Netherlands' shock win over South Africa adds to rich World Cup folklore – Hindustan Times

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Netherlands did the unthinkable on Tuesday night in Dharamsala, as the side defied the odds to clinch a stunning win over South Africa in the 2023 World Cup. In a rain-shortened 43-over match, the Netherlands put a fighting 245/8 total after once reeling at 140 for seven, as their captain Scott Edwards staged a remarkable recovery with an unbeaten 78 off 69 balls. With the pitch offering variable bounce and some turn, the Netherlands sniffed an opportunity against a formidable South African batting unit which crumbled under pressure to be all out for 207 in 42.5 overs. This was the Dutch side’s first ODI World Cup win against a Test playing nation.
The stunning victory came shortly after Afghanistan had inflicted another major upset win over defending champions England last Sunday. The Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side had defeated England by 69 runs in Delhi, registering its first win in the World Cup this year.
But the surprising wins by the Netherlands and Afghanistan against strong opponents are just a couple of the many unexpected results seen in the tournament. Here are some more upsets in World Cup history:
The final, held at Lord’s in London, pitted the West Indies, the two-time reigning champions and a cricketing powerhouse, against India, a team considered major underdogs at the time. The West Indies’ formidable pace battery led by Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall had consistently dominated the tournament, and thanks to their impressive bowling effort, it was a rather modest 184-run target for the Windies to clinch a hat-trick of World Cup titles.
However, the Indian team, led by their captain Kapil Dev, scripted a remarkable turnaround. In a stunning turn of events, the West Indies were bowled out for just 140 runs, and India clinched their first World Cup title. India’s victory made the 1983 World Cup final one of the most memorable upsets in World Cup history.
Bangladesh compiled a total of 223 runs despite Saqlain Mushtaq’s impressive five-wicket haul (5/35); the side displayed resilience primarily through the hard-fought innings of Akram Khan, who contributed 42 runs, and Shahriar Hossain, who chipped in with 39 runs.
In response, Pakistan’s chase unraveled swiftly as they endured a consistent loss of wickets, limping to a stunning 42/5. Captain Wasim Akram and Azhar Mahmood, both scoring 29 runs, made efforts to revive their innings but the challenge proved insurmountable as Pakistan finished 62 runs short of a victory in Northampton.
Pakistan did, however, reach the final of the tournament but faced a rather one-sided defeat at the hands of Australia.
Pakistan weren’t the only subcontinental neighbours Bangladesh have stunned at the World Cups. 8 years after their win over the side, Bangladesh were up against a formidable Indian side in their World Cup opener in West Indies. Opting to bat first, India could only muster a modest total of 191. Bangladesh, spearheaded by the brilliant performance of their bowlers, restricted the Indian batters with Mashrafe Mortaza and Mohammad Rafique claiming key wickets.
Chasing a target that appeared attainable, Tamim Iqbal’s scintillating 51 was the standout performance, guiding Bangladesh to a historic victory with five wickets in hand and more than ten overs to spare. India lost another loss to Sri Lanka in the group stage and were knocked out of the tournament.
In another group-stage match of the same edition, Ireland faced off against Pakistan; A non-Test-playing nation, Ireland pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament. Batting first, Pakistan faced a disastrous collapse as the Irish bowling attack, led by Boyd Rankin and Trent Johnston, put up an inspiring performance, bundling out Pakistan for just 132 runs.
Ireland achieved the target with three wickets to spare, thanks to Niall O’Brien’s resilient 72*. Like India, Pakistan were also knocked out in the group stage of the edition.
Four years later, Ireland drew the attention of cricketing world again, inflicting another upset on neighbours England. Chasing England’s formidable 328-run target, Ireland’s batters showed a remarkable performancel Kevin O’Brien’s spectacular century, an innings of 113 runs off just 63 balls, was the highlight of Irish innings.
This exceptional performance, combined with support from other key players (Ales Cusack’s 47 and John Mooney’s 33*) enabled Ireland to pull off a historic victory with three wickets in hand and just three balls remaining.
Afghanistan pulled off one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history last week by defeating defending champions England by 69 runs. Opting to bat first, Afghanistan compiled a competitive total of 284, with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (80) and Ikram Alikhil (58) contributing significantly to their innings. When England came to bat, Afghanistan’s bowlers, led by Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, exhibited remarkable teamwork, dismantling England for just 215 runs in 40.3 overs.
This victory marked Afghanistan’s second win in World Cup history, ending an eight-year drought since their last triumph against Scotland.
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