Cricket highlights of 2023: A year full of thrills, records, and unforgettable moments.

As 2023 bids farewell, cricket enthusiasts reflect on a year that delivered thrilling contests, record-breaking performances, and unforgettable moments. Dunya News takes a look back at some of the key highlights that left an indelible mark on the cricketing world.

  1. Australia Clinches Sixth World Cup Title: In the ICC ODI World Cup final, Australia defeated India by six wickets in Ahmedabad, securing their record sixth World Cup trophy. Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne played pivotal roles in Australia’s successful chase after their bowlers restricted India to 240 runs.
  2. Maxwell’s Magical Knock in Mumbai: Facing a potential upset against Afghanistan, Australia found themselves at 7-91 while chasing 293 for victory. Enter Glenn Maxwell, who, despite severe cramping, launched a remarkable counter-attack, hitting sixes into the crowd. His double century and the winning runs showcased one of the greatest ODI knocks in cricket history.
  3. England’s Heartbreak in One-Run Loss to NZ: In a thrilling match in Wellington, England enforced the follow-on against New Zealand. The Black Caps set a target of 258 runs, and the match concluded in nail-biting fashion as England fell short by just one run, with Neil Wagner dismissing tailender James Anderson.
  4. NZ’s Miraculous Victory by Centimeters: In Christchurch, New Zealand achieved a miraculous victory against Sri Lanka, chasing the 285-run target on the final ball of day five with two wickets in hand. Kane Williamson and Neil Wagner secured a desperate bye, ensuring a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.
  5. Australia’s Triumph in WTC Final: The Australian men’s team made history by claiming their first World Test Championship trophy at The Oval. Travis Head’s superb 163 set up the win, and the bowling attack dismissed India twice for under 300, resulting in a 209-run victory.
  6. Cricket Granted Olympic Nod: The International Olympic Committee added cricket to the 2028 Los Angeles Games, marking its return to the Olympics after last appearing in 1900. The T20 version of the game is likely to feature six teams for both men and women.
  7. Mathews’ Timed Out Moment: In a World Cup group game between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Angelo Mathews became the first player in international cricket to be dismissed timed out. His helmet strap broke, leading to a timed-out dismissal after Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan appealed.
  8. Bairstow’s Controversial Dismissal in Ashes: Jonny Bairstow’s controversial dismissal in the second Ashes Test sparked unprecedented rage from the Lord’s crowd. The incident, where Bairstow was given out after leaving his crease, led to heated debates and spectator abuse directed at Australian players.
  9. Mushfiqur Rahim’s ‘Obstructing the Field’: In the second Test against New Zealand at Mirpur, Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladesh batsman to be dismissed for obstructing the field. His attempt to keep the ball away resulted in a unique dismissal.
  10. Afghanistan’s Stunning Victories: Despite a shaky start in the World Cup, Afghanistan bounced back with victories against England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands. While they couldn’t secure a semifinal spot, their impressive performances captured attention.
  11. Virat Kohli’s 50th ODI Century: In the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, Virat Kohli achieved a historic milestone by scoring his 50th ODI century, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record. Kohli’s accomplishment highlighted his consistency and dominance in the format.
  12. Australia Claims Sixth Women’s T20 World Cup: The women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa saw Australia clinching their sixth and third consecutive title by defeating the hosts South Africa in the final by 19 runs.
  13. Ash Gardner’s Heroics in Women’s Ashes Test: All-rounder Ash Gardner’s stellar performance in the women’s Ashes Test saw her taking 12 wickets for the match, including 8-66 in the second innings. Her exceptional haul played a crucial role in Australia’s victory.

As the sun sets on 2023, these moments stand as a testament to the passion, drama, and excellence that cricket brought to fans around the world.