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Biggest upsets in Cricket World Cup History
Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties, where anything can happen on any given day. The cricket world cup, which is the biggest tournament in the sport, has witnessed some of the most shocking and memorable upsets over the years. Here are some of the biggest upsets in cricket world cup history,
1. India vs Bangladesh, 2007
This was perhaps the most stunning result of the 2007 world cup, which saw two giants of cricket, India and Pakistan, crash out in the first round. Bangladesh, who were considered minnows at that time, faced India in their opening match at Port of Spain. India won the toss and chose to bat first, but were soon reduced to 72 for 4 by some disciplined bowling from Mashrafe Mortaza and Mohammad Rafique. Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh tried to rebuild the innings, but both fell in quick succession. India were eventually bowled out for a paltry 191, with Mortaza taking four wickets.
Bangladesh started their chase confidently, with Tamim Iqbal smashing Zaheer Khan for three boundaries in an over. Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim then added 109 runs for the third wicket, taking Bangladesh closer to victory. Ashraful scored a brilliant 87 off 83 balls, while Rahim remained unbeaten on 56. Bangladesh won the match by five wickets with nine balls to spare, sending shockwaves across the cricketing world making this one of the biggest upsets in cricket world cup history.
2. Kenya vs Sri Lanka, 2003
Kenya were the surprise package of the 2003 world cup, reaching the semi-finals against all odds. One of their most remarkable wins came against Sri Lanka, who were one of the favourites to win the tournament. The match was played at Nairobi, where Kenya had home advantage. Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to field first, hoping to restrict Kenya to a low score. However, Kenya put up a fighting total of 210 for 9 in their 50 overs, thanks to a gritty knock of 76 not out from Duncan Fletcher.
Sri Lanka seemed to be cruising in their chase, with Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva adding 72 runs for the second wicket. However, once Jayasuriya fell for 39, Sri Lanka collapsed dramatically. Collins Obuya spun a web around the Sri Lankan batsmen, taking five wickets for just 24 runs. Sri Lanka were bundled out for 157 in 45 overs, handing Kenya a historic 53-run win.
3. Zimbabwe vs Australia, 1983
Zimbabwe made their world cup debut in 1983, and stunned everyone by beating Australia in their first match at Nottingham. Australia won the toss and invited Zimbabwe to bat first, expecting to bowl them out cheaply. Zimbabwe lost half their side for 94 runs, but Duncan Fletcher came to their rescue again. He scored an unbeaten 69 and shared a vital partnership of 70 runs with Kevin Curran. Zimbabwe finished with a respectable score of 239 for 6 in their allotted 60 overs.
Australia started their chase well, with Graeme Wood scoring a fluent 31. However, Zimbabwe’s bowlers kept chipping away at the wickets, with Fletcher leading from the front with four scalps. Allan Border was the last hope for Australia, but he was dismissed for 45 with the score at 168 for 6. Rodney Marsh tried his best to take Australia home, but fell short by 13 runs as Zimbabwe pulled off one of the biggest upsets in cricket world cup history.
4. Ireland vs England, 2011
Ireland had already made a name for themselves by beating Pakistan in the previous world cup, but they surpassed that feat by chasing down a mammoth target of 328 against England in Bangalore. England batted first and piled up a huge total of 327 for 8, thanks to centuries from Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott. Ireland lost their captain William Porterfield off the first ball of their innings, and were soon reduced to 111 for 5 by some tight bowling from James Anderson and Graeme Swann.
However, Kevin O’Brien had other ideas. He launched a stunning counter-attack on the English bowlers, smashing the fastest century in world cup history off just 50 balls. He was well supported by Alex Cusack and John Mooney, who added valuable runs in the lower order. O’Brien was eventually dismissed for a breathtaking 113 off 63 balls, but Mooney stayed till the end and hit the winning runs with five balls to spare. Ireland completed the highest successful chase in world cup history, and registered one of the one of the biggest upsets in cricket world cup history.
5. Bangladesh vs South Africa, 2019
Bangladesh continued their giant-killing spree in the 2019 world cup, when they defeated South Africa by 21 runs at The Oval. South Africa won the toss and chose to field first, hoping to exploit the overcast conditions. However, Bangladesh batted superbly, with Soumya Sarkar and Shakib Al Hasan adding 142 runs for the second wicket. Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah then provided the finishing touches, as Bangladesh posted their highest ever ODI score of 330 for 6.
South Africa’s chase never really got going, as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis scored half-centuries, but none of the other batsmen could convert their starts. Bangladesh’s bowlers bowled with discipline and accuracy, with Mustafizur Rahman taking three wickets. South Africa could only manage 309 for 8 in their 50 overs, falling short by 21 runs. Bangladesh celebrated their first ever win over South Africa in world cups, and proved that they were no longer pushovers in the global stage.
6. Ireland vs Pakistan, 2007
This was another shocker from the 2007 world cup, which saw Pakistan crash out of the tournament after losing to Ireland in their second match at Kingston. Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first on a green pitch that favoured the seamers. Ireland’s bowlers exploited the conditions well, with Boyd Rankin and Dave Langford-Smith taking three wickets each. Pakistan were skittled out for a meagre 132, with only Kamran Akmal and Iftikhar Anjum reaching double figures.
Ireland’s chase was not easy, as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Pakistan’s pace trio of Mohammad Sami, Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif kept them in the hunt, but Ireland’s batsmen showed more grit and determination than their counterparts. Niall O’Brien was the star of the show, scoring a gutsy 72 off 107 balls. He was well supported by Kevin O’Brien and Trent Johnston, who hit the winning runs with three wickets and 32 balls to spare. Ireland celebrated their first ever world cup win, while Pakistan mourned the loss of their coach Bob Woolmer, who passed away shortly after the match.
7. Zimbabwe vs South Africa, 1999
Zimbabwe had already proved their mettle by beating India and South Africa in the previous world cups, but they pulled off another stunning victory over the Proteas in 1999 at Chelmsford. South Africa were one of the favourites to win the tournament, and had won their first three matches convincingly. Zimbabwe were also unbeaten, but had played only one match against Kenya. South Africa won the toss and chose to field first, expecting to bowl out Zimbabwe cheaply.
However, Zimbabwe batted sensibly, with Neil Johnson and Murray Goodwin adding 99 runs for the second wicket. Johnson scored a fine 76 off 88 balls, while Goodwin made a solid 54 off 87 balls. Zimbabwe posted a competitive total of 233 for 6 in their 50 overs, with Lance Klusener taking three wickets for South Africa.
South Africa’s chase started poorly, as they lost Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis early. Herschelle Gibbs and Daryll Cullinan tried to rebuild the innings, but both fell in quick succession. Zimbabwe’s bowlers kept up the pressure on South Africa’s middle order, with Heath Streak and Henry Olonga taking two wickets each. Klusener tried to salvage the situation with a blistering 52 off 45 balls, but he ran out of partners as South Africa were bowled out for 185 in 48.4 overs. Zimbabwe won by 48 runs, handing South Africa their first defeat of the tournament making it one of the Biggest upsets in Cricket World Cup History.
These are some of the biggest upsets in cricket world cup history, that have shown that cricket is a game of unpredictability and passion. These matches have also proved that no team can be taken lightly, and that any team can beat any team on their day. These upsets have also added to the excitement and drama of the world cup, and have given the fans some unforgettable moments to cherish.
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