Top 10 Cricket Underdog Victories

Published 12/28/2017, 11:34 AM EST
Kapil Dev lifting the cup

Zimbabwe’s victory over Australia on Sunday came after 31 long years. The victory is one of the instances when David gets the better of Goliath and world is at shock. Not only that, these victories are a great source of motivation and happiness for the underdogs. Presenting to you the top 10 cricket underdog victories in the history of the beautiful game:


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Cricket Underdog Victories

Bookmakers had quoted India at 66-1 to win the World Cup before the tournament. India did the unthinkable by defending a paltry 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. Going against a formidable West Indies team makes this one of the greatest cricket underdog victories for the subcontinent.


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Kapil Dev lifting the cup

From that victory onwards, India has now developed into the powerhouse of cricket.

2. Kenya v West Indies, 1996 WC:

West Indies chasing a modest total of 166 against the minnows Kenya were bowled out for 93, with 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.

3. India v Zimbabwe, 1999 WC:

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. What didn’t help India’s cause was the fact that they were playing without talisman Sachin Tendulkar.

4. Bangladesh v Pakistan, 1999 WC:

Bangladesh were making their first appearance at the World Cup and they did a huge upset 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 Pakistani 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.

5. Australia v Bangladesh, 2005:

Bangladesh, England and Australia were involved in a tri series in England. Batting first, Australia had a poor start but managed to reach 249 by fifties from Clarke and Martyn. Chasing the target, Bangladesh were 72-3 in the 21 over and Australia looked in completely.


This is when a youngster from Bangladesh known as Mohammed Ashraful scored a brilliant hundred and stuck a 130 odd run partner with the captain Habibul Bashar. Aftab Ahmed then finished the match off with a six and the crowd at Sophia Gardens went berserk. At that time, Bangladesh were considered minnows and their win over the mighty Australia was one of the greatest cricket underdog victories.6. England v Ireland, 2011 WC:

Ireland, playing just their 2 world cup chased down a mammoth 330 to beat England at 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.7. Zimbabwe v New Zealand, bilateral series, 2011:

With series already in the bag for New Zealand, New Zealand were looking for clean sweep. Having made 329 while batting first on the back of centuries by Ross Taylor and Ken Williamson, the Kiwis were favourites to win the match. Zimbabwe had reached 183/5 after 30 overs after more than a run-a-ball fifties from Taylor and Taibu.


Elton Chigumbura and Malcom Waller then added 95 runs in 14 overs to keep the run chase within the reach. Chigumbura was dismissed but Waller finished with match with 99 not out.

8. Zimbabwe v Australia, 2007 World T20:

Having won the ODI World Cup in the Caribbean a few months back and the firepower they had in their team, Australia were one of the pre-tournament favorites. But in their first match in the World T20, Australia were defeated by Zimbabwe by 5 wickets and a ball to spare.

Batting first, Australia were restricted to a low score of 138 and then Brendan Taylor smashed a 45 ball-60 to take Zimbabwe over the line. It was one of the best cricket underdog victories as Australia is one of the giants of cricket.

9. Netherlands v England, 2009 World T20:

The 2009 World T20 was kicked off with the hosts taking on minnows Netherlands. Batting first, England got off to a brilliant start by Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright but they were restricted to just 162 by Netherlands. Netherlands did not have the greatest of starts but their innings was back on track courtesy a 30 ball 49 from de Grooth. Ryan ten Doeschate then took the match down to the wire with 7 required of the last over. On the last ball, the Dutch required to score 2 to win.

during the ICC World Twenty20 Group B match between England and the Netherlands at Lord’s on June 5, 2009 in London, England.

Stuart Broad bowling the last over fielded the ball in his run and threw the ball at the bowler’s end. He had full 3 stumps to aim at, but he missed and the batsmen ran the second run to complete the victory. Beating England in the inaugural match at the mecca of cricket, couldn’t have got better for Netherlands.


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10. Hong Kong v Bangladesh, 2014 World T20:

Playing in the qualification stages of the World T20 in order to cement a place in the main group, both the teams needed to win to boost their chances. Bangladesh, playing in front of their home crowd and the better team of the two were in for a shock as they were dismissed for 108 with 4 players having a zero against their name.

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The Bangladeshi team tried hard and gave everything, but it was to Hong Kong’s day as they managed to create an upset by beating Bangladesh in Bangladesh. It was one of the biggest cricket underdog victories because Hong Kong is not a well established cricket nation.


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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.