HomeSportsCricketTop 10 Shocking Upsets in T20 World Cup History: Unexpected Triumphs
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Top 10 Shocking Upsets in T20 World Cup History: Unexpected Triumphs

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The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is a tournament renowned for its high-octane action, dramatic finishes, and the potential for an underdog to topple a giant. Over the years, several unexpected results have left fans speechless and rewritten cricketing narratives. Here’s a look at the top 10 upsets that sent shockwaves through the T20 World Cup (WC).

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Top 10 Shocking Upsets in T20 World Cup

Sr. No Match T20 World Cup Year
1 Ireland vs Bangladesh 2009
2 Bangladesh vs West Indies 2007
3 Hong Kong vs Bangladesh 2014
4 Bangladesh vs Scotland 2021
5 Oman vs Ireland 2016
6 West Indies vs Afghanistan 2016
7 Netherlands vs England 2014
8 Namibia vs Sri Lanka 2022
9 Netherlands vs England 2009
10 Australia vs Zimbabwe 2007

Ireland vs Bangladesh – T20 World Cup 2009

Bangladesh v Ireland - Upsets in ICC World Twenty20 | KreedOn
Image Source: Getty Images

The 2009 T20 World Cup witnessed a green wave crash over Lord’s in London. Ireland, a nation more known for its Gaelic football and hurling, stunned cricketing giants Bangladesh in a group stage encounter. Ireland, playing in their first-ever T20 World Cup match, were considered massive underdogs. Bangladesh, a Full Member nation, boasted a more experienced squad. However, the Irishmen, fueled by sheer passion and a fighting spirit, defied the odds. Trent Johnston, the Irish pace bowler, ripped through the Bangladesh batting line-up, taking a spectacular 4-0-20-3 spell. Bangladesh, restricted to a paltry 137 runs, looked vulnerable from the outset. Ireland chased down the target with 4 balls to spare, sending shockwaves through the cricketing world. This historic win remains one of the biggest upsets in T20 World Cup history and a defining moment for Irish cricket.

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Bangladesh vs West Indies – T20 WC 2007

Bangladesh celebrate | KreedOn
Image Source: AFP

The West Indies entered the tournament as one of the favorites. Boasting a star-studded line-up featuring explosive batsmen like Chris Gayle and powerful all-rounders like Dwayne Bravo, they were a team expected to dominate. Bangladesh, on the other hand, were considered the underdogs. A relatively young team still establishing themselves in international cricket, they lacked the experience and star power of their opponents. The match, played in Johannesburg, South Africa, unfolded in a way that no one anticipated. After electing to bat first, the West Indies could only manage a modest total of 164 runs. Mohammad Ashraful stepped up to the challenge, playing a match-winning knock of 61 runs off just 27 deliveries, as Bangladesh chased down the target with 5 wickets and 8 balls to spare.

Hong Kong vs Bangladesh – ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2014

Hong Kong celebrate - Biggest Upset in World T20, Group A, Chittagong | KreedOn
Image Source: ICC

Hong Kong, considered an associate nation in international cricket, was not expected to challenge Bangladesh, a Test-playing nation with a passionate home crowd behind them.

The encounter was a nail-biting affair from the very first ball. Hong Kong, bowling first restricted Bangladesh to a paltry 108, which they managed to chase down in 19.4 overs.

Bangladesh vs Scotland – ICC World Twenty20 2021

Biggest upsets in T20 World Cup | KreedOn
Image Source; ICC

Bangladesh won the toss and opted to field first. Scotland’s start was shaky, losing wickets early. However, a valiant fightback ensued, spearheaded by the all-rounder Chris Greaves, helping Scotland reach a modest total of 140/9. Chasing a seemingly achievable target, Bangladesh faltered under pressure. Their batting lacked fluency, and they succumbed to the disciplined bowling attack of Scotland. Bangladesh eventually fell short by six runs, suffering a shocking defeat at the hands of the spirited Scots. This was one of the biggest upsets in the history of ICC World Twenty20.

Oman vs Ireland – T20 World Cup 2016

ICC Men's Twenty20 World Cup Upsets | KreedOn
Image Source: AFP

The match itself was a thrilling display of grit and determination by the Omani team. Batting first, they posted a competitive total of 150 runs on the board, with contributions from several batsmen. In reply, the Irish batting faltered under pressure. Oman’s bowlers, led by the wily spin of Khawar Ali, took wickets at regular intervals, restricting Ireland to a score well below the target.

West Indies vs Afghanistan – World T20 2016

Afghanistan players celebrate their tense win, Afghanistan v West Indies - Upsets | KreedOn
Image Source: AFP

In 2016, West Indies emerged victorious in the T20 World Cup for the second time, but they were taken aback by the one Associate team they faced. Everyone anticipated that the West Indies would easily win after Afghanistan managed just 123 runs, and when the brilliant Johnson Charles struck two maximums in the second over, it appeared that everything was in order. Amir Hamza arrived at the celebration and bowled an amazing four overs, giving up just nine runs and taking one wicket. A certain Rashid Khan also made an appearance; at the age of just eighteen, he took a wicket with his second ball, and he and Hamza tied the West Indies up, guiding Afghanistan to a historic victory of six runs.

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Netherlands vs England – T20 World Cup 2014

Logan van Beek celebrates | KreedOn
Image Source: Associated Press

Few would have predicted that the record for the lowest all-out score for an ICC Full Member against an Associate would be surpassed, especially with an England team that included players like Alex Hales, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, and Jos Buttler. Before Mudassar Bukhari came on and took two wickets in two balls in his spell of 3 for 12, England was even more of a favorite at 18 for no loss. Needing 6.65 runs an over in a Twenty20 was seen as a piece of cake for England. England was destroyed for just 88 runs in 17.4 overs, but Logan van Beek didn’t have a bad day either, taking 3 wickets for 9 runs in his 2 overs.

Namibia vs Sri Lanka – ICC T20 World Cup 2022

Sri Lanka vs Namibia, Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Upsets | KreedOn
Image Source: Associated Press

Sri Lanka won their previous five games and won the Asia Cup before these two faced off. It appeared to be Sri Lanka’s routine when they had Namibia reeling at 93-6, but Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit had other ideas. They hit a phenomenal 70 off 37 balls to send them to 163-7. A maiden in Twenty20 cricket is rare, as we have mentioned, but when Ben Shikongo opened the innings with a double wicket maiden, we knew we were in for something special. Namibia pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the T20 World Cup, bowling Sri Lanka out for 108 in 19 overs while holding them by the throat.

Netherlands vs England – T20 World Cup 2009

England v Netherlands, ICC World Twenty20 Upsets | KreedOn
Image Source: Associated Press

Given that they were the massive killers of the T20 World Cup era, it is only fitting that the Dutch make it onto the list a second time. Looking back at previous matches, this is one that one would assume England would win handily. Set the scene, please. Later in the tournament, England defeated Pakistan and India to win the World Cup at home, at Lords. Conversely, the Dutch were participating in their inaugural World Cup game. With Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara hitting the ball to every part of England’s home ground, it appeared that the team was in control at the halfway point as they finished at 162 for 5.

Playing in their first-ever World Cup match, the Netherlands was written off against players like Stuart Broad and James Anderson, needing to score at over eight an over. After 3.3 overs, England had the upper hand, with the Netherlands at 23 for 2. England was still in the game even after Tom de Grooth scored an incredible 49 off 30 balls and Peter Borren followed suit with a 25-ball 30. Stuart Broad had to give Edgar Schiferli two off his final delivery, but when he failed to follow through on a run-out opportunity, Broad was overthrown, giving the Dutch the two runs they required and igniting a frenzy of celebration among them.

Australia vs Zimbabwe – ICC Men’s World T20 2007

Ricky Ponting watches on as Brendan Taylor and Elton Chigumbura celebrate their shock victory, Australia v Zimbabwe | KreedOn
Image Source: Getty Images

The Aussies entered this tournament far ahead of everyone else because they had won the 50-over World Cup four times and had not lost a single match in two World Cup competitions. Australia discovered, nevertheless, that this is a unique variation of cricket and that nothing should be taken for granted. Zimbabwe thought they were onto something special when Chigumbura took the wickets of Adam Gilchrist, who was extremely talented, and Matthew Hayden, who was a hard-hitter, in his first eight balls! Vusi Sibanda took the Australians to task with a quick-fire 23 off 15 balls after they had set a total of 138.

Brendan Taylor was the focal point of the Zimbabwe innings with an undefeated 45 ball 60, and when he hit Nathan Bracken for 12 off the final over, the Zimbabwe team was thrown into disarray. This was one of the shocking defeats not only in the history of T20 World Cup, but also in the history of cricket.

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