23 April 2014
ICC Cricket World Cup Top Ten: Biggest Upsets
One of the things that makes the ICC Cricket World Cup so special is the upsets and surprises that happen throughout the tournament. There is something about being on cricket’s grandest stage that lifts players up and draws teams together when taking on more favoured opposition.
In 2011, Ireland achieved the highest successful chase in the tournament’s history.
1: Ireland beat England by three wickets, 2011
In a remarkable game between two of sport’s oldest rivals, outsider Ireland looked to be down and out after England posted an imposing total of 327 on a slowing Bangalore wicket.
After losing a wicket on the first ball, Ireland stumbled through to 106-4 when burly all-rounder Kevin O’Brien came to the crease.
With the game seemingly out of Ireland’s reach, O’Brien went on an all-out assault on England’s bowling. After two hours at the wicket, O’Brien departed having hit 113 from just 63 balls, including the fastest century in ICC Cricket World Cup history - off just 50 balls.
When John Mooney hit the winning runs with five balls to spare, another record had been broken – the highest successful chase in the tournament’s history.
2: New Zealand beat Australia by 37 runs, 1992
Coming off the back of a series loss to England and taking on the reigning champion, New Zealand was written off in the opening match of the 1992 tournament at Eden Park.
After losing three early wickets, New Zealand captain Martin Crowe ignited the tournament with a masterful unbeaten century as New Zealand posted 248.
Australia never got going on Eden Park’s slower surface and once David Boon was run out for 100 from a Chris Harris direct hit, the game was out of reach for the visitors.
The 37 run win kick-started a seven match winning streak which led New Zealand into a home semi-final against Pakistan.
In a rematch off the 1992 game, New Zealand and Australia will face-off at Eden Park on 28 February 2015. Click here for information on ticketing.
3: Zimbabwe beat India by 3 runs, 1999
After beating Kenya in its first game of the 1999 tournament, a win over India was vital to give Zimbabwe a chance of progressing past pool play for the first time.
The Flower brothers made strong contributions, Andy reaching 68* and Grant 45, as Zimbabwe got through to a total of 252 in the first innings.
Even though India was docked four overs for a slow over rate, it was in control of the match with nine runs required from the final two overs - until Henry Olonga returned to the bowling crease.
In a match-winning turn, Olonga picked up three wickets in six balls to lead Zimbabwe to a win by three runs.
4: Kenya beat West Indies by 73 runs, 1996
In the shock of the 1996 tournament, Kenya upset two-time champion West Indies with one of the greatest bowling performances seen by an Associate side.
Having been bundled out for 166 on a spin-friendly surface, Kenya needed a strong start from its pace bowlers, and got it, as West Indies was reduced to 35-4 before the introduction of Maurice Odumbe’s spin.
Odumbe was unplayable as he picked up the scalps of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams and Roger Harper to end with 3-15 off 10 overs.
When Cameron Cuffy departed, West Indies was all out for 93 and Kenya had its first-ever win in a One-Day International.
5: England beat India by 35 runs, 1987
England went into its 1987 semi-final against host-nation India as a rank outsider. India was the reigning tournament champion and top qualifier from the pool stage, whereas England had scrapped its way into the semi-finals and looked vulnerable after two losses to Pakistan.
Having been sent into bat, Graham Gooch (115) and Captain Mike Gatting (56) led the way as England posted a competitive 254. The two experienced hands played steady knocks, negating the potent Indian spin attack by sweeping and playing the ball late.
In reply, India was rocked early when star Sunil Gavaskar was bowled by Phil DeFreitas. Despite a stylish 64 by Mohammad Azharuddin, the home side never recovered and fell to a 35 run loss as England sealed a place in the final and revenge for the loss it suffered to India in the 1983 semi-final.
6: Ireland beat Pakistan by 3 wickets, 2007
Having already tied with Zimbabwe in its previous pool match, Ireland needed an unlikely victory over Pakistan to progress to the knockout stage of the tournament for the first time.
Fittingly played on St Patrick’s Day, Ireland started strongly by reducing Pakistan to 72-6 before dismissing the powerhouse for 132. Although the wickets were shared around, Andre Botha was the standout with figures of 2-5 off eight overs.
In a tense chase, Pakistan speedster Mohammad Sami knocked the top off the Ireland order before wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien dug in for 72 as wickets fell around him.
At 113-7, Pakistan was poised to deny Ireland a famous victory before future hero Kevin O’Brien hit an unbeaten 16 to see Ireland home and Pakistan crashing out of the tournament.
7: Kenya beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs, 2003
In handing Sri Lanka its only pool loss at the 2003 tournament, Kenya not only made a giant stride towards a semi-final berth but also gave inspiration to all other Associate teams hoping to shine on cricket’s biggest stage.
Playing on home soil in Nairobi, opener Kennedy Otieno resisted the Sri Lanka bowlers to top score with 60 as Kenya was dismissed for 210, with Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralidaran picking up seven wickets between them.
In response, Sri Lanka seemed to be cruising to victory at 70-2 until Collins Obuya came into the attack.
In one of the great spells of leg-spin bowling in the tournament’s history, Obuya left Sri Lanka in tatters with figures of 5-24 off 10 overs to help Kenya to an impressive 53 run victory.
8: Bangladesh beat India by 5 wickets, 2007
India had the superstars, with the side stacked with world class players and the expectation of a billion people on their shoulders. Bangladesh was young, inexperienced and seen as nothing more than a sparring partner for mighty India.
By the end of the game, India’s ICC Cricket World Cup campaign was in disarray and Bangladesh was celebrating one of its most ruthless and clinical victories.
India was soon in trouble after electing to bat first on a lively surface. Bangladesh pace bowler Mashrafe Mortaza ripped through the India top order on his way to claim 4-38, while spinners Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Rafique picked up the other six wickets to see India all out for 191.
In response, Bangladesh youngster Tamim Iqbal blazed a quick-fire half-century to set up a comfortable five wicket victory for Bangladesh.
9: Zimbabwe beat Australia by 13 runs, 1983
Playing in its first official One-Day International, Zimbabwe was given no chance of competing against an Australia side stacked with legendary names like Lillee, Thomson, Border, Hookes and Marsh.
But someone forgot to tell Zimbabwe captain Duncan Fletcher as he top-scored with an unbeaten 69 in Zimbabwe’s innings before playing a leading hand with the ball.
Chasing 240 to win, Fletcher again played tormentor with four wickets as Australia fell 13 runs short to hand Zimbabwe a historic victory.
10: Sri Lanka beat India by 47 runs, 1979
Sri Lanka showed the world a glimpse of what lay ahead when it became the first Associate side to win a game in ICC Cricket World Cup history.
Batting first, Sri Lanka racked up 238 with half-centuries by Sunil Wettimuny, Roy Dias and Duleep Mendis. India started strongly in reply, reaching 60-0 before Sunil Gavaskar was dismissed to trigger a collapse.
From there, Sri Lanka pounced, with leg-break bowler Somachandra de Silva deceiving the India batsmen to pick up 3-29. India was eventually dismissed for 191 to give Sri Lanka a remarkable 47 run victory.
Who do you think will cause the upsets and boil-overs at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015? Join the conversation and let us know on one of our official channels, simply use #cwc15.