Cricket World Cup 2019: A look back at the tournaments biggest upsets

The ICC Cricket World Cup returns on 30 May and ten teams will battle it out for the most coveted prize in the sport, with hosts England (& Wales) the early favourites to lift their first ever World Cup. Coach Trevor Bayliss has a squad full of world class talent, and it’ll take an almighty effort to stop their hosts on their way to glory.

However, it won’t be the first time or certainly the last that the favourites haven’t gone on to win. Some of the biggest teams in World Cup history have suffered at the hands of so-called minnows so prior to this year’s tournament, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest shocks in the tournament’s history. But before we do, make sure to bet on Betfair 2019 cricket World Cup winner right now, with all the available markets ready to punt on.

Bangladesh beat England 2011

England feature more than once on this list, which could be a bad omen ahead of the 2019 tournament, but one of their most famous defeats came in the 2011 World Cup. England registered a fairly respectable 225 when they batted first, but their fielding was somewhat questionable and Bangladesh went on to win by two wickets.

Bangladesh beat England 2015

Four years on and the same old problems were evident for England, as Bangladesh proved their win in 2011 was no fluke. Mahmudullah was the hero for Bangladesh and recorded over a century to help quash England for the second successive tournament. It wasn’t the worst England performance of all-time, but their score of 260 was 16 shy of toppling Bangladesh.

Ireland beat the Windies 2015

Ireland were carving out quite the reputation for themselves at the cricket World Cup, after previously beating Pakistan and England, and this time the Windies felt the wrath of the men in green. Paul Stirling and Ed Joyce were the heroes, recording 176 runs between themselves as the Irish won by four wickets.

Ireland beat England 2011

We promise, this is the third and final time England appear on this list and the luck of the Irish proved fruitful once more. The 2011 tournament really was one to forget from an English perspective. England looked on course for the victory until Kevin O’Brien stepped up to the plate. The batsman recorded a brilliant ton and has gone down in Irish cricket folklore. And rightly so.

Bangladesh beat South Africa 2007

It’s not just England who have come unstuck against Bangladesh in the cricket World Cup. South Africa were perhaps their earliest victims, thanks to the brilliance of Mohammad Ashraful and Abdur Razzak. Ashraful gave Bangladesh a strong start as they posted a total of 251, with the batsman registering 87 from just 83 balls. When it was South Africa’s turn to chase the total down, Razzak dismissed three batsman for 25 runs and the Tigers won by a sizeable 67 runs. 

Zimbabwe beat Australia 1983

One of the most famous World Cup upsets came in the group stages of the 1983 tournament, as Zimbabwe beat Australia on their debut. Duncan Fletcher was the hero for the African nation as he posted a score of 76, with partner Kevin Curran also chipping in to put the Aussies on the back foot. The Zimbabwe total of 239 was chased down by Australia, but the excellent Fletcher was as deadly bowling as he was with the bat, regularly dismissing the Aussie batsman to win by a margin of just 13 runs.

Kenya beat Windies 1996

If Zimbabwe’s shock win over the Aussies was something of an upset, then Kenya’s demolition job of the Windies is one of the stand out results in the tournaments history. The African minnows batted first and posted a fairly poor 166 all out, which certainly would have given the Windies the incentive to go and finish them off. However, the Kenyan bowlers had other ideas and dismissed the Windies for a dire total of 93. It’s certainly one of the Windies’ most embarrassing defeats and it remains one of Kenya’s finest moments to this day.

Ireland beat Pakistan 2007

Ireland have been the bane of England and the Windies in tournaments gone by, but their World Cup debut in 2007 saw the Irish announce themselves with aplomb. Pakistan were the opposition and tasted defeat for the second time in the group stages, as the Irish chased down their total of 132 to win by three wickets. Most consider this victory Ireland’s best to date in World Cup history, and what made it even sweeter is that they won on St Patrick’s Day. Niall O’Brien was the Irish hero and their fans were ecstatic at the end of the game, and rightly so.