An upset in a sport setting is referred when underdogs defeat big teams in a match. Talking about cricket, it will be right to say that once every team was underdog, they came to arena, worked really hard and knocked out big giants to make their name in the game. Hence, some small teams created upsets for big teams in the World Cup and registerd their name in the history books.
Today, we will be looking at underdogs who produced an upset for big teams in an ODI World Cup match. Let’s not waste the time and get right into the list:
Bangladesh vs India, 2007, Port of Spain
The list of upsets in World Cup matches starts with two Asian neighbours. Bangladesh defeated India by 5 wickets in the 8th match of the 2007 ODI World Cup at Port of Spain. India batted first and scored 191 runs in 50 overs. Bangladesh chased down the target with 9 balls to spare.
Mashrafe Mortaza was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4 wickets for 30 runs. Tamim Iqbal top-scored with 50 runs, while Mushfiqur Rahim and Saqibul Hasan also made important contributions.
England vs Ireland, 2011 World Cup, Bengaluru
None so sweet thing for Ireland in cricket than defeating their neighbours England. In 2011 World Cup at Bengaluru, Ireland chased down 327 runs posted by England with 5 balls to spare.
It was an unforgettable knock from Kevin O’Brien who scored 113 off 63 balls, fastest ever World Cup century. Ireland were 111/5 when the Kevin O’Brien started to do the undoable. The memory of that match is still with us.
Kenya vs Sri Lanka, 2003 World Cup, Nairobi
Kenya peaked its rising point when they defeated start studded Sri Lanka in 2003 World Cup. Kennedy Otieno contributed with 60 runs as Kenya posted 210 runs while batting first. Seeing the batting line-up Sri Lanka had, the total looked chasable.
However, Collins Obuya’s five wickets haul broke the backbone of Sri Lankan batting order. Only Aravinda de Silva could show some resistance with 41 runs, rest of the batting order looked amatuer on that day. In 104 ODI matches, Obuya bowled only in 49 innings having 35 wickets to his name.
Pakistan vs Bangladesh, 1999 World Cup, Northampton
When two Asian neighbours came face to face in 1999 World Cup, Bangladesh created an upset for Pakistan. Bangladesh successfully defended 223 against the Pakistani team which had Saeed Anwar, Inzamam Ul Haq, Shahid Afridi and Moin Khan. It turned out to be Bangladesh’s day.
In that match, Saqlain Mushtaq’s 5 wickets haul went in vain, probably one of the best bowling performance in a World Cup match that resulted in a loss. It was Bangladeshi all-rounder Khaled Mahmud who was the pioneer behind this historic win.
Pakistan vs Ireland, 2007 World Cup, Kingston
Once again, Pakistan went off track in a World Cup match and Ireland as unpredictable as ever, created an upset. It was the day when all 6 bowlers from Ireland had a wicket to their name and consequently for Pakistan, they were bowled out for 132 runs.
However, match was tough for both sides. Pakistani bowlers did a good job but unfortunately their effort couldn’t challenge couldn’t put down gritty knock of Niall O’Brien who led Ireland to 3 Wickets victory in D/L decided match.
India vs Zimbabwe, 1999 World Cup, Leicester
An agonising 3 runs loss for India in 1999 World Cup for India at the hands of Zimbabwe cricket team. Flower brothers dominated the game, first both added 113 runs to Zimbabwe’s total of 252 runs. Ajit Agarkar conceded 70 runs in 9 overs that day.
Chasing 253, India were 170 for 4 but a match winning 3-wickets spell from Henry Olonga turned the game on its head and a few tremendous fielding efforts only ensured the Zimbabwean win over tournament favourites India. This was one of the most agonising upsets in the World Cup history.
Zimbabwe vs South Africa, 1999 World Cup, Chelmsford
By that time, it has become obvious that Zimbabwe was a good team that knew how to defend scores. This time around, they defended 233 runs against prime South African team. Hard to believe, isn’t it! Zimbabwean opener Neil Johnson’s 76 runs innings was probably the best batting innings because he faced bowlers like Allan Donald, Lance Klusener and Shaun Pollock.
While defending 233, they had South Africa 40/6 which was a remarkable scene for Zimbabwe but it must have entire South African team in a state of absentmindedness. Only Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener’s 52 runs innings each led South Africa to 185, in the facing 48 runs loss but it could have been worse.
India vs West Indies, 1983 World Cup, Lord’s Cricket Ground
India back then was an underodog team that created an upset for dominant West Indies team in 1983 World Cup finals. It was final of 83 World Cup and India defended 183 by 43 runs. How convenient! That match was a testament of what a team can achieve with freedom at hand.
The 57 runs partnership between Kris Srikkanth and Mohinder Amarnath was probably the match winning cause for India. Later in the second innings, Amarnath went on take 3 wickets for 12 runs in 7 overs.
Ireland vs West Indies, 2015 World Cup, Nelson
This was second time in a World Cup match that Ireland chased down 300+ runs score. This time around, it was younger O’Brien brother who smashed 79 off 60 balls to hunt down the 304 runs target posted by West Indies.
It was an entertaining match. West Indies were 5/87 in 23rd over. From that position, Lendl Simmons’ 84 balls 102 and Darren Sammy’s 67 balls 89 lead them to 304. However, Ireland looked destined to win from get go as Paul Stirling smashed 92 off 84 balls followed by Ed Joyce’s 67 balls 84. What a show of ball striking from both teams.
Canada vs Bangladesh, 2003 World Cup, Durban
First time in cricket history, a team from American continent gave a knockout punch to a relatively giant team. After being bowled out for 180 runs, Canada pulled the brains out of Bangladeshi batting line-up by bundeling them for 120 runs.
Ian Billcliff, a Canada born player who learned his cricket in Otago, scored 42 runs which was substantial contribution given the first innings total of 180 posted by Canada. But it was John Davison who really stole the show with a 5-wickets haul, and put a W after the name of Canada in their World Cup encounters.
These are 10 upsets in men’s ODI World Cup. There is no such thing as big teams having an ultimate edge over small teams, often the overconfidence ruins the party for tournament favourites because they have so much to lose.
On the other hand, small teams don’t carry much pressure, they just want to give their best, unconcerned with results.