The 13 Biggest World Cup Upsets In Cricket History

16/02/2015 4:32 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
Ireland's Niall O'Brien, right, shakes hands with West Indies' Darren Sammy at the end of their Cricket World Cup pool B match at Nelson, New Zealand, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Ireland wins the match with 4 wickets and 25 balls to spare. (AP Photo/Ross Setford)

Ireland beat West Indies by four wickets in the Pool B match at Nelson, New Zealand today, but is not the only minnow to beat a test-playing nation. ODI Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties, here’s a roundup of associate member countries defeating test-playing nations at the 50-over World Cup.

Sri Lanka beat India - 1979, England

The small island nation did not have test status then but defeated India by 47 runs in the match at Old Trafford in Manchester. India put their opponents in to bat first but Sri Lanka, playing without injured captain Anura Tenekoon, amassed 238-5 in 60 overs. India started well with a 60-run opening stand but kept losing wickets thereafter to be all out for 191.

Zimbabwe beat Australia - 1983, England

It was Zimbabwe's first official one-day international and they couldn't have fared any better. Current India coach Duncan Fletcher led from the front with a 69 against an attack featuring Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson and the captain returned to take four wickets to restrict the batting line-up, including the likes of Allan Border and Rod Marsh, to 226. Zimbabwe won by 13 runs.

Zimbabwe beat England - 1992, Australia

Still an associate nation, the Africans stunned England by nine runs in a low-scoring match at the small Australian town of Albury. England, having already qualified for the semi-finals, bundled out Zimbabwe for 134 but then probably took things a bit too easily to get skittled out for 125 on the first ball of the final over. Zimbabwe were granted test status three months later by the International Cricket Council.

Kenya beat West Indies - 1996, India

No one would have given the minnows any chance against the twice world champions and more so after West Indies dismissed them for 166 after opting to field. But a batting line-up featuring Richie Richardson, Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were all out for 93 in the 36th over, handing Kenya a massive victory by 73 runs.

Bangladesh beat Pakistan - 1999, England

The 62-run victory at Northampton paved the way for Bangladesh to gain test status from the ICC the following year. Asked to bat first, Bangladesh posted 223 for nine, thwarted by a five-wicket haul from off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq but then returned to bundle out Pakistan for 161 inside 45 overs.

Kenya beat Sri Lanka - 2003, Kenya

Probably the golden phase of Kenyan cricket when they beat Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to reach the last four of the World Cup. The Nairobi crowd erupted with joy as the home team beat 1996 champions Sri Lanka by 53 runs, riding on a five-wicket haul by leg-spinner Collins Obuya. Batting first, Kenya posted 210-9 and then skittled their opponents out for 157 in 45 overs.

Kenya beat Bangladesh - 2003, South Africa

Off-spinner Maurice Odumbe's 4-38 gave the African country a 32-run win over Bangladesh in their group match in Johannesburg. Kenya made 217-7 in their 50 overs and then bowled out Bangladesh for 185 in the 48th over.

Kenya beat Zimbabwe - 2003, South Africa

Their third win over a test playing nation in the tournament came when they thrashed fellow Africans Zimbabwe by seven wickets in Bloemfontein. Zimbabwe chose to bat first but were all out for 133, which Kenya chased down the target in just 26 overs, losing three wickets.

Canada beat Bangladesh - 2003, South Africa

Playing their first World Cup, Canada pulled off a 60-run win against Bangladesh in Durban, courtesy of a five-wicket haul from pace bowler Austin Codrington. Canada managed only 180 batting first but then skittled Bangladesh for 120 in 28 overs.

Ireland beat Pakistan - 2007, West Indies

On a green pitch in Sabina Park, Ireland dismissed Pakistan for 132 after putting them in to bat. They didn't have an easy time either with the bat but managed to chase down the target with three wickets remaining to celebrate St Patrick's Day in style. The loss put Pakistan out of the World Cup and later in the night they also lost coach Bob Woolmer to a fatal heart attack.

Ireland beat Bangladesh - 2007, West Indies

Another full member fell prey to the Irish in the 2007 edition when Bangladesh lost in Bridgetown, Barbados by a huge 74 runs. Batting first, Ireland made 243-7 in the Super Eight match, riding on a fine 85 from current captain William Porterfield, and then bundled out Bangladesh for 169 in the 42nd over.

Ireland beat England - 2011, India

England would have never imagined what lied ahead when they scored 327-8 batting first in Bangalore and then reduced Ireland to 111-5 in the 25th over. The drama unfolded from there on as Kevin O'Brien walked in to play one of one-day cricket's most sensational knocks -- 113 off 63 deliveries -- before being run out. Ireland didn't panic in the nerve-wracking match as pulled off a great victory with five balls to spare and three wickets in hand.

Ireland beat West Indies - 2015, New Zealand

Very few would call it an upset after Ireland's victories over Pakistan and England in 2007 and 2011 editions respectively but the ease with which they chased down a target of 304 would have surprised most. The Irish reduced West Indies to 87-5 after opting to field first but the Caribbean side managed a brilliant recovery through a 154-run stand for the sixth wicket. Ireland had a brief hiccup towards the closing stage when they lost a flurry of wickets to become 291-6 from 273-2 but got past the target with 25 balls to spare and four wickets intact.

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