Most surprising wins at the World Cup

Published 02/16/2015, 8:00 AM EST
Irelnad players celebrate after beating Pakistan in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup Courtesy: Cricinfo

1. Kapil’s devils shock the men from Caribbean:


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Bookmakers had quoted India at 66-1 to win the World Cup before the tournament. India did the unthinkable by defending a partly 183 against the mighty West Indies which had batsmen like Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd. Probably the best line up at that time. From that victory onwards, India has now developed into the powerhouse of cricket.

Indian team in the 1983 World Cup

2. Kenya makes its presence felt:


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West Indies chasing a modest total of 166 against the minnows Kenya were bowled out for 93, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul top scoring with 19. What was really interesting was, that the extras were the top scorers for Kenya in this match. It was the first ever win for Kenya in official ODIs. Moreover, it was the first time that West Indies had lost to an associate nation. However, despite this shock defeat to Kenya, West Indies still made it to the semis where they lost to Australia. Mauris Odumbe was the man of the match for his haul of 3-15.

Brain Lara dismissed in the game against Kenya. Courtesy: Cricinfo

3. Henry Olonga gives India the last-over Blues:

In the Group stage match of 1999 World Cup, Zimbabwe snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat against India. India were 246/7 at 44.1 overs chasing 253 from 46 overs, the Indian team lost 3 wickets in 5 balls for 3 runs and hence lost the match by 3 runs. Henry Olonga took the last 3 wickets. Earlier in the match Zimbabwe had scored 252 from their 50 overs on the back of Grant Flower’s 68 and India were fined 4 overs for slow over-rate.

Henry Olonga took the last 3 Indian wickets in the last over.
Courtesy: Cricinfo

4. Bangladesh declares holiday on account of this remarkable upset victory:

Bangladesh were making their first appearance at the World Cup and they had an extremely surprising victory by beating Pakistan by a handsome margin of 62 runs. Bangladesh made 223 batting first with Akram Khan top scoring with 42. While chasing the score, Pakistan had a terrible start and were reduced to 42-5, the Pakistan team could never recover from the early wickets and were all out for 161. In order to celebrate this victory, a holiday was declared in Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi Players celebrating the fall of Pakistani wicket.
Courtesy: Cricinfo

5. Kenya stuns Sri Lanka en-route to Semi-finals in 2003:

During 2003 World Cup which was co-hosted by South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, teams like England and New Zealand had refused to travel to Zimbabwe and Kenya respectively and thus walkovers were awarded. Despite these controversies, Kenya managed to reach the semi-finals and beat Sri Lanka enroute to the semis.

Kenya, batting first at Nairobi, scored a meagre 210/9 of their 50 overs with Kennedy Otieno top scoring with 60. For Sri Lanka, Muttiah Muralidharan was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-28. Sri Lanka, lost Sanath Jayasuriya early and could never get going with wickets falling at regular intervals for them. Collins Obuya, the leg-spinner was the chief destroyer as he took 5-24 and helped Kenya record a memorable win of 53 runs over the Sri Lankans in the World Cup.

Kenya Players celebrate after recording a 53 run victory over Sri Lanka in Nairobi

6. Bangla Tigers roar again: 

India’s first match in the 2007 World Cup was against Bangladesh in Port-of-Spain. India had only lost to Bangladesh once before in ODIs. The match was supposed to be a cake-walk for India but little did they know that the Bangla Tigers will roar in such a way that India would consequently end up getting eliminated in the group stage itself. India’s captain, Rahul Dravid chose to bat and expected a good start from openers Virender Sehwag and Saurav Ganguly, but India was reduced to 72-4 after 24.1 overs with Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid back in the pavilion. India was being taken to safety by the duo of Yuvraj Singh and Ganguly courtesy a partnership of 85 runs between the two. But another mid innings collapse occurred as India went from being 157-4 to 159-9. Munaf Patel and Zaheer Khan saved some grace and took India’s total to 191.

Bangladesh in their reply had opener Tamim Iqbal going after India’s spearhead Zaheer Khan and thus not allowing India to take any control of the ball. Shakib-Al-Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim hit fifties to take Bangladesh across line with 5 wickets in hand and 9 balls to spare.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Ashraful of Bangladesh celebrate beating India

7. Ireland brings the Chicken Dance against Pakistan:

Two big unexpected wins in one day at the stage of World Cup is no small thing and this is what happened when Pakistan lost to Ireland on the same day when India lost to Bangladesh. Ireland, who were playing their first World Cup in 2007, had already pulled off a tie against Zimbabwe in the lead up to this game. Ireland, after winning the toss, put Pakistan to bat and dismissed them for 127 with Kamran Akmal top scoring with 27. Ireland, despite having a few hiccups in the chase went on to win by 3 wickets when their captain hit a six to win the match. Wicket keeper Niall O’Brien was the top scorer with 72 runs, and he was the only batsman to cross 50 in the match.

Irelnad players celebrate after beating Pakistan in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup
Courtesy: Cricinfo

The celebration of the Irish Players after taking a wicket was known as the ‘chicken dance’ and it became popular with the fans as well.


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8. Kevin O’Brien scores the fastest World Cup Hundred:

Ireland, playing just their 2 world cup chased down a mammoth 330 to beat England at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. The required rate for Ireland had reached 8 at the halfway mark of the innings, and Ireland took the batting powerplay. Kevin O’Brien started to smash the English Bowlers all over the park and completed his century in just 50 deliveries, which is a record for the fastest hundred in a World Cup. Ireland chased the target with 5 balls to spare, thereby leaving the cricket world stunned.


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Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien celebrates his century against England in 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup
Courtesy: Cricinfo


Gurkirat Singh Gill

168 articles

A sports enthusiast since 2003 with my first experience of connecting with sports being the Cricket World Cup 2003. Studying Engineering in Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, University of Delhi, but pretty sure will not become an Engineer.



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