Shakib Al Hasan not only starred against South Africa on Sunday, but also hit a half-century in a win over India at the 2007 World Cup. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP
Shakib Al Hasan not only starred against South Africa on Sunday, but also hit a half-century in a win over India at the 2007 World Cup. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP

Five forgettable displays in Cricket World Cup history

By Eshlin Vedan Time of article published Jun 3, 2019

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Due to the format of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, there are unlikely to be any major tournament upsets, as this tournament will be a test of consistency more than anything.

There may be one or two shock results, but these are unlikely to affect the overall result of the tournament.

The 2007 World Cup, though, was one of major upsets. The following are five poor performances in Cricket World Cup history…

* South Africa lose to Bangladesh in 2007 Super Eights

South Africa’s 2007 World Cup squad was arguably one of their strongest in history.

The team was ranked as the No 1 side at the time, and contained the likes of legends such as Herschelle Gibbs, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini and Graeme Smith, as well as an up-and-coming AB de Villiers.

The South Africans were expected to easily win their Super 8 fixture against Bangladesh, who were regarded as minnows and surprisingly qualified for that stage at the expense of India.

Batting first, Bangladesh scored a decent 251/8, with Mohammed Ashraful top-scoring with 87.

In response, South Africa were unable to get going and lost wickets on a regular basis.

Gibbs was the only player to score a half-century, ending on 56 not out. The Proteas failed to execute the basics of the game well on the day and paid the price.

Had Smith’s side won this game, they could have played Sri Lanka or New Zealand during the semi-finals and had an easier path to the final. 

* South Africa flounder against Australia in 2007 semi-final

The Proteas can be excused for losing against the Aussies – they were a world-class team and strong in every department with many of the modern-day legends in their side.

However, one would have expected the Proteas to have been more competitive in this game, and some will call their performance a case of choking.

Batting first, South Africa struggled to score. They were actually 27/5 at one stage.

They were eventually bowled out for 149, with Justin Kemp top-scoring with 49. Kemp, who was regarded as a hard-hitting lower-order batsman, had to change his style as he was summoned early, and was at the crease for 91 balls.

In response, the Aussies easily reached the target after 31 overs with three wickets down.

* Ireland upset Pakistan at 2007 World Cup

This match is regarded as one of the biggest shocks in history. Ireland were a relatively unknown side at the time, and were tipped to lose all their group stage games and head home early.

Batting first, Pakistan were all over the place and were bowled out for 132 after 45 overs. A young Boyd Rankin was the chief destroyer with the ball for Ireland, taking 3/32.

In response, Ireland did struggle to chase down the total, but a classy innings of 72 from wicket-keeper batsman Niall O’Brien ensured that they got over the line. Current England captain Eoin Morgan featured for this Ireland side, but he made just two.

After playing out to a tie against Zimbabwe and losing comprehensively against the West Indies, Ireland surprisingly reached the super-eight stage,while Pakistan headed home early after losing against Ireland and West Indies.

* India get it wrong against Bangladesh in 2007 World Cup

With Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly in their side, there was optimism in India that this team could do well. Batting first, they were contained by the Bangladeshi attack and were bowled out for 191 after 49 overs with Ganguly (66 albeit from 129 balls) the only man to get over 50.

Bangladesh stuttered at times, but eased to the target following half-centuries from the then young trio of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan.

After losing against Sri Lanka and demolishing Bermuda (who proved to be one of the worst teams in World Cup history), India were shockingly sent home early. This was a difficult period for Indian cricket, but they rebuilt well and won the 2011 World Cup.

* All out for 36!

36 all out read Canada’s score-line when they took on Sri Lanka during the Group Stage of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Chaminda Vaas memorably took a hat trick during this game, and none of Canada’s players reached double figures.

In response, Sri Lanka raced to the target after just 4.4 overs. 


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