The countdown to the 2019 ICC World Cup in England is well and truly on as the top 10 teams in international cricket get ready to tussle it out for its biggest prize.
Over the course of its history, the World Cup has thrown up some colossal encounters between evenly matched team as well as some of the biggest upsets in cricket.
Here, we take a look at five of the biggest upsets in the history of the ICC World Cup.
Kenya v West Indies (1996)
Minnows Kenya produced the biggest shock of the 1996 edition held in the subcontinent when they beat a star-studded West Indies line up comprising of Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh and Courtney Ambrose.
Batting first, Kenya were bowled out for just 166 runs with Walsh picking up three wickets for the Windies. However, it all went pear shaped for the Caribbean side in what should have been a straightforward chase with only two batsmen getting into double digits.
Rajab Ali and Maurice Odombe snared three wickets apiece as Windies were bundled out for just 93 runs inside 36 overs with Kenya pulling off the unlikeliest of victories by 73 runs.
Ireland v England (2011)
When it comes to the most recent upsets in the history of the World Cup, there are none bigger than Ireland’s shock victory over England in the 2011 World Cup.
The clash between the two sides at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru seemed to be following a familiar script with England racking up a daunting 327-8 following a 92-run knock from Jonathan Trott.
Ireland were in tatters after being reduced to 111-5 before Kevin O’Brien produced one of the best innings in World Cup history. The Irishman slammed the fastest ton in the competition’s history (50 balls) before Alex Cusack (47) and John Mooney (33) played important hands down the order to seal Ireland’s first-ever win over England.
In the end, Ireland won by three wickets and five balls to spare at Bengaluru.
Ireland v Pakistan (2007)
1992 champions Pakistan were sent packing early from the competition after falling to a shock defeat to minnows Ireland at Jamaica.
On the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland scripted their first major upset in international cricket on a seaming track at Jamaica. Batting first, Pakistan were shot out for a mere 132 with Kamran Akmal’s 27 being the highest individual score.
In reply, Ireland lost both their openers cheaply skipper Niall O’Brien remained defiant with a superb 72 which ensured that his side crossed the finish line with three wickets to spare despite a late collapse.
It was a tournament of upsets with both Pakistan and arch-rivals India exiting the competition before the knock-out stages.
Bangladesh v Pakistan (1999)
Playing in their maiden World Cup campaign in 1999, Bangladesh wasted no time in making an impact with the Tigers scripting a shock win over Pakistan at Northampton.
Led by a 42-run knock from Akram Khan, Bangladesh managed to post a respectable 223-9 after being made to bat first by Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram.
Pakistan’s run-chase started off on a disastrous note with Bangladesh pacer Khaled Mahmud blowing away the top-order. Pakistan were reduced to 42-5 in no time and despite a minor resistance from the lower order, were unable to go the distance.
The Men in Green were ultimately bowled out for 161 as Bangladesh celebrate an emotional win over their subcontinent rivals.
India v West Indies (1983)
India’s victory over the might West Indies side of 1983 remains arguably the biggest upset in World Cup history given the magnitude of the occasion. The all-conquering Windies side were favourites to land a third title in a row after they had clinched the inaugural edition in 1975 followed by the 1979 edition.
India were still finding their feet in one-day cricket and had done extremely well to reach the final after winning just the solitary one match in the previous two editions in 1975 and 1979. However, Clive Lloyd and the likes of Sir Viv Richards were left stunned as Kapil Dev’s India defended a paltry total of 183 at the iconic Lord’s.
Windies were bowled out for just 140 in the run-chase with Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath picking up three wickets apiece. Richards top scored with 33 for the Windies but his knock was ended by an excellent catch by Kapil Dev and that proved to be the trigger of a dramatic collapse.
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