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 Saturday, 21 December, 2002, 16:16 GMT
Five highs of 2002
Jonty Rhodes and Makhaya Ntini
Ntini (right) helped get SA's 2002 off to a good start

Makhaya Ntini, 1st VB Series final, South Africa v New Zealand

As if an Aussie one-day triangular final without the hosts wasn't special enough, Makhaya Ntini lit up the first match with a stunning performance.

The paceman returned figures of five for 31, inspiring South Africa to an eight-wicket win that they followed up with an equally emphatic win in Sydney.

Ntini's movement off the seam was impeccable, and the Kiwis were effectively snuffed out when both openers succumbed to the quick in the first few overs.

It was the start of a fine year for Ntini, one in which he came of age and eased into the strike bowler's slot made vacant by Allan Donald.

South Africa v Australia Test series

The Clash of the Titans was a Test series to set cricket fans the world over salivating with expectation.

Shane Warne is mobbed by team-mates
Australia cemented their spot at the top of the tree

It followed Australia's triumph at home and gave South Africa chance for swift redemption - not to mention top billing on the ICC Test Championship if successful.

In the end, South Africa were put firmly in their place as Australia won the first two Tests before dropping the dead third by five wickets.

As a contest, the clash probably didn't befit the pre-series hype. But at least it ended debate over who was the best Test team in the world.

Michael Vaughan v 'Allcomers'

Vaughan burned in the English summer, hitting four centuries against Sri Lanka and India to announce his arrival as a world class Test opener.

Michael Vaughan
Vaughan gave bowlers a torrid time in 2002

The Yorkshireman showed he had not stopped progressing with a lovely 177 in Adelaide.

Only Sachin Tendulkar has scored more runs this year, but Vaughan can take top spot if he adds 36 runs or more in the fourth Ashes Test to the 1,325 he has in the bag.

Vaughan is still capable of digging in, but a newborn expansiveness to his strokeplay has unsurprisingly coincided with his advent on the world scene.

And happily for England, his relationship with fellow opener Marcus Trescothick appears an enduring one.

NatWest Series final, England v India

A cracking contest which contained everything that defines the modern one-day game.

Nasser Hussain
Hussain drives his three points home

India chased down 326 in a thrilling match that neither side deserved to lose, but one that England contrived to after a loose bowling display.

With Messrs Tendulkar, Sehwag, Ganguly and Dravid back in the dressing room, England suddenly emptied as Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh helped get India home in the last over.

It was an important away win for India, while England skipper Nasser Hussain's colourful celebration upon reaching his ton - at number three, if you don't recall - was a sight to behold.

West Indies' one-day series win in India

How the West Indies have been missed.

Chris Gayle
Gayle starred for the Windies in India

Not disgraced in the Test series, a young Windies unit covered themselves in glory in the one-dayers and stole the headlines away from the unsavoury behaviour of the crowds.

After Carl Hooper's troops won the first two matches, it all boiled down to the seventh and final game.

A 135-run win in Vijayawada and a series win was no more than they deserved.

Caribbean stars abounded, with Ramnaresh Sarwan averaging over 100 and Chris Gayle winning man-of-the-series honours with 455 runs.

And with young quick Jermaine Lawson promising much, the Windies are all of a sudden live outsiders for the World Cup.

In-depth look back at a wonderful year of sport

Major events


Sport in mourning

Funny Old Year

Sports Personality

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