HomeSportsCricketTop 10 Biggest Upsets in ICC Cricket World Cup History
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Top 10 Biggest Upsets in ICC Cricket World Cup History

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The Netherlands defeated South Africa for the second time in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Afghanistan upsets England by 69 runs in this ICC World Cup 2023 in Delhi on Sunday, and the Netherlands have already surprised South Africa by 38 runs in Dharamshala. The Netherlands won their third World Cup match after a 16-year wait, and it was their first World Cup victory over a test-playing nation. They had previously only defeated Scotland in the 2007 World Cup and Namibia in the 2003 World Cup. In both the 1996 and 2011 World Cups, they failed to win a single game. These two games have also set the tone for the rest of the tournament since no team appears to go undefeated from here on out.

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There have been a few more times when lesser teams have startled the bigwigs at major international competitions. This tendency began in 1979 when Sri Lanka overcame India in a World Cup shock. From there, a slew of lesser nations has turned in historic performances to establish their names among the best in the game of cricket. Many amazing interactions remind everyone how much enthusiasm there is for the game.

Top 10 Biggest World Cup Upsets

Teams played against Match result Year
India vs West Indies India won by 43 runs 1983
West Indies vs Kenya Kenya won by 73 runs 1996
India vs Zimbabwe Zimbabwe won by 3 runs 1999
South Africa vs Zimbabwe Zimbabwe won by 48 runs 1999
Pakistan vs Bangladesh Bangladesh won by 62 runs 1999
Kenya vs Sri Lanka Kenya won by 53 runs 2003
India vs Bangladesh Bangladesh won 5 wickets 2007
England vs Ireland Ireland won by 3 wickets 2011
Afghanistan vs England Afghanistan won by 69 runs 2023
Netherlands vs South Africa Netherlands won by 38 runs 2023

India vs West Indies: Prudential World Cup 1983 Final

Source: Zee News

On June 25, 1983, India defeated the West Indies by 43 runs at Lord’s to win their first Cricket World Cup. Despite only having 17 victories in their first nine years as a one-day international (ODI) side, they shocked the two-time defending champions in the 1983 World Cup final. While the West Indies pace trio of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, and Malcolm Marshall showed no mercy, the Kapil dev squad was only able to score 183 runs, with Kris Srikkanth taking the lead with 38 runs. However, Mohinder Armanath (3-12) and Madan Lal (3-31) smothered the flashy West Indian batters, with Viv Richards scoring the most with 33. Dev and his team became instant superstars in their country when cricket fever swept the South Asian nation.

West Indies vs Kenya: ICC World Cup 1996

Source: ESPNcricinfo

When the West Indies faced a growing Kenya, they were still a superpower with greats like Brian Lara, Richie Richardson, Curtly Ambrose, and Courtney Walsh. When Zimbabwe was bowled out for 166, the match appeared to be following the more likely screenplay, but the finale was still to be written. After several batters made starts, the West Indies innings never got going as they were unable to put together a partnership of more than 20 runs, and they were eventually all out for 93 runs.

India vs Zimbabwe: ICC World Cup 1999

Source: ESPNcricinfo

Andy and Grant Flower, two brothers, formed the foundation of Zimbabwe’s innings, which totalled 252, while India suffered as a result of inaccurate bowling, which included 21 wides and 16 no-balls. At 174/4 in the 33rd over, India was comfortably approaching their target when a brief collapse put them in trouble. With three wickets in hand and ample deliveries available, India reclaimed the initiative, needing only seven runs, but Zimbabwean Henry Olonga struck to take all three of the remaining wickets in the single over.

South Africa vs Zimbabwe: ICC World Cup 1999

Source: ICC Cricket World Cup

South Africa met rival Zimbabwe with a star-studded lineup on the verge of a semi-final spot. Neil Johnson began Zimbabwe’s innings and top-scored with 76 to lead his team to a total of 233, which energized the game. A stunning collapse left South Africa struggling on 40/6 after the all-rounder dismissed Gary Kirsten with the first delivery of the innings. South Africa had some hope thanks to Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener (both 52), but they fell 48 runs short as Zimbabwe claimed a memorable triumph.

Also Read | Top 5 Fastest Deliveries of ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

Pakistan vs Bangladesh: ICC World Cup 1999

Source: ESPNcricinfo

Akram Khan (42) and Shahriar Hossain (39), two players who fought valiantly for their teams, helped Bangladesh win by 223 runs, while Pakistani bowler Saqlain Mushtaq got 5/35. Pakistan’s chase then unravelled rapidly as they lost wickets at regular intervals and struggled to 42/5. Pakistan came 62 runs short of exacting revenge for the loss despite efforts from skipper Wasim Akram and Azhar Mahmood (both 29), who both tried to revive the innings.

Kenya vs Sri Lanka: ICC World Cup 2003

Upsets in World Cup | KreedOn
Source: ESPNcricinfo

Kenya stunned the 1996 champions, Sri Lanka, on their home turf in Nairobi. As the opener raced to 60, Kennedy Otieno was instrumental in a respectable score of 210, but Sri Lanka spinner Muthiah Muralidaran threatened throughout and concluded with 4/28 from 10 overs. The Sri Lanka top order bluffed their way to 71/2, but Kenyan leg-spinner Collins Obuya changed the course of the match by taking a string of wickets.  Obuya’s stunning performance delivered 5/24 in a match-defining session that would also stand as his best bowling numbers in his 104 ODIs.

India vs Bangladesh: ICC World Cup 2007

Upsets in World Cup | KreedOn
Source: Sportstar

Sourav Ganguly batted alone at the top of the order for India while wickets fell all around him. The opener hit 66 to at least guarantee India a challenging target of 192, but only Yuvraj Singh (47) provided notable assistance, leaving the door open for a Bangladesh shock. Fifty’s from Tamim Iqbal and Shahriar Nafees enhanced Bangladesh’s hopes, while an excellent Shakib Al Hasan, making his Cricket World Cup debut, helped take them home. The match against Bangladesh marked the start of a disastrous campaign for India, which finished last in their group and failed to advance to the Super 8 level.

Also Read | Top 5 Contenders for ICC World Cup 2023

England vs Ireland:  ICC World Cup 2011

Upsets in World Cup | KreedOn
Source: The Times of India

England has been the victim of countless World Cup upsets over the years, but their match against rival Ireland appeared to be a formality at the end of the first inning. England was in the lead with a total of 327 because of Jonathan Trott’s run-a-ball 92 and quickfire 50s from Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell. When Ireland collapsed to 111/5, the target appeared beyond reach, but a remarkable performance from Kevin O’Brien turned the game around. O’Brien scored 113 runs off 63 balls to lead Ireland to a stunning three-wicket victory, which was only clinched in the final over of the game.

Afghanistan vs England: ICC World Cup 2023

Upsets in World Cup | KreedOn
Source: BusinessToday

The Afghans upset defending World Cup winners England by 69 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Afghanistan has always been a good performer in huge events, and they like punching above their weight. England is regarded as one of the favorites to win the title for the second time in a row, but Afghanistan has already jeopardized their chances. Afghanistan posted a total of 284 runs, thanks to Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s 80 off 57, a fifty from Ikram Alikhil & crucial 28 by Mujeeb towards the end. The total seemed easy to chase with the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Harry Brook, and Dawid Malan in their side. However, they were defeated by the sorcery of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, and Mohammad Nabi.

Netherlands vs South Africa: ICC World Cup 2023

Upsets in World Cup | KreedOn
Source: News18

Only two days after defeating reigning champion England, the Netherlands put up a spirited effort to destroy South Africa and produce the tournament’s second upset. South Africa enjoyed two dominant victories before taking on the Netherlands in Dharamshala, but they choked again when it meant the most. Before landing in Dharamshala, South Africa upset five-time World Cup champion Australia in Lucknow. However, spurred by a remarkable performance by inspiring skipper Scott Edwards and experienced all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe, the Netherlands pulled off a robbery that gave them some chance of advancing to the semi-finals.

With an unbeaten 78*, Edwards took charge as the Netherlands amassed a respectable total of 245/8 in a contest limited to just 43 overs each side. His bowlers provided the necessary support as the proteas high-profile batting line failed to connect in response. The Netherlands amazing triumph was made possible by players like Logan van Beek (3/60), Paul Van Meekeren (2/40), Bas De Leede (2/36), and Van Der Merwe (2/34) in addition to Colin Ackermann (1/16), who provided the important wicket of Quinton De Kock.

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