Lest we forget

Moments to remember 2011 by, and one moment that never arrived

THE WHITEWASH (July-August): The Andrew Strauss-led England took India's No.1 rank with their 4-0 whitewash, their first over them since 1974. The end to India's 19-month reign at the top couldn't have been more shambolic: it was their worst defeat in recent history, and nearly all their front-line players had injuries.

THE MYSTERYMAN STRIKES AGAIN (August 8): Ajantha Mendis took 6-16 against Australia in Pallekele, a new record in T20 Internationals. Chasing 158, Australia were cruising at 71-0 in the sixth over when Mendis unfurled his magical spell to leave them eight runs short.

ZIMBABWE RETURN (August 4-8): After a self-imposed exile from Test cricket in 2005, Zimbabwe cricket is on the mend. On their return to Tests, they beat Bangladesh by 130 runs. The current team lacks the brilliance of the old guard, but the comeback is a start. Their new domestic club structure promises good things.

CHANGE OF GUARD (September 9): Shaun Marsh made 141 on Test debut against Sri Lanka in September and has since replaced Ricky Ponting as Australia's No. 3 batsman. Ponting also lost his captaincy to Michael Clarke, but he was at the helm during Australia's humiliating Ashes debacle as well as the quarter-final loss to India in the 2011 World Cup.

THE TERMINATION (September 19): The BCCI terminated IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala for non-payment of their bank guarantee, ending the Kerala team's shaky association with the cash-rich league after just one season. The franchise was neck-deep in controversy since the day it was bought by a consortium of seven separate entities/investors.

Mumbai Indians won the Champions League Twenty20 with a 31-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final. The Harbhajan Singh-led side suffered injuries to key players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma and Davy Jacobs, and tournament rules were relaxed for them to play an extra overseas player. Lasith Malinga was the differentiator, with both bat and ball.


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