Top 5 Run-Chases of 2014

Sidharth Gulati / 26 December 2014

2014 witnessed some of the best run-chases across all formats. Let us take a look at the 5 run-chases that topped the charts this year: 

5. ICC World T20 2014: 12th Match, First Round Group B: Ireland v Netherlands at Sylhet – Mar 21, 2014 

Result: Netherlands won by 7 wickets

Orange flavour all over!
What actually happened?
Netherlands were in a must-win situation to qualify for the main round. They won the toss and did the right thing in electing to field so that they could get a proper picture that in how many balls they would have to chase the target. 
Ireland came out to bat and smashed the Netherlands bowlers all round the park to score 189 in 20 overs.
Now, Netherlands had to chase 190 in or inside 14.2 overs to qualify for the main stage and as per the demands, their openers Stephen Myburgh and Peter Borren came out all guns blazing and made 91 runs in the first 6 overs, before both got out in a span of 7 runs. Myburgh scored 63 off 23 balls and Borren smashed 31 runs off 15 balls. Then Tom Cooper and Wesley Barresi smashed a total of 7 sixes in their 61-run partnership for the 3rd wicket in 5 overs to take Netherlands closer to victory. Cooper got out on 45, out of which, 36 came in sixes. Barresi then finished the match in 13.5 and achieved the unachievable for Netherlands. 
4. India v Pakistan Asia Cup match at Dhaka – Mar 2, 2014
Result: Pakistan won by 1 wicket (with 2 balls remaining)
Shahid Afridi sealed the deal for Pakistan with his quick-fire knock
What actually happened?
It was a must-win match for both the teams. India were sent into bat by Pakistan on the slow Dhaka pitch. Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane struggled to find their feat on this slow track. But Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja scored fifties to take India’s total to 245/9 in 50 overs. 
In reply, Pakistan started off well and their top 3 batsmen (Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez) set the tone for the middle-order to finish the match. But Pakistan lost Mohammad Hafeez and Sohaib Maqsood in quick succession and suddenly it looked like India would win the game. With 10 runs required of the final 5 balls and 1 wicket remaining, Shahid Afridi, who was batting on 22 of just 16 balls, hit consecutive sixes of R Ashwin to take Pakistan to the final of the Asia Cup. 
3. Zimbabwe v Australia 4th match (tri-series featuring South Africa also) at Harare – Aug 31, 2014
Result: Zimbabwe won by 3 wickets (with 3 overs remaining)
After Brendon Taylor, Elton Chigumbura became Zimbabwe’s hero to cause an upset two times in 7 years against Australia.
What actually happened?
Australia won the toss and chose to bat. Their openers Aaron Finch and Late Phillip Hughes got out cheaply and none other batsman except skipper Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin scored more than 40 for them. Haddin scored 49 and Clarke left the field when he was on 68 due to a hamstring injury. Australia scored 209/9 in their 50 overs. 
Zimbabwe’s chase started off well as their openers Sikandar Raza and Tino Mawoyo scored 43 runs for the 1st wicket before getting out to Nathan Lyon. Brendon Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza provided some resistance but Zimbabwe lost wickets at regular intervals and at one stage were reeling at 156/7 in 38 overs. But their captain Elton Chigumbura lead from the front and scored an unbeaten 52 to cause the biggest upset of 2014.
2. Australia v England 2nd ODI at Brisbane – Jan 17, 2014
Result: Australia won by 1 wicket (with 3 balls remaining)
Probably the best chase in the ODIs 2014. Australian all-rounder James Faulkner stole the show with his unbelievable knock. 

What actually happened?

After winning the toss and electing to bat, England, lead by Ian Bell’s fifty, started off strongly. Bell got out for 68 before vice-captain Eoin Morgan lead the charge and scored a brilliant hundred. His crucial partnerships with Ravi Bopara and Jos Buttler helped England reach a competitive total of 300. 
Australia’s chase didn’t start off well as they lost their openers David Warner and Aaron Finch in quick succession. Both Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell scored fifties but Australia struggled to build-up their innings and were 244/9 in 44 overs with James Faulkner and Clint McKay at the crease. Out of nowhere, Faulkner played the innings of his life and won the match for Australia. Cool head accompanied with clean hitting! He smashed 5 sixes in the last three overs of Ben Stokes and that changed the course of the match. 
1. Pakistan v Sri Lanka 3rd Test at Sharjah – Jan 16-20, 2014
Result: Pakistan won by 5 wickets (with 9 balls remaining)
The best run-chase of 2014 so far!
What actually happened?
After winning the first Test and a draw in the second Test, Sri Lanka, after winning the toss, played their first innings with a very negative approach. The manner in which they scored 428 runs in 172 overs was docile. 
In reply, riding on Ahmed Shehzad’s ton, Pakistan scored 341 runs in their first innings. In the second innings, Sri Lanka’s batting approach was even more disappointing as in the anxiety to save the match and series, they lost wickets quickly and Pakistan were set a target of 302 runs in the final two sessions of the play, i.e. in 59 overs. 
Both their openers Khurram Manzoor and Ahmed Shehzad gave a good start to their team before both got out for 21 and 27 respectively. Then Azhar Ali, their number 3 batsmen, played a gem of an innings and with a good support from Younis Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed and Misbah-ul-Haq, he scored a century to guide Pakistan home with 9 balls remaining. Azhar scored 103 off 137 balls at a strike rate of 75.18, which was very unlike Azhar. 

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