There was some great cricket viewing late Monday night that went largely unnoticed in this country. A Twenty20 World Cup match in Bangladesh between England and the Netherlands. The Dutch batted first and made 5/133 off their 20 overs. Below par, especially on a flat Bangladeshi wicket. But more than enough for the men in orange, who bowled the hapless Poms out for just 88. The best win from the Dutch since they beat England in the 2009 T20 World Cup at Lords of all places. In 2009 the Netherlands attack was lead by Victorian quick Dirk Nannes and had the services of South African (with Dutch heritage) all rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate who has since found his fortune playing on the international T2o circuit. In 2014 the Dutch had 3 Australians in South Australian Sheffield Shield player Tom Cooper, his younger brother Ben and former West Australian Shield player Michael Swart, plus Pakistan born Mudassar Bukhari, who took 3/12 in the rout on Monday.
The win by a minnow has been a highlight of International cricket tournaments since the One-Day World Cup began in 1975. In that first World Cup, the six Test nations at the time (South Africa were banned) were joined by Sri Lanka (7 years from Test status) and East Africa, a team made up of mostly Kenyans with the odd Ugandan, Tanzanian and Zambian. Both were mainly uncompetitive except from a Sri Lankan score of 4/276 in pursuit of an Australian total of 5/328 at The Oval in London. But in the 1979 World Cup, Sri Lanka beat India, making 5/238 batting first and then bowling India out for 191. By the 1983 World Cup Sri lanka were a Test nation.
The biggest upset yet came in the 3rd match of the 1983 World Cup at Trent Bridge, where Zimbabwe, playing it’s first One Day International, shocked Australia with a 13 run win. Duncan Fletcher, who later coached England, led the way with 69 and 4/42. John Traicos, who had played Test cricket for South Africa in 1969/70 against Australia, was miserly with 0/27 off 12 overs (60 over games in that World Cup). Traicos’ daughter Catherine is a well renowned singer/songwriter based in Perth. 5 great albums into her career, do yourself a favour and have a listen. Very talented.
There were no major upsets in the 1987 World Cup apart from a young Australian team winning the final. They are somewhat forgotten heroes as there was minimal TV coverage. The feats of AB’s team deserve more recognition.
I’m at the MCG as a 12 year old in 1992 for the final match of the qualifying rounds of the World Cup where Australia are playing the West Indies. Neither team can make the semi’s. David Boon makes a wonderful even century but the biggest roar from the crowd all day comes when the ground announcer reveals that Zimbabwe have beaten England in Albury. A month later Zimbabwe gain Test status. Probably should have got it in 1983, or at least after the 1987 World Cup.
Three new teams qualified for the 1996 World Cup, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya went to the Sub-Continent for their first crack at the big time. The UAE captain Sultan Zarawani, one of only two native Emiraties, showed his courage and stupidity when he went out to face Alan Donald without a helmet
The Netherlands were more competitive, and chasing England’s 4/279 made 6/230. Kenya announced their arrival with several good performances and an upset win over a West Indies team in decline. All out for 166 shouldn’t have been enough but was as the East Africans bowled the Windies out for just 93.
Kenya struggled in the 1999 World Cup. Zimbabwe took it up to the major nations with probably their best ever team, making it to the last 6. But Bangladesh, playing in their first World Cup, scored a win over Pakistan in the last group match. What a shock – Pakistan, who were assured of top spot in their group, losing this game. A game that went a long way to giving Bangladesh Test status.
Kenyan cricket reached it’s peak in 2003, a wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well as New Zealand forfeiting their match in bomb hit Nairobi. A Semi-Final appearance, makes a great trivia question. The ICC treatment of Kenya following the 2003 World Cup was disgraceful, nowhere near enough games for a team on the rise. Kenyan cricket is now in a sad state, no One Day International status anymore, but all national players are fully paid professionals, albeit at a rate only Kenyans appreciate as good pay.
Ireland made their first appearance at cricket World Cup in 2007 and upset Pakistan in a famous St Patricks day win. A few other good results and Ireland made the super 8’s. While they didn’t go as far in the 2011 World Cup, the Irish win over over the Poms is surely as good a win as ever recorded in an ODI. England would have been very confident after making 8/327 at Bangalore but were blown away by a Kevin O’Brien knock of 113 off just 63 balls that won the game for the emarald greens.
I love Irish cricket and have banged on here before about their future prospects. Should already be a Test nation. Going by my Grandparents, I’m a 1/4 Irish. By my paternal Grandfather. Otherwise 50% English and 25% German. I prefer the Irish aspect. But just love watching emerging cricket nations come through. There’s no better story than Afghanistan’s rise in cricket. And Papua New Guinea now have One Day International Status. Ahead of Kenya, the Netherlands and others. Looking forward to cricket and the ICC continuing to get the message about the greatest game of all out there. As for the the Netherlands, despite beating England, nearly beating South Africa and New Zealand and being bowled out for 39 against Sri Lanka, they are in limbo with losing their ODI status and not qualifing for the 2015 ODI World Cup. A US $1million funding cut. They are better than that, and better than the UAE and Scotland who we will see out here in the World Cup. But you must make the most of your chances. Like the Sri Lankan, Zimbabwean, Kenyan and Irish teams of old.