The 2020 T20 World Cup is likely to be postponed. We are dealing with the disappointment by reminiscing about the best matches from past editions.
Australia v Zimbabwe, 2007, group stage
Zimbabwe won by 5 wickets with one ball remaining
In 2007, the Zimbabwe cricket team was still reeling from the mass exodus of players in 2003 for political reasons. They had taken a hiatus from Tests and had not won a single game in the ODI World Cup the same year, so it was not surprising that when they took on four-time world champions Australia in the inaugural World T20, the odds-makers had Australia as 50:1 favourites.
Australia posted 138, with Andrew Symonds and Brad Hodge scoring quick 30s as Prosper Utseya, the Zimbabwe captain, juggled his medium-pacers and spinners effectively on a sluggish pitch. Brendan Taylor was the main man in the chase, getting to 60 not out off 45 balls. With 12 needed off the final over, he swept the first ball for four, leaving four more runs to get from two balls. The penultimate delivery brushed past Taylor's pad and reached the boundary, but not before the entire Zimbabwe dugout was on the field celebrating.
India v Pakistan, 2007, final
India won by 5 runs
After their group-stage match ended in a tie and bowl-out, India and Pakistan met again in the final. The game was another thriller. Gautam Gambhir scored 75, and a 20-year-old Rohit Sharma got a rapid 30 to help India reach 157. Imran Nazir replied with a breathtaking 33 off 14 balls before a direct hit from Robin Uthappa dismissed him and turned the match. India's seamers took regular wickets, but Misbah-ul-Haq kept Pakistan in it. A six off the second ball of Joginder Sharma's final over brought the equation down to six needed from four with one wicket in hand. Misbah went for the scoop, found short fine leg, and India became the first T20 world champions.
England v Netherlands, 2009, group stage
Netherlands won by 4 wickets with 0 balls remaining
Netherlands baffled Lord's in the first game of the second edition of the World T20. England squandered a century opening partnership, reaching only 162. The chase didn't start well, but a rapid half-century stand between Tom de Grooth and Peter Borren put Netherlands ahead of the required rate. Stuart Broad was left to defend six from the last over and nearly did it but made a costly mistake at the end. With two needed from the final ball, he fielded the ball in his follow-through as the batsmen tried to scamper a single to tie the match. Broad went for the run-out but missed the stumps, and an overthrow resulted, giving Netherlands the win. Five years later, Netherlands would repeat the upset, beating England in Chittagong.
Sri Lanka v India, 2010, Super 8s
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets with 0 balls remaining
Sri Lanka were in a tricky spot in their final Super 8s game. An outright win would put them in the semi-final, but they also had the option of simply denying India a win by a big margin and then hoping Australia beat West Indies, which would have put Sri Lanka through on net run-rate. Chasing 164, they went for the more daring option, despite being 6 for 2. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara staged the initial recovery, and then Angelo Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera put together a rapid fifty partnership. Mathews was run-out off the penultimate ball, leaving Kapugedera three to win from the last ball. He stepped out and sent Ashish Nehra sailing over cover for a six to finish on 37 not out off just 16 deliveries.
Australia v Pakistan, 2010, semi-final
Australia won by 3 wickets with 1 ball remaining
"Michael Hussey is an absolute freak" was how Michael Clarke, Australia captain, described this thrilling win that put Australia in their first, and only, World T20 final. The fifties from Kamran and Umar Akmal had given Pakistan an imposing total of 191. Australia floundered in the chase and needed 87 off 45 balls when Hussey joined Cameron White in the middle. White hammered five sixes in his 43, but there was still 53 needed off 21 when he was dismissed. Hussey hit Saeed Ajmal for a six next ball, then got 16 runs in the 19th over, with two boundaries and four twos. There were still 18 runs needed from the final over, bowled by Ajmal. Mitchell Johnson took a single, then Hussey went 6, 6, 4, 6 to win it with a ball to spare. He ended with 60 not out off 24, in what is still considered one of the greatest T20I innings.
West Indies v New Zealand, 2012, group stage
Match tied; West Indies won the Super Over
Super Overs begun haunting New Zealand long before 2019. They actually played their first one ever in the 2012 World T20, and lost it to Sri Lanka. Four days later, they were in the same position, but this time it was more painful as they had been in a strong position in what was a must-win for both sides. They had restricted West Indies to 139 despite Chris Gayle's early surge. In the chase, they had brought the equation down to 27 needed from four overs. Sunil Narine took two wickets for just five runs in his next two overs, and it needed some big hitting from Ross Taylor, who ended with 62, to take the game to the Super Over. Taylor hit more big shots, but West Indies chased down 18 to dump New Zealand out of the tournament.
England v South Africa, 2016, group stage
England won by 2 wickets with 2 balls remaining
After a disastrous 2015 World Cup, England had pledged to radically change their approach to white-ball cricket, and they showed signs of that change by breaking the record for the highest chase in World T20s, getting 230 thanks to Jason Roy's 43 off 16 balls and Joe Root's 83 off 44. They were cantering home, needing one from the final over with four wickets in hand, when a double strike created a bit of late drama. They got home in the end and made it all the way to the final.
India v Bangladesh, 2016, group stage
India won by 1 run
One of the great escapes in modern cricket history. The Bangladesh batsmen were already celebrating when Mushfiqur Rahim hit consecutive fours off Hardik Pandya in the 20th over to leave two to win from three balls. India were on the brink of elimination in the first World T20 on their home patch. Rahim and Mahmudullah just needed singles to give Bangladesh their first T20I win over India. Instead, they both went for big shots and holed out in the deep, leaving Shuvagata Hom to get two off the final ball. Pandya bowled it short outside off, Hom missed, and, as the batsmen tried to steal a bye to tie the game, a nerveless MS Dhoni sprinted to the stumps to effect the run-out.
India v Australia, 2016, group stage
India won by 6 wickets with five balls remaining
In a virtual quarter-final, Australia got off to a flyer, with openers Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch getting 54 off 4.1 overs. They set a target of 161, leaving India with a tough chase on a pitch offering spin and some uneven bounce. Then, Virat Kohli played one of his finest T20I knocks, getting 82 not out off 51. One of the most impressive things about his innings was the seven twos he ran in the Mohali heat. Those kept India in the hunt, but with 43 to get off 19, boundaries were needed. Dhoni got one off Shane Watson, and then Kohli went 4, 4, 6, 2 against James Faulkner to swing the game India's way. Four more boundaries in the next over meant India got home with five balls to spare.
West Indies v England, 2016, final
West Indies won by 4 wickets
"Carlos Brathwaite, remember the name!" Ian Bishop bellowed on commentary as Brathwaite went 6, 6, 6, 6 off Ben Stokes in the 20th over at Eden Gardens to give West Indies their second World T20 trophy. The final was high drama from the off, with England slipping to 23 for 3 early before Root (54 off 36) and Jos Buttler (36 off 22) resurrected the innings and got their team to 155. Root was not done. Given the second over, he got two wickets, including the massive one of Gayle. Marlon Samuels then played one of the great T20I innings, getting 85 not out off 66 as wickets fell around him. But West Indies still needed 19 from the final over, and Brathwaite stepped up to provide one of the most iconic moments of the decade.