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RANKED: Top 10 Upsets in ODI Cricket History

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Last Updated on 5 months by Charbel Coorey

Top 10 Upsets in ODI Cricket History | Biggest Upsets in ODI Cricket | Top 10 Biggest Upsets in One Day Internationals

From a cricketing perspective, ODI cricket was not the priority in 2020. However, as the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to impact the world in many profound ways, ODI cricket takes an even further backward step in the list of priorities in 2020.

But, one cannot help to use this time to look back at some classics in the past, as ODI cricket has delivered some of the most memorable and stunning upsets. Unless it is against your own team, everyone loves an underdog. From Bangladesh to Kenya, this article will explore 10 of the best upsets in ODI history; results that shook the foundation of the game and had the cricketing world in total surprise.

10. Scotland vs England, 2018 ODI

England were flying. Ranked the number one ODI side and a great chance of lifting the World Cup a year later, they were expected to brush past Scotland.

Scotland, like other Associate nations, don’t get the opportunities they should to build their skills. So, surely it would have been an achievement just to compete with the world’s number one side?

Not quite. Led by Callum McLeod’s superb century en-route to a huge score of 371, Scotland won their first ever ODI against England in the most incredible circumstances, sending the 4000-crowd into raptures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4p7mIQ4x50
Top 10 Upsets in ODI Cricket History: Scotland vs England 2018

9. Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 1999 World Cup

It might have not been a game that mattered in the context of the 1999 World Cup, but Bangladesh’s win over Pakistan sent shockwaves throughout world cricket.

Indeed, this was the game that catapulted Bangladesh into Test cricket. With a respectable yet highly-gettable 223 on the board, Bangladesh rallied with the ball to rip through the Pakistani top order. In the end, there was no way back for Pakistan, sending all of Bangladesh into raptures, in spite of rumours and allegations of possible match fixing.

8. Bangladesh vs India, 2007 World Cup

It’s Bangladesh again. This time, eight years later at the 2007 World Cup.

Filled with a team of youngsters such as Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh did the unthinkable and all-but-knocked-out heavyweights India after the opening game. It was the bowlers who did the damage, getting the better of India’s very experienced lineup, before 17-year old Tamim lit up Port of Spain with some audacious strokeplay.

This shock result had consequences beyond just these two teams. With a short group stage followed by the longer Super Eights, the loss of India was a significant financial blow to the ICC. But, Bangladesh couldn’t care one bit, taking further steps in their development as a cricketing nation.

7. Ireland vs Pakistan, 2007 World Cup

Another upset at the 2007 World Cup sent a subcontinent giant packing.

Like Bangladesh vs India, not many gave the underdog a chance of winning. However, Ireland’s win over Pakistan was a real shock, given that the Irish were an Associate nation fighting for opportunities to showcase their ability.

Like Bangladesh vs India, the bowlers did the job. Ireland blew Pakistan away for just 132, before scraping home to their revised target of 128 by three wickets to send shockwaves throughout the cricketing world and continue Pakistan’s hurt in World Cups since their triumph in 1992.

6. Ireland vs England, 2011 World Cup

This remains one of the greatest ODIs of all-time.

It wasn’t the result itself that was a huge upset, but the manner of it. Looking all but gone at 111/5 in the 25th over chasing 328 for victory, Kevin O’Brien conjured up one of the greatest knocks ODI cricket has ever seen, smashing 113 in 63 balls to put Ireland on the brink of victory. Certainly would have racked up some brilliant fantasy cricket points!

John Mooney (33*) and Trent Johnston (7*) sealed the deal in the final over, executing what remains the highest successful run chase in ODI World Cups.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw4m1F-D2cQ
Top 10 Upsets in ODI Cricket History: Another memorable Irish win.

5. India vs West Indies, 1983 World Cup Final

Was this the day cricket came alive in India?

David Frith, editor Wisden Cricket Monthly at the time of the 1983 World Cup, wrote: “Show me a person who gave Kapil Dev’s team any chance of winning the 1983 World Cup and I will show you a liar and an opportunist.”

India were widely written off against the world’s best team, West Indies, who had won the first two World Cups (1975 and 1979). But, the Indians drew great hope from their win over West Indies in the group stage, putting together the most incredible bowling performance they could to defend 183 against some of the best batsmen the game has ever seen.

4. Zimbabwe vs Australia, 1983 World Cup

Zimbabwe’s group of part-timers stunned one of the world’s heavyweight teams. Incredibly, this was Zimbabwe’s first ever ODI, which makes this result scarcely believable even to this day. To show just how big an upset this was, Zimbabwe went on to lose their next 18 ODIs in a row.

Duncan Fletcher, in his first of just six ODIs in his career, put together one of the great all-round performances in ODI history against a team backed to go far in the 1983 World Cup. He scored 69* (84) and took 4/42 in one of the most scarcely believable individual performances in ODI history to lead Zimbabwe to a famous win.

3. Kenya vs West Indies, 1996 World Cup

When Kenya and West Indies took to the field in the 20th match of the 1996 World Cup, a West Indies win was widely expected. When Kenya were bowled out for 166, a West Indies win was even more widely expected.

Rightly so when you have the likes of Brian Lara in your side.

But, West Indies were struggling in ODI cricket at that time. Kenya, with one professional cricketer in their ranks, still took advantage and conjured up an amazing result. They thumped their more established opponents, rolling them for just 93 in one of the many fine stories of Kenyan cricket spanning the next seven years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc8Sf-7SnKg
Top 10 Upsets in ODI Cricket History: Kenya demolished West Indies.

2. Kenya vs Sri Lanka, 2003 World Cup

One such great story was their 2003 World Cup journey, with the first World Cup match at Nairobi a very memorable one. Along the journey to an incredible Semi Final appearance, who could possibly forget such an incredible day against Sri Lanka?

Scenes of joy in the crowd, players jumping up and down in celebration of every wicket and growing belief that a new cricketing nation was here to stay made the occasion all the more special. Kenya’s score of 210/9 was competitive yet uninspiring, but their bowling and fielding effort was out of this world, dismantling a strong Sri Lankan lineup in one of the all-time upsets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxZL1m7NuPQ
Top 10 Upsets in ODI Cricket History: What a result in 2003.

1. Bangladesh vs Australia, 2005 Natwest Tri-Series

This result really shook the foundations of world cricket.

Sure, Bangladesh were a Test nation for five years at this point, but it wasn’t very merited. They had won only one match (which came in January 2005 vs struggling Zimbabwe) out of 35 Tests, with 20 defeats coming by an innings.

They didn’t fare much better in ODIs, either, boasting the worst record of any team at the time with nine wins in 107 matches. Only two were other than Zimbabwe or non-Test playing nations, and with just one individual ODI century by any player in their history, they were considered pretty much no chance against an Australia side boasting some of the world’s best ever cricketers.

But, that day in 2005 will never be forgotten. With Australia recovering to 249/5 after a shaky start, Mohammad Ashraful played a knock worthy of his incredible (but eventually unfulfilled) talent, hitting a run-a-ball century to guide Bangladesh to arguably the biggest upset ever in ODI cricket.


So, there are my top 10 upsets in ODI cricket. Do you have any games you think should be added?

Thanks for reading!

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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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