CARDIFF, WALES - JUNE 24: Australia batsman Cameron White hits out during the 2nd Natwest One Day International between England and Australia at the Swalec Stadium on June 24, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The third edition of the shortest format’s World Cup brought with it a trip to the Carribean, and Afghanistan’s first appearance on the big stage.

The tournament was played only 12 months after the previous World Cup, with the Champions Trophy which was originally delayed from Pakistan in 2008 being moved due to security concerns, and then shortened to a 20-over format.

Afghanistan became the first affiliate member team to ever play in a top-tier ICC tournament (i.e. ODI World Cup, T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy etc) and were joined by Ireland who made their second appearance in a row after surprising the world to make the quarter-finals just 12 months earlier.

Zimbabwe also made their return after missing the 2009 tournament, with the Netherlands and Scotland both missing out.

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The tournament brought with it some very high-scoring games and close cricket between the world’s best, but was also hampered by plenty of ugly weather during the group stage. Luckily, it cleared for the finals.

It also saw Australia and England both make the final for the first time (and for Australia, so far, the only time), although that became a bit of a non-event as England took home the chocolates.

Here are the top five matches from the 2010 T20 World Cup.


5. New Zealand leave it late to open tournament with win

New Zealand and Sri Lanka were tasked with playing the opening match of the 2010 tournament in a group which always looked as if it was going to be tightly contested.

Sri Lanka would have the honour of batting, although they almost crumbled and fell over the start line, if not for Mahela Jayawardene who scored 81 from just 51 balls.

That aided Sri Lanka along to 6 for 135, but it looked well below par after they were 0 for 35 in the sixth over at one point.

Scoring quickly on many of the pitches at the 2010 tournament seemed something not easily done, with Tim Southee, Nathan McCullum and Daniel Vettori all going at less than four runs per over.

The chase got a whole lot more difficult in the first over though when Angelo Matthews got rid of Brendon McCullum for a duck.

Jesse Ryder held things together with 42 from 27 balls, but a regular fall of wickets had New Zealand looking well short. When Daniel Vettori was dismissed needing three runs from two balls, it looked a tough proposition, but Nathan McCullum was able to hold his nerve and smack the next ball for six to bring up what was a crucial victory in the grand scheme of things.