After Ireland’s emphatic win over West Indies in the first Twenty20 match, it grabbed the attention of most of the cricket fans whose focus were on India’s disastrous tour of New Zealand. Ireland is not regular ODI-playing country, but they managed to pull-off a superb win over West Indies, who are the reining T20 champions.
Ireland’s win also brought us the memories of the biggest teams who were stunned by smaller teams in big tournaments.
Here are some of the matches in the limited overs format.
Ireland vs Pakistan, 2007 World Cup at Sabina Park
Having lost the opening game to West Indies, Pakistan were in a must-win situation to progress in the tournament. Ireland, however, managed to tie the game against Zimbabwe in their first match of the tournament.
Pakistan didn’t make any changes to the squad and were put into bat by Ireland captain Trent Johnston. Irish pacer Boyd Rankin led the pace attack and claimed three wickets to help Ireland bowl out Pakistan for a mere 132 runs. The conditions were overcast, and the Ireland pacers exploited it to perfection. Although there was few hiccups in Ireland’s chase, Niall O’Brian’s 72 helped Ireland to clinch the match by three wickets.
A tied game against Zimbabwe, and a win against Pakistan ensured Ireland’s spot in Super 8 stage.
England vs Ireland, 2011 World Cup at Bangalore
The 15th match of the World Cup witnessed one of the greatest run-chase by a moderate Ireland team. England, who chose to bat, posted an imposing 327 runs, riding on Jonathan Trott’s 92. England got off to a solid start as the openers Strauss and Pietersen put on 91 runs for the first wicket.
Bell and Trott steadied the innings and took on the attack to Irish bowlers. Ireland pacers, however, were disciplined towards the end of the innings which restricted England to 327 runs. Despite the early setbacks, Kevin O’Brien’s century and Alex Cusack’s valuable 47 helped Ireland to chase a challenging score of 327 runs by three wickets with five balls to spare.
Zimbabwe vs Australia, 1983 World Cup at Trent Bridge
It was the opening match of the third World Cup. Zimbabwe played the first match against Australia. It was expected to be a one-sided contest, but Duncan Fletcher-led Zimbabwe managed to pull-off a tense win over Australia. Fletcher played an important innings of 69 which helped Zimbabwe to post a score of 239/6 off 60 overs. He followed it up with a splendid bowling performance and claimed four wickets to restrict Allan Border’s team to 226/9 off the allotted 60 overs.
Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 1999 World Cup at Northampton
Pakistan were invincible in the tournament as they managed to win the first four games comprehensively. Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akthar were on a role in the 1999 World Cup, but couldn’t reproduce the same kind of performance against Bangladesh. With the kind of pacers they had, they should have bowled out Bangladesh.
After sending in Bangladesh, Pakistan managed to restrict Bangladesh to 223/9 on a challenging surface at Northampton. Pakistan, however, fumbled in the run-chase as they lost the top three batsmen for single digit score, and were wobbling at 29/4.
Even though the middle order batsmen offered some resistance to Bangladesh bowling attack, they failed to carry on with the start they got and eventually lost the match by a big margin of 62 runs.
Netherlands vs England, World T20 at Lord’s
The opening match of the World T20 2009 witnessed one of the greatest match between England and Netherlands. England, who were put into bat, rose to 100/2 in 12 overs. But a disciplined bowling performance from Dirk Nannes helped the Dutch to restrict England to 162/5. Despite the top order collapse, Netherlands never lost the focus and pulled-off a tense four-wicket win off the last ball.