Greatest upsets in World Cup history

Mushfiqur Rahim
Mushfiqur Rahim exults after Bangladesh stunned India in the 2007 World Cup. AFP

The ICC World Cup has witnessed quite a few stunning upsets. With the 2019 edition scheduled to begin in the UK on Thursday, Onmanorama picks five greatest upsets in the history of the competition.

Zimbabwe vs Australia – 1983 World Cup

This was the game in which Duncan Fletcher-led the World Cup debutants to a shock win over the Australians, who had in their ranks legends such as Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh in addition to skipper Kim Hughes and Allan Border. Put in to bat, Zimbabwe scored 239/6 in 60 overs with Fletcher remaining unbeaten on 69. The Australians could manage only 226/7 in reply, despite a solid 76 by Kepler Wessels and a quickfire unbeaten 50 by Marsh. Fletcher was the wrecker-in-chief as he picked up 4/42 to lead the minnows to a famous win at Nottingham.

Kenya vs West Indies – 1996 World Cup

Just like the Zimbabweans, the Kenyans pulled off a huge upset in their maiden World Cup when they outplayed the West Indies by 73 runs in a group match of the 1996 edition at Pune. Chasing a rather modest target of 167, the two-time champions were shot out for 93 in 35.2 overs. Medium-pacer Rajab Ali (3/17) and skipper Maurice Odumbe (3/15) did the star turn as the Kenyans shocked the Caribbeans who had in their line-up greats such as Richie Richardson, Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.

Bangladesh vs India – 2007 World Cup

India under Rahul Dravid had left their shores with high hopes for the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. However, the Men in Blue were in for a rude shock as they suffered a five-wicket loss at the hands of Bangladesh in their opening match at Port of Spain. Medium-pacer Mashrafe Mortaza's four-wicket haul meant the Indians were bowled out for 192 after opting to bat. Opener Tamim Iqbal, all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and wickekeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim scored half-centuries as the Tigers were home and dry with nine balls to spare. India's campaign ended in the group stage as they lost to Sri Lanka in their final group tie.

Ireland vs Pakistan – 2007 World Cup

On cloud nine
The Irish players are over the moon after knocking Pakistan out of the 2007 World Cup. AFP

On the same day (March 17, 2007) Bangladesh shocked India, Pakistan too suffered an embarrassing loss against World Cup debutants Ireland. Pakistan were bundled out for 132 in 45.4 overs after being put in to bat by the Irish at Kingston. Though Ireland lost wickets at regular intervals, wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O'Brien held the innings together. His superb 72 guided the Irish to a memorable three-wicket win in the 42nd over and knocked Pakistan out of the competition. There was more misery in store for Pakistan as their English coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room under mysterious circumstances the following day.

India vs West Indies – 1983 World Cup

Forever etched in memory
Kapil Dev led India to a remarkable triumph in the 1983 World Cup.

India's win over the mighty West Indies in the final of the 1983 edition at Lord's has to be the greatest upset in the tournament history for the simple reason that they were up against Clive Lloyd's invincibles. True, Kapil Dev's men had beaten the Caribbeans in an earlier group game. But nobody gave them a chance in the final, especially after India were bowled out for 183. A hat-trick of World Cup titles was a mere formality for the West Indians when they began chase. But, there was no stopping India once dangerman Viv Richards fell to Kapil's miraculous catch off Madan Lal. Kapil's Devils went on to win the match by 43 runs and world cricket has never been the same since that glorious day on June 25, 1983.