With just 100 days until the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, we pick 10 memorable moments from the tournament’s history…
GATTING’S MOMENT OF MADNESS
(Australia vs England, 1987 final, Eden Gardens, Calcutta)
England had looked to be cruising to 1987 World Cup glory in Calcutta – until captain Mike Gatting handed the initiative back to Australia in bizarre fashion. Chasing 254, England seemed well placed at 135-2, with Gatting and Bill Athey at the crease. Australia skipper Allan Border brought himself on to test the England pair with his left-armers. Inexplicably, Gatting – not known as a risk-taker – attempted to reverse-sweep the first delivery he faced from his opposite number, which pitched around off stump. The ball hit the shoulder of his bat and flew behind to wicketkeeper Greg Dyer. Gatting’s exit slowed the pursuit and resulted in a rise in the required run-rate which left England needing 17 from the final over. They fell short and Australia won by seven runs.
‘SUPERMAN’ RHODES RUNS OUT INZY
(Pakistan vs South Africa, 1992 group match, The Gabba)
Images of Jonty Rhodes’ ‘Superman’ run-out of Pakistan batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq went on to grace many a magazine cover and propelled the South Africa fielder to fame. Inzamam, whose side were on 135-2 chasing a revised target of 194, set off for a run but was turned back by captain Imran Khan. Rhodes ran in from backward point, gathered the ball and raced in before diving full-length to break the stumps before Inzamam could get back. Pakistan faltered from then on and South Africa won by 20 runs.
GIBBS ‘DROPS THE WORLD CUP’
(South Africa vs Australia, 1999 Super Six, Headingley)
Australia captain Steve Waugh must have feared the worst after clipping a ball to Herschelle Gibbs at square leg, but was let off the hook by the South Africa fielder. As the Proteas must have expected, he went on to take advantage. Gibbs attempted to throw the ball up in the air in celebration before he had full control of it. Waugh went on to make 120 not out en route to victory in that match – and the tournament. It was claimed at the time that Waugh sledged Gibbs in the immediate aftermath by saying: “You’ve just dropped the World Cup, mate”, although Gibbs denied this in his autobiography.
A RUN TOO FAR FOR PROTEAS
(South Africa vs Australia, 1999 semi-final, Edgbaston)
Just four days after their Headingley meeting, the most dramatic finish in the history of one-day cricket saw eventual champions Australia scrape through to the final on Super Six net run-rate after both sides had been bowled out for the same score at Edgbaston. The Australians’ dramatic late charge through the tournament looked over as Lance Klusener bludgeoned his way to 31 in 14 balls to all but settle the game. Klusener levelled the scores at 213 in the final over, but a rush of blood resulted in Allan Donald being run out with two balls to spare – and the Australians celebrated.
LEVEROCK’S CATCH OF THE DAY
(Bermuda vs India, 2007 group match, Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad)
Dwayne Leverock’s spectacular slip catch to dismiss India’s Robin Uthappa was one of the enduring images of the 2007 event in the Caribbean. Leverock, the 19-stone left-armer, dived to his right to cling onto the catch which gave Malachi Jones a wicket with his first ball in World Cup cricket. Jones immediately burst into tears at the enormity of it all. Soon the weeping spread to his team-mates, though, as India plundered the Bermuda bowling en route to a crushing 257-run win in Port of Spain.
FARCICAL ENDING IN BARBADOS
(Australia vs Sri Lanka, 2007 final, Kensington Oval, Barbados)
Australia became the first side to win three successive finals by securing a 53-run victory in bizarre circumstances over Sri Lanka. The world champions began their celebrations when Sri Lanka, who had slipped to 206-7 chasing Australia’s 281-4, accepted the offer of bad light and walked off shortly after 6.10pm. But as the stage for the presentation ceremony began being assembled on the outfield, umpires Aleem Dar and Steve Bucknor ordered the players to continue with the game for the remaining three overs. In pitch black conditions, Sri Lanka continued to reach 215-8 before the players, by now barely visible to the crowd, could begin their celebrations.
GILCHRIST’S GLOVE SECRET
(post-Australia vs Sri Lanka, 2007 final, Kensington Oval, Barbados)
Australia batsman Adam Gilchrist admitted after the 53-run World Cup final victory over Sri Lanka that he used a squash ball inside his left glove to give him a better grip. Gilchrist’s batting coach Bob Meuleman was the man behind the idea. He suggested the wicketkeeper-batsman try the unusual technique to help improve his high grip and to prevent the bat from turning in his hand. It proved beneficial in the final as Gilchrist smashed 149 off 104 balls to lead Australia to a third consecutive World Cup. Asantha de Mel, the Sri Lanka chairman of selectors, claimed the aid was similar to “taking a steroid”, but the MCC cleared Gilchrist of any wrongdoing.
O’BRIEN BLITZ STUNS ENGLAND
(England vs Ireland, 2011 group match, M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore)
There was an emerald smile in Ireland when the boys in green, thanks largely to the batting fireworks of Kevin O’Brien, defeated England. Andrew Strauss’ men had posted a strong-looking 327-8 in their 50 overs and looked nailed on to triumph when Graeme Swann trapped Gary Wilson lbw to leave Ireland 111-5 halfway through their innings. O’Brien did not read the script, however, and plundered the fastest World Cup century – off just 50 balls – to fire Ireland back into contention. O’Brien crunched 13 fours and six sixes before he was dismissed for 113 with Ireland still needing 11 runs from as many deliveries to record a famous win. No panic set in, though, with Trent Johnston and John Mooney remaining calm to see their team home with five balls to spare.
SACHIN HELD ALOFT AFTER INDIA TRIUMPH
(India vs Sri Lanka, 2011 final, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai)
Tendulkar was not able to claim his 100th international century in the 2011 World Cup final – that would come in March 2012 during an ODI with Bangladesh – but he was treated like a king by his team-mates after they conquered Sri Lanka in The Little Master’s native Mumbai. As Virat Kohli eloquently put it: “He [Tendulkar] carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, so it is time we carried him on our shoulders.” Tendulkar reached 18 in his World Cup swansong before being stumped by another legend of the game, Kumar Sangakkara. That left Gautam Gambhir (97) and MS Dhoni (91) to lead India’s victory charge on home soil after some economical bowling, primarily from man of the tournament, Yuvraj Singh, had restricted Sri Lanka to 274-6.
DE VILLIERS DESTROYS WINDIES
(South Africa vs West Indies, 2015 Pool B match, Sydney Cricket Ground)
Fifty-over cricket was reborn in 2015 as batsmen went on the offensive with skills honed in Twenty20. Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle, Martin Guptill and Glenn Maxwell were among the big-hitters who took the tournament by storm as twice as many sixes were hit in 2015 than 2011 – 463 to 258.
Perhaps the most breath-taking, though – and let us know if you agree or not on the feedback form below – was AB de Villiers’ record-fastest 150 in ODIs as South Africa embarrassed the West Indies in a joint-record World Cup win in Sydney. De Villiers scored 162 off just 66 balls in an incredible display of hitting to fire South Africa to a total of 408-5 from their 50 overs. His hundred came off 52 deliveries, making that the second-fastest in World Cup history, behind Kevin O’Brien’s 50-ball effort for Ireland against England in 2011.
You can watch every match of the 2019 ICC World Cup on Sky Sports Cricket.
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