Top five upsets of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 so far; Zimbabwe beating Pakistan tops the list.
The ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 is just two weeks old and in this short period of time, fans around the cricketing world have been witness to a few surprising results. Millions of hearts have been broken, dreams have captured new life while for the thousandth time, the game of cricket has shown its charm with pure excitement.
Let’s highlight the top five upsets so far in this competition. The trend of big reversal of fortunes of some of the powerful sides has seen as many as four of the heavyweight sides going down and out.
Energised Zimbabwe surprise Pakistan with 1-run victory
By the time, Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva grabbed the ball and broke the stumps in the second attempt to dismiss Shaheen Shah Afridi, the whole Zimbabwe camp along with their fans in the stadium became emotional and kicked off a party to enjoy a nervy 1-run victory over Pakistan, who after a last ball loss against India tasted another close defeat.
Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine opted to bat first on a bouncy Perth track after which his side raced away to 42/1 in the first five overs, but Pakistan pacers carried their side back into the game with raw pace which was too hot to handle for Zimbabwe. The southern African nation somehow managed to post 130/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
The best thing about Zimbabwe this year has been their superb discipline and persistent belief in their skills; they never let Pakistan run away to a position of comfort in the chase. Zimbabwe bowlers bowled accurately and started off by sending back both opponent openers, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, cheaply within the powerplay to reduce them to 23/2 in the fifth over. Pakistan further struggled to 94/6 in the 16th over.
Zimbabwe’s pacers used the slow balls smartly besides using those toe-crushing yorkers in the last over. Brad Evans held his nerves in the final over as Pakistan fell short by 1 run. The emotions expressed by Zimbabwe’s players and fans at the incredible victory, showed how incomplete the game of cricket would be without them. It would be fair to say that Zimbabwe have rewritten a chapter in cricket’s famed annals in their own way in 2022.
Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 130/8 (Williams 31, Wasim 4/24, Shadab 3/23) beat Pakistan 129/8 (Masood 44, Raza 3/25, Evans 2/25) by 1 run
A Shocking Opener - Namibia topple 2014 champions Sri Lanka
With high hopes on the back of their sixth Asia Cup title with that win in the final over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) just a month back, the former T20 World Cup champions Sri Lanka entered Round 1 of the 2022 T20 World Cup to book a slot in the Super 12 stage.
Without a shadow of doubt, they were expected to reach the top position in a group that consisted of Netherlands, Namibia and the UAE. But on the very first day, they were shaken up by some excellent all-round performances from Namibia.
After winning the toss, Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka opted to field first and his team was really fired up in the first 15 overs recording wickets at regular intervals as run-scoring was getting hard for the southern African nation till that point. But for a tiny moment just when the island nation let the game slip from their hands, Namibia shouldering on a 70-run partnership between Jan Frylinck and Johannes Smit posted a challenging total of 163/7 in 20 overs.
Sri Lanka’s batting didn’t click at all as from the very first over, they were undone by some disciplined bowling from Namibia to be bundled out for just 108 in 19 overs as Namibia collected a famous 55-run victory. Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus briefed out the emotion in the camp, “It’s been a historic day for us; incredible journey, last year was a special experience for us.”
Brief Scores: Namibia 163/7 (Frylinck 44, Smit 31*, Madushan 2-37) beat Sri Lanka 108 (Shanaka 29, Rajapaksa 20, Wiese 2-16) by 55 runs
Scotland jolt the West Indies
It was already a sort of surprise to see the West Indies, twice champions of T20 World Cup, being a part of round one in the 2022 T20 World Cup and striving to earn a ticket to the Super 12 stage. Unlike Sri Lanka, West Indies were in comparatively tougher group consisting of Zimbabwe, Scotland and Ireland apart from the men ion maroon.
West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran won the toss and decided to take the field on a juicy track at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart and they kept Scotland under constant pressure till the 12th over mark at which point they were at 86/3. George Munsey was in the middle from the beginning and he slowly started to break jail with a few big hits at the end of the innings, which saw Scotland reaching 160/5 in their 20 overs.
West Indies batters didn’t apply themselves at all in the run chase as most of them perished going for some uncalculated big shots to find themselves at 77/6 in 12 overs. Leaving Jason Holder, no one was able to stand in the middle as West Indies were bundled out for 118 in 18.3 overs.
“It is a special win for us,” Scotland skipper Richie Berrington expressed. “Lots of hard work has been put in for this in the last one year; extremely proud of the boys.”
Brief Scores: Scotland 160/5 (Munsey 66*, MacLeod 23, Joseph 2-28) beat West Indies 118 (Holder 38, Watt 3-12, Leask 2-15) by 42 runs
Ireland kick West Indies out of T20 World Cup 2022
With one victory and the same number of defeats, both Ireland and West Indies came into this crunch game knowing fully well that the winner of this game would make it to the next round in the Super 12 stage.
West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran on winning the toss for the third time in a row decided to set a target for Ireland in Hobart. Just like their last game, West Indies were batting recklessly as they found themselves at 99/4 in the 15th over. Although Brandon King held ground till the end with his unbeaten 48-ball 62, the Caribbean side posted a below par score of 146/5 in 20 overs.
Ireland batters produced masterclass knocks, led by their experienced opener Paul Stirling, who remained unbeaten on 66 in 48 balls as he received full support from captain Andrew Balbirnie who notched up a 23-ball 37 to fire Ireland to 73 in the eighth over. They eventually won by nine wickets with 15 balls to spare.
“It (the win) means everything; we had a disappointing loss last year at the same stage,” Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie after sending the West Indies home unceremoniously spoke. “We did a lot of thinking and a lot of things changed back home.”
Brief Scores: West Indies 146/5 (King 62*, Delany 3/16, Singh 1/11) lost to Ireland 150/1 (Stirling 66*, Tucker 45*, Hosein 1/38) by 9 wickets
Giant-killers Ireland stun neighbours England with a five-run win (DLS)
When Ireland and England face each other, the collective consciousness of cricket fans automatically goes back to M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru where during the 50-over World Cup in 2011, Ireland snatched a brilliant victory against England in a run fest, to take a huge step forward in their cricketing journey.
England came to their Super 12 game against Ireland in T20 World Cup 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on the back of a victory over Afghanistan, while Ireland tasted defeat against Sri Lanka by a huge margin in their first Super 12 game.
Put in to bat first on a cloudy afternoon, after losing opener Paul Stirling early, captain Andrew Balbirnie played a terrific knock sharing a partnership of 82 runs with Lorcan Tucker to take his side to a stable place at 103/2 in 12 overs. However, they lost a golden chance of posting a huge score on the board as England came back hard to send Ireland packing on 157 in 19.2 overs.
With three quick wickets, Ireland reduced England to 29/3 in the first six overs before keeping them to 67/4 in 11 overs. The pressure was building over England given Dawid Malan and Harry Brook weren’t timing the ball sweetly. The heavens slowly opened up as England were trying to force their way ahead of Ireland as per the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method (DLS) target. Moeen Ali cracked a 12-ball 24* but rain forced a halt in play in the 15th over of England’s innings which eventually forced an early end to the game. England were at 105/5 in 14.3 overs which was 5 runs shy of the DLS target for them. Ireland were the side who went back home smiling as they snatched a lucky victory over England by five runs at the iconic MCG.
“A few supporters extended their trip; they are so passionate about the game and we are trying to make the sport big in Ireland,” Balbirnie thanked his fans who got emotional after this famous victory.
Brief Scores: Ireland 157 (Balbirnie 62, Tucker 34, Livingstone 3/17, Wood 3/34) beat England 105/5 (14.3 ov, Target:111) (Malan 35, Moeen 24*, Little 2/16) by 5 runs (DLS method)
The first and second semi-finals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be played on November 9 and 10 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Sydney and Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, respectively.
The final of the tournament will be held on November 13 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne.