Compared to 145 One Day Internationals played in 2011 (mainly due to the World Cup), there were only 90 in 2012. But the year had its share of bilateral series in spite of the many voices pointing out the redundancy of 50-overs cricket. It was a good year for T20 internationals too, with 82 matches played including the fourth edition of the World Twenty20. Let us look at the highlights and moments in limited-overs cricket in 2012:-
One Day Internationals
– Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara (1184 runs) and Lasith Malinga (47 wickets) finished as the highest run-scorer and highest wicket-taker respectively in ODI’s in 2012.
– Chasing South Africa’s 301/8, Sri Lanka were bundled out for just 43 at Paarl in January. This was Sri Lanka’s lowest ever ODI total, and the joint-fourth lowest by any team. The 258-run defeat was Sri Lanka’s biggest, and the third worst by any team in ODI’s.
– Afghanistan played their first two ODI matches against full members – they lost to Pakistan by 7 wickets at Sharjah in February, while they lost to Australia by 66 runs at the same venue in August.
– The year recorded two tied ODI’s – India v Sri Lanka at Adelaide in February and Australia v West Indies at Kingstown in March. These were the 26th and 27th instances of tied ODI’s respectively.
– England recorded their best winning streak in ODI’s, winning 10 consecutive completed ODI’s from February to July, which included 4-0 defeats of Pakistan in the UAE and of Australia at home.
– Pakistan won their second Asia Cup title after 2000, after they defeated hosts Bangladesh by 2 runs in a thrilling final at Mirpur. India and Sri Lanka, the finalists of 2010, failed to make it to the final this year. The 2-run loss in the final of Bangladesh’s closest in ODI’s.
– Sohag Gazi took 4/29 on debut against the West Indies at Khulna in November, recording the best ODI figures on debut by a Bangladeshi. The earlier record was held by Rubel Hossain, who took 4/33 against Sri Lanka in 2008-09.
– There were two ODI hat-tricks recorded in the year – Daniel Christian of Australia against Sri Lanka at Melbourne in March, and Thissara Perera of Sri Lanka (incidentally, Christian’s first hat-trick wicket) against Pakistan at Colombo in June.
– Bangladesh recorded their best ever ODI victory, when they trounced the West Indies by 160 runs at Khulna in December. Their earlier best was a 146-run win over Scotland in 2006-07.
– With one game still to go in the year, Martin Guptill of New Zealand (472 runs) and Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan (25 wickets) are the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker of 2012 respectively.
– The fourth ICC World Twenty20 was held in Sri Lanka in September-October. The West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 36 runs in the final at Colombo to become the T20 champions. Marlon Samuels’ 78 and Ajantha Mendis’ 4/12 in that match were both new records for a World Twenty20 final. Shane Watson of Australia was named Player of the Tournament.
– The year saw two primary individual records broken in the World T20 – Brendon McCullum of New Zealand scored the highest ever individual score in a T20I, making 123 against Bangladesh at Pallekele; while Ajantha Mendis took 6/8 against Zimbabwe at Hambantota to record the best ever bowling figures in a T20I, breaking his won record. McCullum also became the first player to score two T20I hundreds, and his innings constituted 64.39% of his team total – a new record.
– South Africa’s Richard Levi scored the fastest T20I hundred off just 45 balls, en route to an unbeaten 117 off 51 balls against New Zealand at Hamilton in February His innings was also the joint-highest individual score in T20I’S until Brendon McCullum broke the record with his 123 (see above). Levi’s 13 sixes in that innings became a new record for the most sixes by a player in a T20I innings.
– Pakistan’s total of 74 against Australia at Dubai in September was the joint-lowest team total by a full member nation in a T20I.
– South Africa became the first team to record five 200+ totals in T20I’s when they scored 219/4 against India at Johannesburg in March.
– Ireland’s ten-wicket win over Kenya at Dubai in March was achieved with 76 balls to spare – the biggest ever victory in T20I’s in terms of number of balls remaining.
– India scored their biggest T20I win when they defeated England by 90 runs at Colombo in September. They had until then never recorded a win by a margin of more than 50 runs.
– Elias Sunny of Bangladesh recorded the best ever bowling figures by a debutant in T20I’S when he took 5/13 on debut against Ireland at Belfast in June, breaking Ajantha Mendis’ record of 4/15 against Zimbabwe in 2008-09.
– Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson added 137 for the third wicket for New Zealand against Zimbabwe at Auckland in February – a new record for the highest 3rd wicket partnership in T20I’s.
– There were three tied T20I’s in the year – Australia v Pakistan at Dubai (super over won by Pakistan), Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Pallekele (super over won by Sri Lanka) and New Zealand v West Indies at Pallekele (super over won by West Indies).