20) Taijul Islam
Taijul Islam plays for Bangladesh.
He doesn’t necessarily represent a country you would normally associate with giving us great cricketing highlights.
However, this 22 year old left arm orthodox bowler had a day out against Zimbabwe in October.
With Bangladesh protecting just a 14 run lead from the 1st innings, Islam skittled Zimbabwe with 8/39. This kept the visitors score to 114.
The 100 run lead was nearly enough for Zimbabwe, as Bangladesh only won the Test by 3 wickets.
Not content with an 8’fer, Taijul Islam then promptly took a hat trick in his ODI debut.
19) New Zealand Cricket is building
A massive year for New Zealand as they took on all comers in all places.
They stepped into 2014 after a 2-0 Test series win against the West Indies at home in December 2013.
– Drew 2-2 with the WI in an ODI series at home
– Won the subsequent T20 2-0
– Beat India 4-0 in an ODI series at home
– Beat India 1-0 in the home Test series
– Beat the West Indies 2-1 in the away Test series
– Drew the Test series with Pakistan 1-1 in the UAE after Pakistan had walloped Australia 2-0 in the weeks before.
New Zealand haven’t lost a Test series for 18 months.
Their Test batsmen held their own and apart from McCullum, they have Williamson, Latham and Neesham all as young talent ready to build into 2015. Add Ross Taylor and it is a fine top order.
Boult and Southee have gelled into a fiery opening bowling pair. Mark Craig looks like he has plenty to offer and Watling is an excellent keeper / batsman.
Extra points were awarded for allowing Daniel Vettori back into the team for a cameo.
New Zealand only sit 2 points behind India in the Test rankings. They next play the long format of the game in January against Sri Lanka, followed by England in May.
They are a real chance.
18) Zimbabwe beat Australia in an ODI
Was this the biggest upset of 2014?
But it was close.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat. However, Zimbabwe’s spinners put the clamps on and restricted the visitors to 9/209
In the chase, there was always a feeling that Zimbabwe would collapse…..but they didn’t despite Lyon picking up a career best 4/44.
Utseya hitting Starc for 6 to win the match is a moment that many will never forget.
It was 11,406 days since the only other time Zimbabwe had beaten Australia in an ODI.
209 was Australia’s lowest ever score against Zimbabwe when batting first.
Australia probably rued resting Mitch Johnson for the match.
17) The Growth of Women’s Cricket
Was 2014 the year that Women’s Cricket became almost mainstream?
3 Test series were played.
11 ODI Series were held
13 T20 series were battled out including the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Australian and English fans revelled in how the novel Ashes concept worked. Australia won the ODI and T20 2-1, but given it lost the Test, it lost the Ashes.
Meg Lanning became a household name both as a star player and as a commentator.
Ellyse Perry is arguably the best all rounder in the game, irrespective of gender.
The West Indies went on tour and didn’t strike.
Channel Nine in Australia showed some women’s matches live on TV.
Cricket Australia streamed them all on their website.
Now that we have seen it, the general consensus is that we want more of it.
The ICC may be backward in growing the men’s game, but it appears the broadcasters will be forward in growing the women’s game now that they have worked out a hungry audience exists.
16) Angelo Mathews
What a year for the Sri Lankan skipper.
Apart from leading his team to a win in the Asia Cup, a Test series win against Pakistan and a first ever series Test win in England, he produced absolutely amazing figures as a batsman.
Over 1000 runs in the calendar year at 80.30 in Tests.
Over 1100 runs in the calendar year at 66.58 in ODI’s
What more can you ask for?
Well, his team won the T20 World Cup without him.
15) The Netherlands beat England at the T20 World Cup
It didn’t start well for England when they turned up in a uniform that looked exactly like the Dutch one. It was called ‘Solar Red’. Some kind of joke perhaps?
It finished even worse when the Netherlands beat them in the T20 World Cup.
Watch and enjoy.
Especially the comical run out to end the match.
14) Michael Clarke’s 161* at Cape Town
Australia travelled to South Africa to battle for the title of the world’s number Test team.
With the score locked at 1-1, Clarke strode out to bat at Cape Town in the third and final Test
After making only 13, he was struck on the shoulder by Morne Morkel.
His shoulder was broken by the incident.
He was also hit on the head twice and there was fear he had also broken his hand.
He faced a frightful spell of hostile bowling.
However, Clarke fought on…..all the way to 161*
Australia went on to win the Test, the series and the title as the best Test team in the world.
A truly special captains effort
13) Anderson vs Jadeja
In one of the best ‘tit for tats’ seen for many a year, England’s James Anderson and India’s Ravi Jadeja showed us how grade school kids shouldn’t behave.
Anderson was charged with a Level III offence for allegedly ‘pushing and abusing’ Jadeja off the field at Trent Bridge.
The charge carried a possible two Test match ban.
Anderson denied the charges and the ECB quickly retaliated by issuing a Level II charge against Jadeja for taking ‘steps towards Anderson in an aggressive and threatening manner’.
English captain Alastair Cook, who is well known for living in a make believe world, said that “it is probably a tactic from India”.
Anderson was found Not Guilty of the offence due to lack of evidence.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India decided that wasn’t good enough and pressured the ICC to appeal the verdict.
The ICC chose not to appeal.
It all ended in the best way possible, but I’ll tell you about that later.
12) Rohit Sharma makes 264 in an ODI
Sri Lanka got a very late minute call up to play a 5 ODI series in India.
With no preparation and a weak side making the trip, little was expected of them.
However, no one expected that they would allow Rohit Sharma to treat them like witches hats.
His 264 (172) lifted India to a score of 404.
Ok. The opposition was poor and the ground was small. But you still need to get it done.
Rohit Sharma did just that.
11) Brendan McCullum goes bang, Bang, BANG!
The New Zealand captain only made 3 Test hundreds in 2014.
Nothing special I guess.
Well, how quickly we forget that the smallest of those centuries was 202.
He also made a ho hum 224 against India.
However, that was backed up with a New Zealand record 302 in the following match at Wellington.
This eclipsed Martin Crowe’s previous New Zealand record of 299.
He did this while having his ‘confidential’ chats with the ICC’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit regarding Chris Cairns and match fixing leaked all over the media.