Five biggest World Cup upsets: The 2023 World Cup is around the corner. Following the 2019 pattern, this World Cup will feature ten teams. Apart from the top eight teams, Sri Lanka and Netherlands confirmed their berths via Qualifiers. Thus now it boils down to the Netherlands to pull off an upset. In the bygone years, there were plenty of associate teams participating which produced sensational results on occasions. Let’s recount them as we look at the five biggest upsets in ODI World Cup encounters.
Five biggest World Cup upsets
- Bangladesh vs Pakistan (1999)
- Ireland vs England (2011)
- Kenya vs West Indies (1996)
- Ireland vs Pakistan (2007)
- Bangladesh vs India (2007)
5. Bangladesh vs India in 2007
India opted to bat first in their opening encounter of the 2007 World Cup. The Trinidad track offered some early help for the pace bowlers and Mashrafe Mortaza made the most of it. Only Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh managed to go past 40 as India were 191 all out. Mortaza claimed 4 wickets for 38 runs while Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Rafique took 3 wickets each.
In the chase, Tamim Iqbal launched a ferocious counter-attack. His 51 off 53 balls pushed India on the back foot. Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan then saw the tigers home with 5 wickets remaining. This was a massive upset and it later ended up knocking India out of the tournament.
4. Ireland vs Pakistan in 2007
Incredibly, on the same day, Pakistan suffered the same embarrassment as that of their neighbours. They also batted first in Kingston and could only get to 132 all out. Boyd Rankin picked up three wickets and he was ably supported by his five Irish mates. They all had at least one wicket to show for their efforts.
The bowling attack of Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, and Iftikhar Anjum severely tested the inexperienced batting unit. However, Ireland secured a famous win with Kevin O’Brien and captain Trent Johnston smashing the winning runs. Pakistan also failed to progress ahead from the group stage.
3. Kenya vs West Indies in 1996
Before Kenya’s shocking rise in the 2003 World Cup, there was this miracle of Pune in 1996. In what was going to be a formality for the Caribbean side, the Kenyan team pulled over an upset to remember. West Indies managed to recover from this blow but this was the first glimpse of this rising African nation.
Batting first, Kenya could only muster 166 as Roger Harper bowled an incredible spell of 3/15 in 10 overs. None of the West Indies batters found their groove as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. They were all out for 93 with Maurice Odumbe replicating Harper’s figures.
2. Ireland vs England in 2011
When England posted 327/8 in Bengaluru, the question was what would be their victory margin over Ireland. However, the green team once again proved its mettle as pulled off a spectacular chase. Earlier, John Mooney had taken a four-wicket haul to restrict England.
Ireland lost a wicket on the first ball but Paul Stirling provided the momentum. Still, at 111/5, it was all but over. Kevin O’Brien then smashed the fastest World Cup century to turn the game around. His destructive knock of 113 from 63 balls saw Ireland home.
1. Bangladesh vs Pakistan in 1999
In 1999, Bangladesh were still not a Test-playing nation. They faced a fiery Pakistani side in Northampton. While none of their batters went past 42, seven of them had double-digit scores. Saqlain Mushtaq’s off-spin guile sent back five Bangladeshi batters as they trudged to 223/9.
Pakistan had a terrible start in the pursuit of this modest target. Their top five collapsed completely as Pakistan were 5/42, in huge trouble. The lower order fought hard but it wasn’t to be as the eventual World Cup finalists fell 62 runs short. Khaled Mahmud picked 3/31. The victory proved pivotal in Bangladesh becoming a Test-playing nation.