Sunday, February 15, 2015

Minnow's Day Out - World Cup Upsets

In 40 years of World Cup cricket, spanning over 350 games we have had just a dozen odd real upsets. For the purpose of this post an upset has been defined asany nation outside of the Top 8 (Aus, NZ, Ind, SL, Pak, SA, WI, & Eng) beating one of the top 8. The close calls were Zimbabwe's victories over India and South Africa in 1999 as they were in their best form at that time and not sure if they counted as minnows anymore.

Having watched 10 of these 12 games so far I will pick two that stand out for a couple of reasons. The biggest upset in terms of shock value would be rank outsiders, Kenya, playing in their first world cup (not considering East Africa in the late 70s), beating once superpower West Indies in 1996. In terms of the quality of cricket played by the so called minnow I feel the clear winner is Ireland's toppling of England's impressive 325 in the 2011 edition. It remains the only upset with the less fancied team chasing a score of 300+. Will continue to update this list.

All photos are courtsey ESPNCricinfo.

1. 1983 (Jun-9): Zimbabwe 239/6 beat Australia 226/7 by 13 runs [Scorecard]

Zimbabwe celebrate their surprise win over Australia in their first ODI, Australia v Zimbabwe, World Cup, Trent Bridge, June 9, 1983
2. 1992 (Mar-18): Zimbabwe 134/10 beat England 125/10 by 9 runs [Scorecard]

Eddo Brandes gets rid of Graeme Hick, England v Zimbabwe, 1992 World Cup, Albury

3. 1996 (Feb-29): Kenya 166/10 beat West Indies 93/10 by 73 runs [Scorecard]

Wicketkeeper Tariq Iqbal and Aasif Karim celebrate as Brian Lara is caught behind off the bowling of Rajab Ali, Kenya v West Indies, World Cup, Pune, February 29, 1996

4. 1999 (May-19): Zimbabwe 252/9 beat India 249/10 by 3 runs [Scorecard]

Henry Olonga traps Venkatesh Prasad lbw to seal an amazing comeback win by Zimbabwe, India v Zimbabwe, World Cup Group A, Leicester, May 19, 1999

5. 1999 (May-29): Zimbabwe 233/6 beat South Africa 185/10 by 48 runs [Scorecard]

Neil Johnson celebrates a wicket, South Africa v Zimbabwe, World Cup, 26th match, Chelmsford, May 29, 1999

6. 1999 (May-31): Bangaldesh 223/9 beat Pakistan 161/10 by 62 runs [Scorecard]

Bangladeshi supporters swamp the pitch after their heroes beat Pakistan, 29th match: Bangladesh v Pakistan, World Cup, Northampton, May 31, 1999 

7. 2003 (Feb-24): Kenya 210/9 beat Sri Lanka 157/10 by 53 runs [Scorecard]

World Cup, 2003 - Kenya v Sri Lanka at Nairobi, 24th February 2003

8. 2007 (Mar-17): Bangaldesh 192/5 beat India 191/10 by 5 wickets [Scorecard]

Bangladesh celebrate another Indian wicket, Bangladesh v India, Group B, Trinidad, March 17, 2007

9. 2007 (Mar-17): Ireland 133/7 beat Pakistan 132/10 by 3 wickets [Scorecard]

A buoyant Ireland do a victory lap around Sabina Park, Ireland v Pakistan, Group D, Jamaica, March 17, 2007

10. 2007 (Apr-7): Bangaldesh 251/8 beat South Africa 184/10 by 67 runs [Scorecard]

A few Bangladesh players celebrate the victory from the viewing area, Bangladesh vs South Africa, Super Eights, Guyana, April 7, 2007

11. 2011 (Mar-2): Ireland 329/7 beat England 327/8 by 3 wickets [Scorecard]

John Mooney and Trent Johnston are overjoyed, England v Ireland, World Cup 2011, Bangalore, March 2, 2011

12. 2011 (Mar-11): Bangladesh 227/8 beat England 225/10 by 2 wickets [Scorecard]

Bangladesh celebrate their thrilling win against England, Bangladesh v England, Group B, World Cup, Chittagong, March 11, 2011
13. 2015 (Feb-16): Ireland 307/6 beat West Indies 304/7 by 4 wickets [Scorecard]

John Mooney and Niall O'Brien are jubilant after the victory, Ireland v West Indies, World Cup 2015, Group B, Nelson, February 16, 2015