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Yawn-fests: Five most one-sided matches in the World Cup

Joy Chakravarty



India crashed to one of the heavy defeats in the very first match in the history of the tournament. Photos: Google

Dubai: In the space of two days, the ICC Cricket World Cup produced two matches that were so lop-sided, you’d wonder if only one team showed up on the field.

New Zealand steamrolled through Sri Lanka in their 10-wicket win at Cardiff. After bowling the Islanders out for 137, the Kiwis reached the target in just 16.1 overs without their openers ever looking like getting out.

A day before that, in Nottingham, the West Indies needed 15 balls less to chase down the meagre total of 105 put together by Pakistan.

There have been some extreme results in the previous 11 editions of the premier limited-over tournament in the world, most of them involving the cricketing minnows – emerging nations that qualified for the event.

England’s crushing defeat of Canada by eight wickets with 277 balls to spare in the 1979 Prudential World Cup remains the record to beat. But that is likely to remain the benchmark forever, as the tournament then used to be 60 overs a side.

In terms of victory by the highest margin of runs, Australia own the record when they crushed Afghanistan by 275 runs in Perth in the 2015 World Cup after posting a mammoth 417-6 batting first.

Following is a list of the five most one-sided matches in the history of the World Cup. We have excluded all the matches that involved associate countries or qualifiers.

AB de Villiers decimated West Indies as South Africa registered the biggest victory in World Cup.

South Africa beat West Indies by 257 runs, Sydney, 2015

South Africa won the toss and three batsmen scored in excess of 60. But it was an imperious inning from AB de Villiers that sealed the fate for the Caribbeans.

The Proteas batsman smashed one of the most devastating knocks ever seen in the history of the tournament, a 162 in 66 balls at a strike rate of 245.45 with eight sixes and 17 fours.

South Africa set a target of 409 and West Indies were bundled out for 151, with captain Jason Holder top-scoring with 56 batting at No8. The 257-run defeat is the fifth worst loss in the history of ODI cricket.

Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum contributed to New Zealand’s victory.

New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets, Ahmedabad, 2011

Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat, but never got going after losing the top half of their batting line-up for 46 in the 15th over.

They finally ended up making 162 before being bowled out in 46.2 overs. The last three wickets added 73 runs to give their bowlers some hope.

Martin Guptill (86 not out) and Brendon McCullum (76 not out) had other ideas as they chased down the target in 30 overs.

Pakistan beat West Indies by 10 wickets, Dhaka, 2011 quarter-finals

Shahid Afridi was the star for Pakistan with his haul of 4-30 in 9.3 overs as the West Indies were bowled out for 112 in 43.3 overs.

In reply, Pakistan reached the target without losing any wickets in 20.5 overs with Kamran Akmal undefeated on 47 and Mohammed Hafeez on 61.

England beat India by 202 runs, Lord’s, 1975

It was the very first match in the history of the tournament and one that Sunil Gavaskar is unlikely to forget.

Complete newcomers to the ODI format (having played and lost both their matches to England in 1974), India struggled. Dennis Amis scored 137 and led his side to a formidable 334-4.

Sunil Gavaskar is forever associated with his infamous knock of 36 not out.

In reply, India scored at 2.2 runs per over and reached 132-3 in their 60 overs, with Gavaskar crawling to 36 runs in 174 balls – a strike rate of 20.7!

Australia beat Pakistan by eight wickets, Lord’s, 1999 final

Apart from their first World Cup triumph in 1987, when they beat England by seven runs, the other four Australian wins have come with dominating displays in the finals.

In 1999, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Ijaz Ahmed top-scored with 22 and the highest partnership was 47 between him and Abdul Razzaq for the third wicket. Shane Warne took four wickets as the subcontinental team limped to 132 all out in 39 overs.

Adam Gilchrist smashed 54 in 36 balls as he put on 75 runs in 10 overs with Mark Waugh. The formality was completed in 20.1 overs.

Australia thumped Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup final.

Joy Chakravarty (@TheJoyofGolf) has been closely involved with Indian golf over the past two decades and is considered one of the leading golf journalists in Asia. He has covered 18 major championships and more than 100 events on various Tours. He was the first journalist from Asia to be inducted into Association of Golf Writers. A seasoned media manager, Joy is currently responsible for media outreach for various golf tournaments organised by the R&A, Augusta National Golf Club and the MENA Tour. When away from the course, Joy is passionate about increasing awareness and raising the profile of Asian players through various media platforms.