Last year saw some unexpected results in cricket as we witnessed underdogs emerging victorious against mighties of the game. India’s supremacy in Test cricket, prolific opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, New Zealand becoming maiden World Test Champions, Mumbai-born Ajaz Patel’s 10-fer vs. India in a Test innings, and Australia winning their maiden T20 World Cup were some of the takeaways from the year 2021.
However, the first ten days of 2022 have already delivered few exciting moments and given us a glimpse of what’s in store for cricket lovers this year. We have listed out the top five moments which took place in the first ten days of new year which sets the mood for the year ahead.
5) Shardul Thakur’s 7-wicket haul against South Africa
‘Lord’ Shardul Thakur lived up to thw expectations and did justice to the prefix used in his name by his fans, jokingly. He scalped seven wickets in the first innings of 2nd Test against South Africa, with figures 7 for 61 runs, becoming the only Asian to clinch 7-wickets in a Test inning in South Africa. Although, his record breaking spell went in vain as the team lost the match but Thakur showed what he is capable of.
4) Usman Khawaja’s come back to Test cricket
The Pakistan born batsman waited for a few years to play red ball cricket. However, when he did, the southpaw made sure that everyone heard the knock of his bat. Khawaja became only the sixth Australian to score two centuries in the same Ashes Test match. He shared this feat with the likes of Steve Smith, Matthew Hayden and Steve Waugh. Khawaja picked up the man of the match with returns of 137 and 101*. However, Khawaja’s heroic efforts went in vain as the match ended in a draw.
3) Bangladesh winning their maiden Test match vs NZ in NZ
Bangladesh shocked Tom Latham & Co. by registering their maiden victory against New Zealand in their backyard in any format. The Asian nation recorded their first Test win vs New Zealand, which was also their first win against a top-five Test team away from home. The World Test Champions were out-batted and out-bowled by visitors and it was Ebadot Hossain (7-wickets in match) who helped Bangladesh end New Zealand’s winning streak at home (17 matches unbeaten and 8 successive series wins).
2) Tom Latham’s 252 vs. Bangladesh in the 2nd Test
The opener provided the foundation to the team which New Zealand desperately needed. Having lost the first Test match, Latham (252 off 373) along with Devon Conway (109 off 166) and a cameo from Tom Blundell (57 off 60) guided the team’s total to 521. Bangladesh got bundled down at 152 in the first innings, and were all out while following on the remaining total before Ross Taylor got the last wicket (Ebadot Hossain) of the match on his last ball of Test career. Latham had his hand there too, as he was the one who caught Hossain.
1) Dean Elgar’s gritty knock against India to level the series 1-1
South African skipper Dean Elgar prevented India from scripting history as his gritty knock steered South Africa to a seven-wicket win in the second Test and helped the Proteas level the series 1-1. On the back of Elgar’s 96 off 188 balls, South Africa ended India’s winning streak at The Wanderers. It was an exceptional knock from the skipper in the pressure situation, and Elgar ensured it to be decisive for the team as he also played the winning shot. The 2nd Test also set the mood for the third and ongoing decisive Test in Cape Town.