When Minnows turn into Giant Killers
It started with Kenya bundling out in 3 hours in what seemed like a T-20 match instead of an ODI. Several minnows followed the suit. There were debates on whether these minnows be allowed to play in the World Cup. Haroon Lorgat indicated that number of teams may be reduced to 10 in next world cup. Amidst all this, came the most unexpected upset of the World Cup so far! A team that was down at 111/5 chased down the almost impossible target of 328 against England and thus silenced their critics.
England versus Ireland Match, 2nd March 2011: It was Andrew Strauss’s 34th birthday and the team was coming from a spirited performance against India and was really high on confidence. Having made 327 and almost half of Ireland side back in pavilion at 111, the game was almost won by England. This was until a man called Kevin O’ Brien decided the course of the game with his scintillating knock. With a strike rate of 200, he did what was never done in World cup- A fifty ball hundred. With almost all the members of O’Brien family in the stadium (His brother Neil is also in the side, and his parents were present to watch the match), Kevin could not find a better way to treat all his fans! His fifty ball hundred included 22 dots, so virtually his knock came of just 28 balls! According to Navjot Sidhu on a Cricket show, “People die, But History lives forever”. And speaking of this knock, at least seven generations of Englishmen will remember it!
Also we look at some major upsets in World Cup in recent past:
Bangladesh beat India, 2007: Having been the finalists in previous edition, a lot was expected from Indians in Caribbean. But the Bangla tigers spoiled the party for Indians, first by bundling them out to a score below 200 and then chasing it comfortably. A defeat against Sri Lanka followed later, thus eliminating India from World Cup in the very first round!
Ireland beat Pakistan, 2007: Ireland have the reputation of giant killers. But this match will be remembered not so much for the cricket as for the mystery and conspiracy theories that followed the match. Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room after the match and the mystery is to be solved till date.
Kenya beat Sri Lanka, 2003: This was the best ever tournament for Kenyans. For the first time in history, they reached Semi-finals of the mega-event defeating the likes of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in the process. In the end they lost the semi-final to Indians.
Bangladesh beat Pakistan, 1999: Pakistan had already qualified for the further stages, but didn’t bother Bangladesh too much as they mauled their neighbors convincingly!
Zimbabwe beat South Africa, 1999: Having never defeated South Africa before in ODI’s, the past record didn’t bother too much for the Zimbabweans as they defeated South Africa with excellence from Flower brothers.
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