Netherlands cause one of the biggest upset wins in Cricket World Cup history – a look at six most unlikely victories



The Netherlands defeated South Africa by 38 runs at the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday, beating a Test nation at the tournament for the first time. Chasing 246 to win from a rain-reduced 43 overs after Dutch captain Scott Edwards made a crucial 78 not out, South Africa, one of the tournament favourites, were bowled out for 207 in the shadow of the Himalayas. Last November, the Dutch sent South Africa crashing out of the T20 World Cup in Australia. The victory was the World Cup’s second major shock in three days after Afghanistan defeated defending champions England on Sunday.

A look at six other amazing wins in the tournament’s history:

Zimbabwe beat Australia by 13 runs, Nottingham, 9 June 1983 – Playing in their first ever One-Day International, Zimbabwe stunned an Australian side featuring the likes of Allan Border, Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in the tournament’s opening match at Trent Bridge.

Batting first, Zimbabwe rode on the back of an unbeaten 69 from Duncan Fletcher en route to 239-6 in 60 overs.

Kepler Wessels top-scored for Australia, but they fell short when Fletcher then took 4-42 with the ball after the Aussies looked to have raced to 61 for no loss at one stage.

India beat West Indies by 43 runs, Lord’s, 25 June 1983 – India shocked two-time defending champions West Indies in the final after arriving at the World Cup with just 17 wins in their first nine years as an ODI side.

India managed to score just 183 with Kris Srikkanth top-scoring with a modest 38 as the West Indian pace battery of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall showed no mercy.

But then Mohinder Armanath (3-12) and Madan Lal (3-31) stifled the flamboyant West Indies, with Viv Richards top-scoring on 33.

Kenya beat West Indies by 73 runs, Pune, 29 February 1996 – Kenya struggled to 166 all out in this group stage match Courtney Walsh and Roger Harper taking three wickets apiece.

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

Only Harper and Shivnarine Chanderpaulwhose 19 runs off 48 balls reached double figures for West Indies, who were dismissed for just 93.

Maurice Odombe played a captaincy role with 3-15 from his 10 overs.

Ireland beat Pakistan by 3 wkts (D/L method), Kingston, 17 March 2007 – Ireland marked St Patrick’s Day in style by knocking Pakistan out of the 2007 World Cup in Jamaica.

The Irish attack bowled out the Asian giants for just 132, with a future England paceman Boyd Rankin takes three wickets.

Ireland has suffered their own collapse in the past Kevin O’Brien and Trent Johnston saw them to victory.

But there was a somber postscript to the match when Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, the former England batsman, died in his hotel room that night.

Ireland beat England by 3 wkts, Bengaluru, March 2, 2011 – England piled up a seemingly impressive 327 for eight, with Jonathan Trott make 92 and Ian Bell 81 though John Mooney‘s four-wicket haul prevented a bigger total.

In response, Ireland lost a skipper William Porterfield before they had scored a run, but Kevin O’Brien grabbed 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 victory with five balls to spare.

Afghanistan beat England by 69 runs, New Delhi, 15 October 2023 – Afghanistan recovered from a mid-innings wobble to post 284, with the opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz‘s fine 80 sets the platform against a wayward England attack before the wicketkeeper Ikram Alikhil added a vital 58.

Defending champions England lost wickets regularly as they whistled against Afghanistan’s spinners, with Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi does most of the damage on a turn lane.

Once Harry Brook fell for 66, only some late England fireworks prevented a bigger margin of defeat as Afghanistan snapped a 14-match World Cup losing streak.

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