Lest we forget

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

NO FURY LIKE A CRICKETER SCORNED (October 28): Many were surprised when reliable opening batsman Simon Katich was denied a Cricket Australia contract. Katich then lambasted the selectors (with his now famous 'if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys') and new skipper Michael Clarke. He attributed his 2009 spat with Clarke as the cause for his axing, and was later officially reprimanded for making the claims.

JAILED ABROAD (November 3):
The murky spot-fixing case of 2010 came to a close this year with Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir receiving jail terms in the UK for conspiracy to cheat and accept corrupt payments. This was not before Butt and Asif faced a criminal trial, the first of its kind for the sport wherein they continued to deny their role in the scandal.

21 FOR 9 (November 10): Australia seemed to have the Johannesburg Test in their pocked when Shane Watson's incredible spell of 5-15 shot South Africa out for 96. What followed was a once-in-a-lifetime event for those who witnessed it. Debutant Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn reduced Australia to 21-9, in danger of beating New Zealand's record of 26. They reached 47, thanks to the last-wicket stand, but lost the Test by eight wickets.

THE 'TIED' DRAW (November 26): India and West Indies competed in what turned out to be the second tied draw in history: the scores were level but India were one run short and nine wickets down when the final ball was bowled at the Wankhede. Ravichandran Ashwin displayed great presence of mind in blocking the penultimate ball to eliminate the possibility of defeat. But he had a brain-freeze on the final ball, not trying to get the second run needed for the win. 'Win or draw' was what Darren Sammy kept shouting to perk up his boys.

THE SLAUGHTER (December 8): Virender Sehwag smashed the world record for the highest ODI score, making 219 against West Indies in Indore. The Indian opener smashed 25 fours and seven sixes, breaking his hero Sachin Tendulkar's record set in February 2010 in Gwalior. Both pitches were prepared by the same curator.

KIWIS SOAR (December 12): New Zealand's astonishing seven-run win in Hobart was their first over Australia in 18 years of Test cricket, and their first in that country since 1985. The defining image of the game was Australia's disappointed No. 11 Nathan Lyon on his hunches, having added 34 runs for the final wicket.


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