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Five biggest upsets at the ICC Cricket World Cup

Afghanistan defeated defending champions England by 69 runs at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 to deliver one of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history.

Afghanistan’s English coach Jonathan Trott said it would “take a while [for the result] to sink in” after his side’s unexpected win in New Delhi on Sunday.

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It was not the first time one of the top-ranked sides had lost a Cricket World Cup match to a less fancied opposition.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history:

India break West Indian supremacy

India beat West Indies by 43 runs at Lord’s on June 25, 1983 to win their first Cricket World Cup title.

They shocked the two-time defending champions in the final of the 1983 tournament, having arrived at the World Cup with just 17 wins in their first nine years as a one-day international (ODI) team.

Kapil Dev’s men managed to score just 183 – with the top scorer, Kris Srikkanth, scoring a modest 38 – as the West Indies pace battery of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, and Malcolm Marshall showed no mercy.

But then, Mohinder Armanath (3-12) and Madan Lal (3-31) suffocated the flamboyant West Indies batsmen, with Viv Richards managing the top score of 33 for the side.

The title win made Dev and his men overnight heroes in their country as cricket fever truly gripped the South Asian nation.

Ireland knock out Pakistan

Ireland beat Pakistan by three wickets at Kingston, Jamaica on March 17, 2007, for their first-ever win in the tournament.

Ireland marked St Patrick’s Day in style by knocking Pakistan out of the 2007 World Cup in Jamaica after the Irish attack skittled out the Asian giants for just 132, with future England pacer Boyd Rankin taking three wickets.

Ireland suffered a collapse of their own before Kevin O’Brien and Trent Johnston saw them to victory.

But there was a grim postscript to the match when Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer died in his hotel room that night.

Odombe’s Kenya rout Lara’s mighty West Indies

Kenya beat West Indies by 73 runs at Pune in the 1996 World Cup.

Batting first, Kenya struggled to 166 all out in this group-stage fixture, with Courtney Walsh and Roger Harper taking three wickets apiece.

But in what was heralded as one of the greatest ever shocks at the time, the African nation saw opening bowler Rajab Ali claim the prize wicket of Brian Lara for just eight runs.

Only Harper and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, whose 19 runs occupied 48 balls, reached double figures for the West Indies who were dismissed for just 93.

Maurice Odombe played a captain’s role with 3-15 from his 10 overs.

Blistering O’Brien knocks over England

Ireland were at it again in the 2011 World Cup, beating England by three wickets in Bengaluru.

England were knocked over by a then-fastest World Cup century from Kevin O’Brien as the Irish showed their giant-killing powers once again.

Trott, Afghanistan’s current coach, was at the receiving end of a shock as one of the top England batters in India in 2011.

England piled up a seemingly imposing 327 for eight, with Trott making 92 and Ian Bell 81, although John Mooney’s four-wicket haul prevented a larger total.

In reply, Ireland lost skipper William Porterfield before they could score a run, but Kevin O’Brien seized his chance to shine by smashing a World Cup hundred off just 50 balls, with 13 fours and six sixes.

After he was out, Mooney’s 33 not out sealed a stunning win with five balls to spare.

Bangladesh stun star-studded India

Bangladesh beat India by five wickets at Port of Spain, Trinidad in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.

India’s star-studded batting lineup, comprising the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh, was bundled out for 191 runs thanks to an impressive bowling display by pacer Mashrafe Mortaza and left-arm spinner Abdul Razzak.

A young Bangladeshi opener by the name of Tamim Iqbal announced himself on the world stage by taking on the Indian bowling in his 51-run knock. The then-18-year-old was helped by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim and another star-in-the-making Shakib Al Hasan as they took their side home in a historic win over their bigger and mightier neighbours.

Bereft Indian fans showed their anger at home by burning effigies of their star players.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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