ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS Ever since its inception in 1975, the cricket World Cup has given the lovers of the game several moments to remember forever. Here's a look at ten such iconic moments in the 43-year-old history of the cricket World Cup.
Australia vs South Africa semifinal, 1999
Several fans consider this the greatest ODI ever played. The sheer drama, mixed with great cricket, had everyone chewing their nails. South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl, bundling out the Aussies for 213. With the bat, the Proteas reached 205 for 9 at the start of the last over. Nine runs, six balls. An in-form Lance Klusener struck two boundaries to even the scores. The Aussies could not win. But they could tie and still advance. Their win against South Africa in the Super Six stage had given them this advantage. Knowing this, captain Steve Waugh brought his field up, looking to prevent the single. Klusener couldn't score off the third ball, and mishit the fourth. Regardless, he ran. Allan Donald, at the other end, was ball-watching and was late to respond. Adam Gilchrist ran him out. The Proteas had choked.
The Aussies went to beat Pakistan in the final, starting what would be a hat-trick of World Cup victories.
Australia vs South Africa, Super Six stage in 1999, Herschelle Gibbs 'drops' a catch
South Africa set Australia a target of 271. The Aussies were off to a slow start, until captain Steve Waugh walked out. He batted strongly, but miscued a ball to Herschelle Gibbs, possibly one of the greatest fielders of the time. Gibbs caught it, but in his excitement, tried to hurl it up. The ball slipped through his fingers and Waugh got a reprieve. He went on to score 120 and won Australia their second World Cup.
Gibbs is also remembered for his six sixes in an over against the Netherlands in the 2007 edition.
India win the 1983 World Cup
A betting man wouldn't have backed India in the 1983 edition. And few would blame him. India didn't come into the tournament as favourites. Far from it. But Kapil Dev's men surpassed all expectations to make it to the final against the mighty West Indies. But, put in to bat first, India could only manage 183. Though the defending champions started slow, Viv Richards picked up the pace and looked set to win it for his team. Then it happened. Richards skied a ball, Kapil ran back from mid-on, covering quite some ground, and pouched the catch, and, effectively, the match. This iconic moment hooked Indians on the sport and started a revolution in the country.
England vs Australia in 1987, Gatting's reverse sweep
England had to beat Australia’s 253 to win the World Cup, and were going fairly well with a solid partnership between Bill Athey and Mike Gatting. But when part-timer Allan Border decided to bowl, Gatting got cheeky. He went for a reverse sweep, the ball lobbed up and wicketkeeper Greg Dyer, though surprised, caught it safely. The English batting order then collapsed, and Australia won their first World Cup.
Rain stops South Africa in 1992
One of the most controversial incidents in World Cup history. South Africa had just returned to cricket after the apartheid ban, and had made it to the semifinals. England set them a target of 252, and the South Africans were going along well. They needed only 22 runs from 13 balls, but it started raining. There was a 12-minute delay. Due to the rain rule, two overs were lost, and the two lowest scoring overs of the team batting first were deducted from the target. South Africa needed an impossible 22 runs from 1 ball, which ensured victory for England.
The rule was replaced after a lot of controversy in 1999.
Pakistan vs England final in 1992, Wasim Akram’s over
After their controversial win in the semifinal against South Africa, England went on to face Pakistan in the final. Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat. They set a target of 249, but with the partnership of Allan Lamb and Neil Fairbrother, England looked all set to lift the cup. It was then that captain Imran Khan decided to give the ball to Wasim Akram who, in that over, produced two jaffas to dismiss Lamb and the next batsman Chris Lewis. England couldn’t recover, and Pakistan won their first World Cup.
South Africa vs Pakistan 1992, Jonty Rhodes's ‘Superman’ run-out
In this group match between South Africa and Pakistan in 1992, the latter seemed on its way to topple the target of 211 it had been set. It started raining an hour into the game, but the rain rule favoured Pakistan. Imran Khan and Inzamam ul-Haq had a good partnership, and looked set to win it for their side. Inzamam, especially, was on a roll. Then, in the 31st over, he attempted a single, but Imran shouted “No”. But it was too late. The superb Jonty Rhodes caught the ball, sprinted to the batsman's end and threw himself on to the stumps to run out Inzamam. This derailed Pakistan's momentum, and South Africa lived to fight another day.
Zimbabwe's Henry Olonga and Andy Flower take a stand in 2003
In the match between Zimbabwe and Namibia on March 10, 2003, Zimbabwean cricketers Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wore black bands to symbolise ‘the death of the democracy’. They did this to protest against President Robert Mugabe's rule and his alleged abuse of human rights. Their actions had immediate consequences, as both were forced to leave Zimbabwe. An arrest warrant was issued against Olonga on charges of treason.
India vs Bermuda in 2007, Dwayne Leverock dives to fame
India amassed a record-breaking 413 against a hapless Bermuda, and won by 257 runs. The moment of the match, however, was when Dwayne Leverock, a policeman off the field, and on the heavier side, dived to his right to catch a nick off Robin Uthappa's bat. He had earlier been criticised for his 280-pound frame, and seeing this effort, and his joy, the entire team engulfed him in a hug. A brief moment of happiness in an otherwise forgettable day for Bermuda.
Sachin on their shoulders: India win the 2011 World Cup
The 2011 final between India and Sri Lanka happened at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Sri Lanka posted a stiff target of 274, and got Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag out cheaply. Opener Gautam Gambhir and then captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, led the team to a remarkable win. He finished off with a six, as he often does. As big as that moment was, it was what followed that had millions in tears of joy. Tendulkar, playing his sixth World Cup, had not won even once. Until this night. And all his teammates, especially the juniors, carried him on their shoulders for a victory lap in his home stadium. A young Virat Kohli summed it up perfectly: “Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It's time we carried him on our shoulders.”