The ICC Champions Trophy is just around the corner. What started as ICC KnockOut, it was renamed ICC Champions Trophy in 2002. The tournament is considered the second most important cricket tournament after the cricket world cup. The tournament has had some memorable matches and impressive records, including the last major wins by South Africa and New Zealand. Ahead of the tournament, we look at five most memorable games since its inception.

1)    New Zealand  vs.  Zimbabwe, 1998

This was the time when pre-quarter matches were an integral part of the Champions Trophy. It was the inaugural edition of the tournament, called the Wills International Cup back then, and Zimbabwe was a force to reckon with. Zimbabwe batted first and scored 258 runs in the 50 overs. Captain Alistair Campbell scored a century. 
The Black Caps lost three-wicket and Captain Stephen Fleming and Adam Parore made a 126 run partnership which brought New Zealand’s score to 206 for 3. However, things looked bleak for the Kiwis when they needed 22 runs off the last 12 balls. Chris Harris took charge and along with Alex Tait brought down the required runs to 12 in the last over. Chris Harris hit a last-ball four to reach the total of 260 for five against Zimbabwe’s 258 for 7.

2)    Sri Lanka vs. Australia, 2002

Aravinda de Silva was a batting force to reckon with. The former Sri Lankan captain had helped the Island team to win the 1996 world cup. De Silva was at it again in the semi-final of Champions Trophy 2002 against Australia. Only this time it was with the ball. 

In the spell of ten overs, de Silva gave only 16 runs and claimed Mathew Hayden’s wicket. His spell is considered the second most economical in the history of the tournament. Australia was all out for a measly 162, which the Sri Lanka team chased down easily in 40 overs losing three wickets in the process. Sri Lanka went on to share the winner’s trophy with India after rains compelled ICC to cancel the finals.

3)    England vs. West Indies, 2004

It was the final match for the Champions Trophy, and both teams were desperate for a title win. England batted first and put a score of 217 with a century from Marcus Trescothick. Not a big score for the West Indies and with Brian Lara it seemed evident that the Caribbeans would take home the trophy.
But Andrew Flintoff led an aggressive bowling attack, and the Windies were down to 80 for 5. With the batsmen out the bowlers took it upon themselves to play a steady game. Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw shared an unbeaten partnership of 71 runs for the ninth wicket leading to a surprise win for West Indies.

4)    South Africa vs. Pakistan, 2006

Sometimes all it takes is one man to see your team through. And this time it was the South African pacer Makhaya Ntini. 
South Africa posted only 213 runs with Captain Graeme Smith out for a duck and only Mark Boucher and Justin Kemp crossing 50 runs.
But Makhaya Ntini tore into the opposition’s batting, picking five wickets in his first five overs. Charles Langeveldt and Shaun Pollock bowled the rest of them out with Pakistan posting only 89 runs. South Africa won by 124 runs. 

5)    India vs. England, 2013

The 2013 Champions Trophy was Shikhar Dhawan’s tournament. With just five ODI matches before the tournament, Dhawan had made three centuries. But the final game was all but lost for the Indian side.
In a match that was reduced to just 20 overs, Dhoni’s side had posted only 129 runs on the board amidst great bowling by Ravi Bopara. 
However, R Ashwin and Ravinder Jadeja helped the Indian cause by taking some early wickets. 
The situation looked bad again when Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara steadied the England side. At this crucial moment, Dhoni brought Ishant Sharma for the 18th over. The lanky pacer took both their wickets in on the trot and turned the tide in India’s favour.