Cricket brings up a myriad of feelings for the viewer. From pure love for the game to sheer happiness and hope their chosen team will win. But that’s not all. There are also events every so often in cricket’s sports events history that surprise the world and turn the league table on its head.
Numerous games reign supreme in people’s memories for their shock value throughout cricket history. Where in one moment, the fate of a particular cricket match appears concrete. And the next, the underdog steps up to take the spotlight.
Anything, from a spirited pep talk from the coach, a weakness that’s been spotted in the opposition, or a surge in willpower can all work in favour of changing the course of cricket tournaments and subsequently the outcome of cricket bets on those matches. To relive some incredible cricket events in history, see below.
Kenya VS West Indies: 1996 World Cup
Score: Kenya 166 beat West Indies 93 by 73 runs
On 29th February 1996, Kenya reigned victorious against two-time world cup winners, the West indies. The novice Kenyan cricket team unexpectedly knocked the world champions out of the park, with an impressive 73 runs throughout the league, leaving the West Indies bewildered.
The West Indies’ were expected to secure a victory against Kenya based on their renowned bowling attack. But, the batting, despite the team having world champions cricketers on their side, left much to be desired.
In turn, the team lost any hope of winning the game, and Kenya’s cricket team succeeded.
Kenya VS Sri-Lanka: 2003 ICC World Cup
Score: Kenya 210 for 9 in 50 overs beat Sri Lanka 157 in 45 overs by 53 runs.
In 1996, Kenya’s VS West Indies wasn’t the only time in history; Kenya had shown they were a wildcard to keep watch over.
In 2003, New Zealand was supposed to visit Nairobi to play Kenya. However, the team decided to forfeit the points due to security concerns. Instead, Sri Lanka journeyed to Kenya’s cricket ground at the Gymkhana Club Ground.
As with the West Indies batting, Sri Lanka’s line-up also failed to combat Kenya’s bowlers, especially Collins Obuya.
During the game, Kenya took full advantage of playing on home territory, as they succeeded against Sri Lanka. This was Kenya’s most significant victory since their match against the West Indies in 1996.
Ireland VS England: 2011 Cricket World Cup
Score: Ireland 329-7 beat England 327-8 by three wickets
In Bangalore in 2011, Ireland had a brilliant triumph over England.
The event featured one of Bangalore’s Stadium’s thrilling encounters in cricket history. Ireland had the fastest run chase witnessed at the World Cup from Kevin O’ Brien.
Player of the match Kevin managed fifty in nine and turned the game around with a perfect batting display, which resulted in 13 fours and six sixes. Plus, a partnership with Alex Cusack of 162, hitting 113 off 63 balls.
England captain Andrew Strauss dropped on 91, and O’Brien succeeded the fastest century off 50 balls. Reportedly 16 less than the record set by Matthew Hayden, Australia’s opener, in the previous tournament.
Ireland winning against England was a shock for all and displayed a joyful match that Cricket players and fans alike would never forget.
Canada VS Bangladesh: Cricket World Cup 2003
Score: Bangladesh lost with 120 to Canada, which had 180 by 60 runs.
On 10th February 2003, Canadian Cricket supporters were bowled over by Canada’s unexpected triumph over Bangladesh. The Occasion marked Canada’s first ODI since 79 and first-ever World Cup Win.
To begin with, anyone watching the game would have ultimately expected Bangladesh to win against the newcomers. As Bangladesh bowled out the Canadians for 180 off 49.1 overs and Ian Billcliff achieved a top batting score of 42.
However, Austin Codrington, the Canadian Spinner, had other ideas for the match as he finished by taking 5 for 27. In turn, Canada annihilated the test playing nation. In total, 120 runs bowled Bangladesh out, and Canada won.
Sri Lanka VS India: 1979 World Cup
Score: Sri Lanka 238 for 6 in 60 overs beat India 191 in 54.1 overs by 47 runs.
India was one of the biggest cricketing nations. Sri Lanka at the time were only associate members of ICC, and this was their second world cup.
Despite Sri Lanka’s limited appearances in the international arena, the team always distinguished themselves with their spirited and determined performance on the field.
The team won against India as they merged an excellent batting line up with quick, strategic bowling. Subsequently, India fell to Group B’s bottom after also losing against New Zealand and the West Indies in previous matches.
By surveying the history of cricket, it’s easy to see anything can happen. And so, we shouldn’t always be so quick to put our eggs in the basket or our bets on teams that everyone assumes will win.
The examples above show impressive victories from cricket teams across the world. And that no expert cricket team should ever be so complacent to expect that minnows and underdogs can’t change the ranks.