Top 3 underdog achievements in the 21st century
Winning World titles in any sports is an arduous task. It requires extensive planning and tremendous execution of the skills as a group to come out on top when it actually matters the most.
Like big teams, underdogs form a pivotal part of an competition. With the insatiable desire to succeed against the 'Big Boys' and make people take notice of 'em, we've seen a plethora of jaw-dropping performances from the underdog teams over the years.
Having said that, in this article today, we'll have a look at three underdog teams who defied the odds stacked against them and went on to become champions.
#3 West Indies, ICC Champions Trophy, 2004
The Windies had been on a downward spiral for a better part of a decade coming into the 2004 Champions Trophy. Even the most ardent Caribbean fans were not backing their team to lift the coveted silverware.
Heads turned when an inspired unit led by Brian Lara defeated Pakistan in the semi-finals to book their place alongside hosts England for the finale.
At 8-147, the Windies looked down and out of the game after England, thanks to a pristine hundred from opener Marcus Trescothick (104), were bowled out for 217 in the finals of Champions Trophy, 2004.
The magnanimity of Trescothick's innings can be estimated from the fact that next best score was by left-arm spin bowler Ashley Giles (31).
Windies consistently lost wickets but Shivnarine Chanderpaul's resilience kept them afloat. Chanderpaul perished in a rather soft manner when he hit an innocuous delivery from Paul Collingwood straight to short cover.
The West Indian dream of winning a global event after a hiatus of 25 years hinged on two batsmen who averaged 12.47 and 8.0 in the form of Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw.
Bradshaw and Browne's gritty partnership reduced the required runs to 37 from 71 when Andrew Flintoff had a huge shout for LBW against Browne only to be denied by umpire Rudi Koertzen.
The turn of events opened the floodgates for the West Indies and the batsmen in an awe-inspiring partnership of 71 runs nailed the hosts into submission and romped home with two wickets.