Sunday, 5 June 2011

Famous Associate upsets in World Cups

An expected win for a minnow is always very charming. These games and players who performed in them become heroes in their nations, even though that might be the performance ever given by them :) . We now look into some of the shocks received by the elite class of cricket nations:- The test nations

1. Sri Lanka defeat India (1979)
The upsets started to happen right from 70's itself.Sri Lanka had won the ICC trophy and qualified for World Cup. They were knocking on the doors of Test Nations to become one themselves. England were dead against that and often vetoed the proposal. They had to prove their point and what a better stage to do so than the world cup
Batting first Sri Lanka made 238 in the allocated 60 overs. India started nicely with opening partnership of 60 but a increasing Run Rate and tight bowling started to take toll. Wickets started to fall regularly and India tumbled to 191 loosing by 47 runs.

2. Zimbabwe defeat Australia (1983)

With Sri Lanka becoming a test nation, Zimbabwe became the top associate nation and qualified for the world cup winning the ICC trophy. When they played against Australia no one expected them to win or provide any competition but they shocked the world defeating Australia in the first match of the Tournament.
Zimbabwe made an average 239 runs in 60 over. Australia while chasing fell short by 13 Runs.
This match remains the only win of Zimbabwe against Australia in ODI's. They however managed to defeat them again in 2007 T20 world cup

3. Zimbabwe defeat England (1992)

Zimbabwe had recently been given the Test Status after regularly proving themselves as Top associate and winning ICC trophy in 82, 86 and 90. Having got the test status they had a point to prove that they were no pushovers and they did that in style. England last world cup finalist and a strong team, they were expected to win easily .Batting first Zimbabwe were bowled out for just 134!!!! England were expected to just walk over Zimbabwe, but in a striking comeback England were bowled out for just 125!!! and Zimbabwe won by 9 runs. It was an absolute of a shocker given by an Associate.

4. Kenya defeat West Indies (1996)

Kenya made their World Cup and ODI debut in the World Cup. Though playing decently but Kenya had lost the previous 3 matches and a similar result was expected against WI who had likes of Lara, Richardson in their team. Batting first they were bundled out for 166 and not much expected from the match. With score at 18 the first wicket fell. After that the wickets just kept tumbling and the Africans bundled the 2 time former champions for just 93!!!!!
After the victory the Kenyan team celebrated like they had won the cup. Perhaps this was the start of their dream run which continued till 2003 when they did the unbelievable

5. Bangladesh defeat Pakistan (1999)

Cricket got a huge boost in Bangladesh after they won the world cup qualifier after defeating the favorites Kenya in the Final on the last ball. India were very much interested in them getting Test Status but needed strong support for the cause. They gave Indian push the required reason when they defeated the favorites Pakistan who were really going strong in the tournament. 
Batting first Bangladesh made 223. Pakistan were expected to chase that easily as they had made 275 against Australia and won and not much was expected. Bangladesh had other plans. They started decently and then in shocking events bowled out Pakistan for just 161 and won by 62 runs. This match greatly contributed in them getting Test Status as Jagmohan Dalmiya pushed for the same. Whether it is a right decision or wrong is still debated.

6. Kenya defeat Sri Lanka(2003)

This was a world cup Kenya would never like to forget. When the Kiwi's refused to play a match in Nairobi Kenya surely got an advantage of 2 points and surely needed to capitalize it. They started the tournament being Thrashed by SA by 10 wickets but surely kept to their reputation by defeating Canada and forfeit if NZ helped. They needed to add more weight and needed to maximize the home advantage. They batted first and just managed 210. When minnows make such a score they are expected to lose, but this is Kenya. They had defended 166 and now they had 44 runs more and sure they did realize that. Wickets started to fall and in front of Home crowd they bowled SL for just 157 runs. This meant that going into next round was a possibility as they had matches WI and BD and they needed to just win that

7. Canada defeat Bangladesh(2003)-Not an upset but still BD is a test nation

Canada qualified for World Cup after 24 years. They had not won a single match in world cup till now. Infact they had not won an ODI till now. There first win came not against a Associate but against the youngest Test Team Bangladesh showing ICC that they needed thing over their decision.
Like most of the upsets Canada batted first and made a lowly 180. When BD started to bat against them they hoped that they will live up to their Test Status but Canada had other plans. They bowled them out for a pathetic 120 and won their first ever ODI erupting in celebrations. That was a start to resurgence of Canada. After that they again qualified for 2007 and 2011 World Cups. We hope ICC goes for a 14 or 16 nation world cup in 2015 to give them more chances. In 2011 they got their second win defeating Kenya.

8. Kenya defeat Zimbabwe(2003)

Kenya had achieved what another associate had never achieved. They reached the second round. They surely were helped by forfeit of NZ but they earned it by defeating 2 test nations SL and BD besides defeating Canada. In the super six they arrived with full points with wins against NZ(Forfeit) and SL. They just needed one win and they had a chance to make it to next round but this was super six and a win was not expected. They were expected to be satisfied with this performance. Kenya had other plans. They showed the world that they can suck the politics and they definitely deserved Test Status before Bangladesh.
Unlike previous upsets Zimbabwe were batting first. They defied the history bowling Zimbabwe for just 133 and chasing in just 26 overs defeating them by 7 wickets. This was a first time an associate had chased a score. Kenya surely were on a roll.

9. Kenya reach the World Cup Semi Finals

What do you expect from a minnow playing in a world cup. Lose all matches, perhaps in odd case winning a match, in extreme case make into next round. What will you say when it makes into the next round. Well I say a miracle and a proof that new teams should be given a chance and upsets not made into rare case. This was a performance that Kenya had achieved and proved many points to the world. Sadly this has been the pinnacle of Kenyan cricket and then the downward slope started. I hope they exceed that performance and make the world of cricket more exciting.

10. Ireland tie with Zimbabwe (2007)

With the descent of Kenya the associate world was not a lost cause. There was another rising star in the world of cricket who wanted to prove cricket was not a closed bastion.
Ireland batted first and made 221. In a chase that saw the match swing in many direction finally saw last Zim Batsman to be run out and match that score but with a wicket left to tie the match. This was a first world cup for the Irish but were they really pleased with the result?

11. Ireland defeat Pakistan (2007)

After the last match which was a last ball Tie, people were really impressed with the Irish. Now they were against the mighty and unpredictable Pakistani's. It was Saint Patrick's day and Ireland wanted to celebrate it in more ways. When Pakistan came to bat as history had told, it will be minnows defeat. All the upsets except one had happened when minnow batted first. The Irish bowling really impressed. They bowled out the mighty Pakistan for just a meager 132 runs. Chasing 132 against the mighty Pak bowling was not a joke afterall Pak were known for their strong bowling. Ireland kept on loosing wickets but finally came home with 3 wickets in Hand. a perfect Saint Patrick day gift for their nations who erupted in joy.

12. Netherlands defeat England(2009)-T20

 Playing against England at Lord's in a World Cup is a greatest achievement for any player leave aside an associate like Netherlands. And what will you call it when you defeat England in England at Lord's in a first match of World Cup, a dream come true. Yes it was a dream come true defeating the historical rival but more possible in football but this time it was the game of English cricket that happened.
Playing in the first match of T20 world cup England made a good 163 runs. It was a rare case that such a score would be chased but in a stunner of the match Netherlands chased the score on the last ball of the match leaving the whole stadium and world stunned.

13. Ireland defeat Bangladesh (2009-T20)

13 is considered to be unlucky. But Ireland had to show that they deserved test status. Bangladesh like many times mocked the ICC decision when they lost to another associate in a world cup
Bangladesh made 137 and Ireland showed they were a better team and defeated them 6 wickets with 10 balls to spare to move into the next round.

14. Ireland defeat England(2011)

While 13 should have been the number that should have proved unlucky for associates but it was a multiple of 7 i.e 14 that may prove the last upset we see in a world cup
England were one of the favorites of the tournament. Chasing a score of 337 they were able to Tie against another favorites India. When they batted first and made 327, Ireland were given no chance. Associates had just chased to win 2 times but that was against very low scores. I was at that time at Mauritius Airport and thought it was a lost cause.
Playing an inning of his life Kevin O'Brien made the fastest century in the History of World Cup in just 50 balls. When he finally fell Ireland had a good chance and they shocked the whole world chasing 327. Kevin O'Brien became a household name in South Asia and Ireland a favorite of may.

15. Will we see a end in 2015 :(
Within 4 days of conclusion of World Cup many associate fans heard the worst news. ICC decided to keep the world cup for just 10 Test Nations. Just because of politics the pathetic teams of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe would be there and Ireland and Netherlands to miss in a decision which reminds of colonial days.
Positively ICC will review the decision in end June. I hope they give a chance to the associate as I do not want pathetic BD and Zim to directly qualify and Ireland missing it.

Besides the upsets there have been some upsets but minor Test Teams defeating the big 8 test teams.

Other Test Minnow's upsets

1. Zimbabwe defeat India(1999)

Zimbabwe were though to lose this match. Indian star Sachin Tendulkar had to leave for India as his father had expired. India without their star were very vulnerable and Zimbabwe exploited it to the maximum
Zimbabwe batting first made a decent 252 which was always a challenge. To add to worries India lost 4 overs due to slow over rate and had to chase the score in just 46 overs adding to pressure. India started to lose wickets at regular intervals and finally were bundled out 3 runs short losing to Zimbabwe.

2. Zimbabwe defeat South Africa(1999)
Zimbabwe had won match against Kenya and India. They needed to win the last match against mighty SA. They had never defeated their neighbors in History till now. But histories are meant to be created and yes they were created in this match
Batting first Zim made 233 and then to create history bowled out the Africans for just 180 runs defeating them by 43 runs and qualifying for next round with full 4 points. This was the best world cup ever for Zimbabwe.

3. Bangladesh defeat India(2007)
Bangladesh had very average world cups till now. In the last world cup they lost all matches even losing to Canada. They started the campaign in this world cup against Indians
Impressive bowling helped India restrict for just 191 runs. After some scares they defeated India by 5 wickets with 9 balls to spare sending the whole nation into a frenzy as if they had won the world cup.

4. Bangladesh defeat South Africa(2007)
After defeating India and making into super 8's not much was expected out of BD. But BD showed the world that they had made the right decision by making them a test nation
BD made 251 runs and chasing the score the Africans were bowled out for 181 making this the most successful world cup for the South Asians.

5. Zimbabwe defeat Australia(2007)-T20
Zimbabwe as a nation were in real mess with the political situation. They were playing really less number of matches and they had suspended themselves from Test Cricket. Australia though world champions 2 times were new to this format. This showed when batting first they just made 138 runs losing 9 wickets. Zimbabwe chasing the score kept losing wickets but Brendan Taylor had other plans making 64* from 46 balls taking Zimbabwe home with a ball and wicket to spare.

6. Bangladesh defeat England(2011)
Bangladesh had a pathetic world cup. They got thrashed by India. WI smashed them bowling them for just 58 Runs and finishing a D&N match in the day in less than 50 overs. They had some hope of next round when they defeated the impressive Ireland. Now they badly needed a win to make into next round and the next match was against one of the tournament pre favorites who had impressed by Tie against India chasing 337 and defending a low score against SA but were hurt tigers losing to Ireland
Batting first England could score a lowly 225 All Out. Bangladesh chase started decently but then started to lose wickets and it looked that they will not be able to make it. 8 wickets down with the tail on the crease it was all over, but the tail sometimes wags to clear everything and rightly they did that chasing the score with 6 balls and 2 wickets to spare.

All these matches are really memorable to talk about. With a pathetic decision of ICC to restrict 2015 WC to just 10 nations and that too all Test Nations such matches could become a like dinosaurs and extinct thing. I hope ICC reverses the decision and makes the world in my opinion atleast a 12 nation tournament. Fingers crossed for associates. 


  1. you forgot mention Sri Lanka win over India in the 1979 world cup. Sri Lanka were a associate nation at that time and India were a Test nation. That win helped SL to gain Test status. And don't forget that it was the 1st time an associate side beat a test nation. So disappointed that you haven't mentioned it here.

    1. Dear Hunter read the first post ..Sri Lanka Defeated India in1979 and it is said that they were knocking the doors of Test Status . Means they were not Test team , so they were associate