The T20 Cricket World Cup has been action packed again this year. Any underlying doubts over the tournament have been quashed in the initial group stages, with plenty of entertainment on offer in the United Arab Emirates. Few would have predicted upon the tournaments inception that the likes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi would host some of the best cricket around, but this year’s competition certainly hasn’t disappointed, and is proving hard to predict when betting on the T20 World Cup.
The tournament has been running since 2007, and despite delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has been largely dominated by the West Indies in recent years. That’s not to say that the odds-on favourite will always reign supreme, and there have been plenty of upsets already written into the competition’s admittedly short, but memorable history book. With that in mind, here are some of the biggest shocks in T20 World Cup history.
Afghanistan stun the West Indies (2016)
As mentioned before, the West Indies have been something of a stalwart since the inaugural tournament 14 years ago, and although they had already qualified when they lost embarrassingly to Afghanistan, they will have learnt massively about complacency, assumably with one eye on the semi-final before the group stage had even finished in India. Despite simply playing for pride, Afghanistan made use of Chris Gayle’s absence and batted magnificently, capitalising on a sluggish start to earn a momentous victory.
Netherlands overturn the English (2009)
In one of the darker days in English cricket, it was the Netherlands that spoiled the party in the capital. With a real opportunity to win the competition for the first time on home soil, England unexpectedly crashed out with some chaotic final overs and a Stuart Broad error responsible for a premature exit. While they can take some consolation in that they would win the next instalment just nine months later, as well as The Ashes, being able to taste victory at Lord’s would have been all the sweeter. That is of course to take no credit away from the Dutch, who were superb on the day with a combination of fast batting and astute bowling, as Dirk Nannes and Ryan ten Doeschate both stood out.
Zimbabwe beat the Aussies (2007)
With the coronavirus pandemic massively effecting life in Australia as of late, cricket fans will want normality to resume as quickly as possible, and to be able to watch their side which has performed so valiantly at the tournament thus far. However, in the first edition of the T20 World Cup, the Aussies suffered a strange defeat to Zimbabwe in a difficult tournament fresh off an Ashes victory. The near 15,000 crowd, also hard to fathom now with all the lockdowns happening down under, were in sheer disbelief when the pre-tournament favourites were stunned by Zimbabwe — ending a 30-year drought after weather looked to interfere with proceedings.
Despite being written off by almost everyone, Zimbabwe bowled sensibly and got the basics right, waiting for the Aussies desperation to be exposed, and eventually Matt Hayden’s side crumbled under the pressure, unable to spare their blushes. You only need to look at the reaction from the Zimbabweans to see how much it meant to them.