Winning and losing is a part of every sport. Though everyone wants to win, there are always instances when even the best of sides end up on the losing side.
A look at 5 such instances which are termed as the most emotional moments in cricket history as it caused heartache to many a cricket fans around the world.
#1 India vs Pakistan, 2007 T20 World Cup Final
It is the story which has shaped the present and future of Indian Cricket.
Gautam Gambhir top-scored for India with a well compiled 75 and set a target of 158 for Pakistan. Fans were left teary-eyed as then skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq put his hand up and was almost about to single-handedly take Pakistan to victory, before suffering a brain fade in the final over to hand India the cup. It remains one of the most emotional moment of Cricket history till now.
#2 Death of Phillip Hughes
Phillip Hughes was a dashing young batsman, who was being touted by many as the future of Australian cricket. Having had an impressive start to his career at the junior level, Hughes had very smoothly made the transition to senior cricket.
However, the promising cricketer’s life was cut short in a Sheffield Shield game against New South Wales. When batting on 63, a bouncer from Sean Abbott felled him and he collapsed on the field. Hughes was never to wake again and he succumbed to his injuries two days later, putting an end to a brief yet promising career.
#3 Attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket Team
On the morning of March 3rd, 2009, the Sri Lankan cricket team left their hotel to travel to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the start of the third day of the 2nd Test match against Pakistan.
Sri Lanka had posted 606 in their first innings courtesy a double hundred from Thilan Samaraweera and hundreds from Kumara Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Pakistan had finished the previous day at 110 for the loss of one wicket, with Khurram Manzoor batting undefeated on 59 runs. Little did the players on either side know that the short trip from the hotel to the stadium was going to be a harrowing one which would put a stop to international cricket in Pakistan for a long time.
As the team bus moved through the streets of Lahore, it was targeted by terrorists who used Rocket Propelled Grenades, hand grenades and guns to attack it. It was the sheer presence of mind of the bus driver that saved the day. Despite getting shot, he was able to drive the bus to safety and avoid further casualties. The match was abandoned and Sri Lanka returned and have not played a Test match in Pakistan again.
#4 South Africa vs Australia, World Cup ’99 Semi-final
South Africa, chasing 214 in 50 overs for a place in the final to be played at Lord’s, found themselves needing 9 off the last over to win. Fleming had the ball and Klusener was on strike.
Klusener belted the first two balls of the over for boundaries to bring the Proteas to within touching distance of a victory. The next two balls though went in favour of the Australians. After nearly getting run-out the ball before, Allan Donald was left ball-watching as Klusener hit the ball to mid-off and charged away to claim a non-existent single.
In a moment of chaos which resulted in Donald getting run-out, the game ended in a tie, sending the Aussies on the way to the final by virtue of having finished higher in the Super 6 stage.
#5 South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2003 World Cup, Group Stage
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that South Africa are the “Bad Luck Brian” of World Cup cricket. The World Cup is a stage where misfortune has more often than not been a part of their journey. Another year, another World Cup and Lance Klusener at the crease. It was an unhappy moment of deja-vu for the Proteas, who were still smarting from the failure at the 1999 World Cup in England.
Set a target of 269 by the Lankans, South Africa finished at 229 for 6 after 45 overs. Rain prevented further play, and the match ended in a tie as adjudicated by the Duckworth-Lewis method. Mark Boucher and Klusener miscalculated the DL par score required to win the game, with the Proteas falling short by a solitary run, resulting in the match ending in a tie. The result meant New Zealand progressed to the Super 6 stage and South Africa were knocked out of the tournament at home, the quest for an elusive World Cup trophy still on.