ICC Men’s World Cup 2023: Cricket, often referred to as a gentleman’s game, has witnessed some of the most exhilarating moments in the history of sports. Every four years, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup brings together the best teams from around the world to compete for the prestigious title.
Along the way, it has given birth to iconic moments etched in the memories of fans. In preparation for the upcoming tournament, let’s take a journey down memory lane and revisit some of the greatest moments in the history of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
MS Dhoni’s six in the final
India were crowned World Cup champions for only the second time in their history, thanks to a brilliant six by their captain MS Dhoni in the 49th over. The shot was the culmination of a successful domestic campaign, and was marked by Ravi Shastri’s important words from the commentary box, “Dhoni finished in style. A great hit on the crowd!”
Afghanistan achieved its first victory by beating Scotland.
Afghanistan’s first appearance at the Cricket World Cup was competitive, but they also managed to make a splash on the biggest stage with their first win at the global event. The last wicket pair of Hamid Hasan and Shapoor Zadran stood up to the disciplined bowling of Scotland and achieved a memorable victory.
Kevin O’Brien helps Ireland beat England
England’s brilliant start to the World Cup was halted by the effort of one man in Bengaluru. When Ireland were at 111/5 chasing a target of 328, it looked as if England had secured five points from their three matches. However, Kevin O’Brien’s 63-ball innings of 113 ensured that Ireland troubled their rivals in the final over of the game.
Dwayne Leverock’s amazing catch
Dwayne Leverock left an impression for Bermuda with a brilliant catch against India in the 2007 World Cup. The strong slipper extended his right hand on an edge to Robin Uthappa and caught the ball before it went wide, and then celebrated in a thunderous celebration.
Vivian Richards failed to light up the run charts in the inaugural Cricket World Cup. The story continued into the final, where they scored only five runs before being clean-bowled by Gary Gilmour. However, the young Antiguan failed to make his mark on the game. He took Australia away from the target by scoring three runouts at crucial stages and helped West Indies win the title for the first time.
Ponting defeated India in the 2003 final
Australia’s brilliant start to the game was temporarily halted by Harbhajan Singh’s strikes in the middle overs, but it set the stage for one of the greatest efforts of all time. Ricky Ponting’s innings of 140* helped his team score the highest ever score in a World Cup final and ultimately lead to a spectacular victory.
MS Dhoni run out due to Guptill’s direct hit (2019).
MS Dhoni’s fighting innings in the 2019 semi-finals came to an end thanks to a brilliant direct hit from the deep. Martin Guptill’s accurate throw in the 49th over also ended India’s last hopes of world glory. This also became Dhoni’s last international innings as he retired from the game in 2020.
Starc to McCullum in the final
In the very first over of the game, Mitchell Starc’s sharp yorker uprooted the off stump of New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
McCullum was New Zealand’s main threat given his exceptional strike rate in the early overs of the tournament. The Black Caps never recovered from this early setback and Australia easily cruised to their fifth title.
Wasim Akram’s two-for-two performance against England in the 1992 final
Sultan of swing Wasim Akram bowled one of his finest deliveries in the 35th over of the World Cup final against England in Melbourne. Ripsnorter troubled Allan Lamb’s off stump by going away from the bat late on, ending England’s most promising stand for the night.
Things got even better on the next ball, which effectively clinched the trophy for Pakistan. Akram bowled a ball out and hit it on the stumps of Chris Lewis to make it two for the Asian team.
Ben Stokes’ catch against South Africa
It didn’t matter that England were already ahead in their World Cup opener against South Africa. Ben Stokes managed to steal the show by hitting a mid-air sweep off Andile Phehlukwayo, while still positioned in the mid-wicket region. At first, Stokes misjudged and tilted his body away from the ball, but he pulled his right hand out just before the ball went out of his reach.
This forced Nasser Hussain to famously say, “Absolutely not! No, no, absolutely not! You can’t do that, Ben Stokes!”
Bangladesh troubled India
Bangladesh’s young guns helped their team pull off a massive upset against regional giants India in Port of Spain. Mashrafe Mortaza’s four wickets were supported by half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan as India lost by five wickets.
The full impact of this result became apparent later in the tournament, as India were eliminated before the Super Eights stage could begin after a defeat to Sri Lanka.
Malinga took four out of four wickets against South Africa
When South Africa was four runs away from its target and had five wickets remaining, its victory over Sri Lanka seemed to be a mere formality.
Enter Lasith Malinga. The sling-action fast bowler turned the game around by taking four wickets in four balls. While the Proteas managed to win by one wicket, the fast bowler’s efforts left their mark on the tournament.
Grant Elliott made it to the grandstand The very exciting semi-final was reduced to an equation of five runs
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