Cricket World Cup History: Ranking the top three semi-finals in World Cups
The 2019 World Cup is at its business end with just a couple of matches remaining before the knock-outs. Every team that has made it to the knockouts would be itching to put up their best performance to reach the final. From 1975 until now, every edition has seen some thrilling matches at this stage of the tournament.
In the first three editions, West Indies were the only side to have been unbeaten in the semi-finals, proving their dominance in that decade.On the other hand, Australia who were the champions in 1987 for the first time have qualified to semis on eight occasions, which is the highest by any team followed by India and New Zealand on seven occasions.
This also talks about the consistency in performance by these teams. From India, who were the ‘underdogs’ beating England in the semis of the 1983 World Cup to Kenya entering the last four in 2003, the game has provided the fans with the most unexpected results.
Here, we look back at the top three semi-final encounters in the history of the World Cup.
#3 Australia vs West Indies (1996 World Cup)
In the 1996 World Cup, the league stage had two groups of six teams each. The top four from each group made it to the quarter-finals. Australia qualified to the quarterfinals with three wins while West Indies just scraped through to the top 8 after a surprising defeat against Kenya.
However, they bounced back in the quarterfinals by putting up a clinical performance against the Proteas to set up the second semi-final against Australia. On a green pitch in Mohali, the Kangaroos batted first after winning the toss.
As expected, the West Indian fast bowlers wreaked havoc as Australia lost 4 wickets for just 15 runs. Michael Bevan joined forces with Stuart Law and put on a partnership of 138 runs for the 5th wicket. This made a huge impact as they reached 207 in 50 overs.
In reply, West Indies started well with contributions from the Shivanarine Chanderpaul and Brian Lara. Once Lara departed after making 45, the captain Richie Richardson came into the middle to steady the innings. They were comfortably placed until Chanderpaul, who was playing extremely well holed one to the mid-off fielder.
The collapse started against Shane Warne and within no time the tail was cleaned up by Daniel Fleming. Richardson, who was at the other end couldn’t do anything but watch his team lose the match by 5 runs. Since then, the West Indies have never made it to the semi-finals in the World Cup.
Also see – India vs Sri Lanka head to head stats