballs. Heroes emerged from the tournament, including Harmanpreet Kaur, Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami. All of them gained due recognition in India following their exploits.

2) Sir Smith & King Kohli

Smith vs Kohli is like the early days of Ponting vs Tendulkar. While Steve Smith has set batting standards in Test cricket that are probably unmatchable, King Kohli shown that the excellence he exhibits with the bat in the limited overs does in fact extend to Test matches.

Both just keep getting better. Steve Smith currently boasts the second highest Test average i.e. 62.73 after Don Bradman’s 99.94 (min. 20 innings). The Australian skipper topped the Test batting charts in 2017 with 1,228 runs in the longest format at an astounding average of 72.73 with five centuries.

As for Virat Kohli, no target on the board seems unachievable as long as this man is on strike. Slamming 6 centuries and 7 fifties in ODIs, Virat has been the highest run-scorer in One-Day Internationals in 2017. In the same format, he has aggregated 1,460 runs at the phenomenal average of 76.84.

1) Champions Trophy final: Pakistan vs India

A dream finale was the crowning glory of a tournament which saw a number of major surprises. The Kennington Oval was packed and vibrant as it savored the biggest rivalry in the cricketing world: India vs Pakistan. In front of a full house, it was a spectacle that only a few other sporting showdowns can rival.

Pakistan got off to a blazing start. Opener Fakhar Zaman replicated his masterclass with an elegant 114 after having been given a life by Bumrah’s no ball early in the innings. Pakistan posted a massive total of 338/4. The Men in Blue never recovered after Mohammed Amir removed the top 3 of their batting lineup. Pakistan recorded a sensational 180 run victory as they lifted their first Champions Trophy title.

 

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