T20 cricket went from unfamiliar new format to World Cup Final in just four years.
The longer limited overs game had taken 12 years to reach the same stage of development. By the time the second men’s tournament was held in England in 2009, T20 matches had become an established part of any international tour and specialists in the format were already beginning to emerge.
The format may have been new, but Pakistan followed their traditional pattern of beginning a tournament slowly, scraping through the two group stages after suffering defeats to England and Sri Lanka. Their semi-final against South Africa at Trent Bridge was a tense contest. Thanks to a splendid all-round performance by Shahid Afridi, who made 51 from 34 balls and then claimed the key wickets of Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers, Pakistan won by seven runs. They got their revenge over Sri Lanka in the final, winning comfortably by eight wickets after three early scalps from Abdul Razzaq reduced the Sri Lankans to 32 for 4 in the sixth over.
The men’s Final was preceded by the women’s Final, as Lord’s hosted a double-header for the fourth time in the tournament. Both England and New Zealand had come through the group stage with 100% records before winning their semi-finals with considerable ease. It would be England’s day, thanks to a superb bowling performance. Only four batsmen made it to double figures and only five boundaries were struck as New Zealand were skittled out for just 85. Opening bowler Katherine Brunt bowled the key spell, claiming 3 for 6 from her four overs. Claire Taylor saw England home with an unbeaten 39.