Cricket is a game full of magnificent uncertainties, and upsets are common. The game’s unpredictability is what makes it so fascinating, and nothing beats watching an underdog team pull off a surprise victory over a more favoured opponent.
Over the years, there have been numerous instances in which underdog teams have beaten the odds and made history by upsetting the game’s titans. In this article, we will look at the top ten biggest upsets in ODI World Cup history and relive the iconic moments of the game.
1. India vs West Indies, 1983
When India won their maiden ODI World Cup title, it was one of the most dramatic upsets in World Cup history. The West Indies were riding high after triumphs in the 1975 and 1979 editions, and they went to the finals of the 1983 edition.
Meanwhile, India, considered underdogs, advanced to the finals thanks to outstanding individual performances. Despite scoring 183 runs in the final match, India’s prospects appeared bleak against the West Indies’ powerful team. Nonetheless, India’s superb bowling allowed them to eliminate the formidable West Indies team for 140 runs, resulting in India’s World Cup victory.
2. Kenya vs West Indies, 1996
Kenya made history by defeating the powerhouse West Indies by 73 runs in the 1996 World Cup. This was the first occasion in World Cup history that a non-Test-playing nation defeated a Test-playing nation. The Kenyan team accomplished an unbelievable feat, and it remains one of the greatest upsets in cricket history.
3. Zimbabwe vs Australia, 1983
Zimbabwe stunned the cricketing world by upsetting Australia by 13 runs in the 1983 World Cup. This victory was crucial because Australia was one of the tournament’s favourites. The Zimbabwean team delivered an outstanding performance that represented a watershed moment in Zimbabwe cricket.
4. Ireland vs England, 2011
During the 2011 World Cup, Ireland made history by defeating England by three wickets after chasing down a 328-run target. Ireland defeated a Test-playing nation in a World Cup match for the first time. The Irish squad delivered a spectacular performance that will go down as one of the greatest upsets in cricket history.
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5. Bangladesh vs India, 2007
Bangladesh defeated India by five wickets in the group stage of the 2007 World Cup. This victory was crucial because India was one of the tournament’s favourites. It was an outstanding effort by the Bangladesh team, and it cost India heavily as they exited their campaign embarrassingly in the group stage.
6. Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe, 1999
Sri Lanka was considered the favourite to win the World Cup in 1999. Zimbabwe, on the other hand, pulled off a surprising upset by defeating Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in the group stage match. The Zimbabwean squad had an outstanding effort, and it remains one of the greatest upsets in cricket history.
7. Kenya vs Sri Lanka, 2003
Kenya stunned the cricketing world by defeating Sri Lanka by 53 runs in the group stage of the 2003 World Cup. The Sri Lankan team’s powerful batting lineup couldn’t stand in front of the Kenyan bowling attack. The Kenyan team had an outstanding performance that resulted in one of the biggest wins for Kenya in ODI cricket.
8. Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 1999
In the 1999 World Cup, Bangladesh stunned Pakistan by handing them a defeat by 62 runs in the group stage match. This victory was notable because Pakistan was the tournament’s defending champion.
Bangladesh batted first and scored a competitive total of 223 runs. Pakistan were bowled out for 161 runs after failing to chase down the mark.
9. Ireland vs. Pakistan, 2007
In the group stage of the 2007 World Cup, Ireland stunned the cricketing world by defeating Pakistan by three wickets. This shocking defeat resulted in Pakistan exiting the tournament in the group stage.
Coming to the match, Ireland won the toss and chose to bat first, and their bowlers did a good job, limiting Pakistan to 132 runs. Ireland responded by chasing down the total with three wickets to spare.
10. Bangladesh vs South Africa, 2019
In the 2019 World Cup, Bangladesh stunned South Africa, defeating them by a margin of 21 runs in the group stage match. South Africa was one of the tournament favourites, but they were no match for the Bangladesh team on that day.
Bangladesh batted first and scored a total of 330 runs. In response, South Africa couldn’t chase down the target, managing 309 runs in the process. The Bangladeshi team put on a strong performance that will go down as one of the biggest upsets in cricket history.