Lest we forget

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

THE DEFENSIVE TACTIC (January 5): With India smelling their first series win in South Africa and Harbhajan Singh in cracking form, Jacques Kallis came out to bat with excruciating pain in his back in Cape Town. MS Dhoni had a brain-fade and decided to set defensive fields. The result? Kallis made his second hundred of the Test, saved the game and the series. Sachin Tendulkar's epic 146 in the first innings would be forgotten.

ENGLAND END THE HURT (January 7): Andrew Strauss's team whipped Australia 3-1 to retain the most famous urn of them all, ended 24 years of hurt, and celebrated with the sprinkler dance. All three of England's wins were by an innings -- the first time Australia had suffered such an ignominy in any series. It was a team effort by England but the stars for the tourists were Alastair Cook (766 runs) and James Anderson (24 wickets). This humiliation would eventually lead to a complete overhaul of Australian cricket.

THE EPIC TURNAROUND (January 11-15): Wooden spoon winners in 2010, Rajasthan shocked one and all by winning the Ranji Trophy in 2011. A quirk in the tournament rules helped. The Plate Division team had the chance to play the Elite Division knock-out games. Once there, they beat heavyweights like Mumbai, Tamil Nadu and Baroda (in the final) to wrap up an extraordinary season which had begun with them bowling Hyderabad out for 21. (Image: Aakash Chopra)

INDIA'S PERFECT START (February 19): India gave the World Cup the kick-off it deserved. Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli smashed centuries out of Bangladesh, who fell 87 short chasing a massive 371 in Mirpur. [See commentary for in-line video highlights]

THE NERVE-JANGLER (February 27): The two best sides in the world didn't disappoint in a dream clash at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. India, fuelled by Sachin Tendulkar's 120, seemed to have it under control. But Andrew Strauss' incredible 158 took England to the brink. Zaheer Khan's fine spell in the Powerplay shifted the momentum back before two sloppy overs from India helped end the game in a tie. [See commentary for in-line video highlights]

THE UPSET OF THE YEAR (March 2): Ireland all-rounder Kevin O'Brien smashed a 50-ball hundred, a World Cup record, to lead his team to a three-wicket win over England. They were chasing a stiff 328 and looked out of the game before O'Brien started teeing off. His 63-ball 113 and 162-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Alex Cusack (47) set up one of the great upsets of World Cup history.


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