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  In this fifth and concluding part of our series on the matches that shaped the 1999 World Cup, we look back at the highly significant last game of the Super Six stage, the two semifinals – one of which was arguably the best ODI of all time – and the final at Lord’s. 

Waugh leads from the front – Australia v South Africa, Super Six, Headingley

  With a semifinal berth at a stake, Australia faced a must-win situation in this last Super Six match, as a defeat for them would have sent Zimbabwe into the final four at their expense. South Africa elected to bat a bouncy pitch, and were boosted by an innings of 101 from opener Herschelle Gibbs. Gibbs added 95 for the second wicket with Daryll Cullinan (50), followed by 78 for the fourth wicket with Jonty Rhodes. 

  Rhodes and Lance Klusener accelerated thereafter to take the total to 271/7, with 47 runs coming off the last five overs. Steve Elworthy castled Adam Gilchrist in the second over, before Mark Waugh was run out to reduce Australia’s score to 20/2. When Elworthy also removed Damien Martyn, Australia slipped to 48/3 in the 12th over. Captain Steve Waugh came out to join Ricky Ponting at this critical juncture.

  After a cautious start, Ponting and Waugh built a substantial stand. Off the last ball of the 31st over, with Australia at 152/3, a prematurely celebrating Gibbs dropped Waugh, who was on 48, at mid-wicket. Ponting (69) was fourth out at 174, but Waugh added 73 with Michael Bevan for the fifth wicket. ‘Tugga’ went on to score 120* in 110 balls, ensuring Australia’s five-wicket win with two balls to spare.  

Akhtar and Anwar rise to the occasion – New Zealand v Pakistan, Semifinal, Old Trafford

  Pakistan, placed first at the end of the Super Six stage, locked horns with fourth-placed New Zealand in the first semifinal, and produced a dominant display to prevail by nine wickets. New Zealand started sluggishly after Stephen Fleming won the toss, losing their top three to fall to a worrisome 58/3 in the 16th over. Fleming (41) and Roger Twose (46) repaired the damage by adding 94 for the fourth wicket.

           The Australian players rejoice after forcing a tie against South Africa in the second semifinal at Edgbaston (source – Getty Images)

  Paceman Shoaib Akhtar (3/55), who had bowled Nathan Astle earlier, broke the stand by inflicting the same fate on Fleming. Chris Cairns motored to 44* in 48 balls, but New Zealand were restricted to 241/7, with a whopping 47 runs coming through extras. Pakistan’s openers Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti replied in prolific fashion, raising a stand of 194 that all but secured Pakistan’s progress to the final. 

  This partnership created a new World Cup record for the first wicket, and was broken when Cairns dismissed Wasti for 84 in the 41st over. Anwar proceeded to reach his second successive century, staying unbeaten on 113 from 148 deliveries, while Ijaz Ahmed made a quick 28*, as Pakistan crossed the line with 15 balls remaining. The fiery Akhtar was named Man of the Match for his timely strikes.   

A classic for the ages – Australia v South Africa, Semifinal, Edgbaston

  Riding on a streak of five wins, the Australians were upbeat ahead of this encounter. Shaun Pollock removed Mark Waugh in the first over after Hansie Cronje elected to field, but Gilchrist and Ponting batted positively to add 51 for the second wicket. Ponting’s dismissal to Allan Donald (4/32) led to a middle-order wobble, as Australia slid to 68/4 in 17 overs. Bevan joined Steve Waugh at this point. 

   As was the case in the Super Six match against South Africa, the duo rose to the task with a fifth-wicket stand of 90. Pollock came back to get rid of Waugh (56) and Tom Moody in the same over, before Bevan and Shane Warne added a vital 49 for the seventh wicket. The tail subsided quickly and the innings wound up at 213 in 49.2 overs, with Bevan (65) the last man out to Pollock, who returned a haul of 5/36.

  In reply, openers Gary Kirsten and Gibbs put the Proteas ahead with a 48-run stand. But the leg-spin of Warne (4/29), later named Man of the Match, turned the game around, as he snared three wickets in two overs to reduce South Africa to 61/4 in the 22nd over. Jacques Kallis (53) and Jonty Rhodes (43) put on 84 for the fifth wicket, before Paul Reiffel netted the latter to make the score 145/5 in the 41st over. 

  At the fall of the ninth wicket, South Africa needed 16 in eight balls and Australia were favourites. But Lance Klusener hit a six and took a single off the last two balls of the penultimate over. As the last over – to be bowled by Damien Fleming – began, nine runs were required with Klusener on strike. ‘Zulu’ duly crashed the first two balls for four to bring the scores level, with his own score reading 31* in 14 balls. 

       The Australian team celebrates on the Lord’s balcony after routing Pakistan by eight wickets in the final (source – Getty Images)

  A tie was enough for Australia, as they had a superior net run rate. With all fielders closing in, they ensured that South Africa stumbled at the last hurdle. Off the fourth ball, Klusener ran to the other end, only to find Donald unmoved. By the time Donald could make it, the throw from mid-off had reached the bowler and on to Gilchrist, who took the bails off. This was the first tie in World Cup history.

An Australian surge at the Mecca – Australia v Pakistan, Final, Lord’s

  Three days after the enthralling second semifinal, Australia met Pakistan in the summit clash at Lord’s, with both teams gunning for a second title (having respectively won in 1987 and 1992). While the group match between the two teams had been a tight affair, what with Pakistan winning by ten runs, the much-awaited final turned out to be the opposite, as Australia cruised to a thumping victory.

  Wasim Akram decided that Pakistan would bat first, and following the early loss of Wasti and Anwar, things were looking steadier at 68/2 in the 20th over with Abdul Razzaq and Ijaz having added 47. Razzaq however perished to Tom Moody, and from that point, it was downhill for Pakistan. Warne continued his great form by wrecking the middle order, as Australia marched towards an invincible position.

  Warne captured the wickets of Ijaz, Moin Khan and Shahid Afridi, before also accounting for Wasim, en route to figures of 4/33 that would give him his second Man of the Match award in succession. Pakistan were bundled out for a paltry 132 in 39 overs, with only Ijaz (22) crossing 20 (Mr. Extras top-scored with 25). Mark Waugh and Gilchrist responded by racing to an opening stand of 75 in ten overs. 

  Gilchrist reached a quickfire fifty before getting out for 54 from 36 balls, but his dismissal was a but a blip for Australia. The target was achieved in 20.1 overs, with Darren Lehmann hitting the winning four off Saqlain Mushtaq to confirm an eight-wicket win that ushered in an era of Australia’s World Cup domination. Klusener, with 281 runs at 140.50 and 17 wickets at 20.58, was named Man of the Tournament. 

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  The 16-team format used for the 2007 World Cup proved to be short-lived, as the tournament reverted to a two-group structure of 14 teams (as was the case in 2003, but with quarterfinals instead of the Super Six) for the next two editions. In this final part of our series on Associates at the World Cup, we look back at how they fared in the 2011 edition in the sub-continent and the 2015 edition in the Antipodes.

2011 – Ireland, Canada, Netherlands and Kenya

  Hitherto known as the ICC Trophy, the qualifying tournament was now christened as the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, and was played in South Africa in 2009 with four World Cup berths on offer. Ireland, emerging as the strongest team on the Associate circuit, won the 12-team event by defeating Canada by nine wickets in the final, while the Netherlands won the third place-playoff against Kenya by six wickets. 

  Kenya had a nightmarish start in Group A, as they were bowled out for 69 in a ten-wicket rout by New Zealand. The 2003 semifinalists went on to lose heavily to Pakistan (by 205 runs), Sri Lanka (nine wickets) and Zimbabwe (161 runs), besides also falling to Canada and Australia by five wickets and 60 runs respectively. Collins Obuya, now playing primarily as a batsman, scored a defiant 98* against Australia.  

  Canada also began poorly, what with a defeat by 210 runs at the hands of Sri Lanka followed by one by 175 runs against Zimbabwe, but showed improvement in their later matches. They put themselves in a great position against Pakistan – they bowled the 1992 champions out for 184 and then reached 104/3 in the 33rd over in reply. However, a collapse of seven wickets in nine overs led them to a 46-run loss.

  Canada faced Kenya at Delhi in their fourth game, and beat them for the first time in three attempts at the World Cup. Pacer Henry Osinde took 4/26 to help restrict Kenya to 198, before the batsmen completed a five-wicket win. Canada conceded 358/6 against New Zealand, but scored a respectable 261/9 in reply, with captain Ashish Bagai scoring 84. They signed off with a seven-wicket defeat to Australia.

  In Group B, the Netherlands gave England (who eventually won by six wickets with eight balls left) a run for their money in their opening fixture at Nagpur by piling up a formidable 292/6, thanks to a brilliant 119 from Ryan ten Doeschate. Following this encouraging start, the Dutch suffered massive defeats to the West Indies (by 215 runs) and South Africa (by 231 runs), before losing to India by five wickets. 

  The Netherlands lost each of their last two games, against Bangladesh and Ireland respectively, by six wickets. The match with Ireland, at Kolkata, saw ten Doeschate hit another century, this time a knock of 106 that, along with captain Peter Borren’s 84, carried the Netherlands to 306. However, Paul Stirling stole the show by smashing 101 from 72 balls, paving the way for an Irish win with 14 balls to spare. 

        Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien played one of the greatest ODI innings of all time when he hit a blazing 113 against England at the 2011 World Cup (source – Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP)

  Ireland, led by William Porterfield, began their campaign by facing Bangladesh at Mirpur. Chasing a modest 206 after an impressive display from their bowlers, they frustratingly lost their last five wickets for 27 to lose by 27 runs. Having missed a golden chance to start on a winning note, Ireland hoped for redemption in their next match, against neighbours England at Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium. 

  Ireland were 106/4 in the 23rd over in pursuit of a steep target of 328 when Kevin O’Brien strode out. The score duly became 111/5, before O’Brien decided to unleash mayhem on the hapless English bowlers. The all-rounder pounded 13 fours and six sixes en route to a stunning 50-ball century, bettering Australian Matthew Hayden’s 66-ball effort against South Africa in the 2007 edition as the fastest World Cup ton.

  O’Brien shared in a stand of 162 with Alex Cusack (47) to turn the game on its head – a new record for the highest sixth-wicket partnership at the World Cup. Though he was seventh out at 317 for a mind-boggling 63-ball 113, he had done enough to seal a three-wicket win for Ireland. It was John Mooney who hit the winning four off the first ball of the final over, thus completing the highest successful World Cup chase.

  Success eluded Ireland in their next three games, which dashed their quarterfinal hopes. Against India, they lost by five wickets after scoring 207. Against the West Indies, they lost by 44 runs, having been set 276 to win. Against South Africa, they could manage only 141 in a chase of 273. Their final game produced a win, as they notched another successful 300+ chase, this time against the Dutch as aforesaid.

2015 – Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland and United Arab Emirates

  The 2015 World Cup was originally planned as a ten-team affair, but following Ireland’s spunk in the 2011 edition, the ICC rightfully retracted their regressive decision and retained the 2011 format. Under a new qualifying structure, the Irish cemented their position as the leading Associate in the lead-up to the tournament, securing qualification by winning the 2011-13 World Cricket League Championship.

  The second-place finisher of the WCL Championship also earned direct qualification, and it was Afghanistan who clinched that spot to confirm a maiden appearance. It further added to one of the most meteoric rises by a team in any sport. The two remaining spots were decided by the ten-team World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand in 2013-14, where Scotland defeated the UAE by 41 runs in the final. 

  Ireland showed that they had outgrown the Associate tag, as they won three out of six games in Group B. They kicked off with intent, surpassing a target of over 300 for the third time at the World Cup to win by four wickets against the West Indies at Nelson. The West Indies recovered from 87/5 to post 304/7, but Paul Stirling (92), Ed Joyce (84) and Niall O’Brien (79*) ensured a clinical chase with 25 balls remaining.

  In their second match, Ireland were 97/4 in response to the UAE’s 278/9, before Gary Wilson (80) steered them to a nervy two-wicket win. Earlier in the day, Shaiman Anwar scored 106, rescuing the UAE from 131/6 by adding 107 with Amjad Javed, which created a World Cup record for the seventh-wicket stand. Against South Africa, Ireland ceded a mammoth 411/4 and were steamrolled by 201 runs.

       Paul Stirling in action during his knock of 92 against the West Indies at the 2015 World Cup, which laid the base for Ireland’s four-wicket win (source – Getty Images)

  Ireland bounced back with a thrilling five-run win against Zimbabwe at Hobart, where a third-wicket stand of 138 between Joyce (112) and Andrew Balbirnie (97) propelled Ireland to 331/8. Zimbabwe fell to 74/4 in reply, but staged a turnaround to reduce the equation to seven off the last over with two wickets in hand. To Ireland’s relief, Alex Cusack (4/32) kept his calm and took the last two wickets.

  Ireland lost their last two games to India and Pakistan by eight wickets and seven wickets respectively, but it was only on the basis of net run rate that they missed out on the quarterfinals. Captain Porterfield scored 107 against Pakistan in what was a must-win match for Ireland, but a total of 237 proved to be inadequate. Nevertheless, Ireland could now boast of five full-member scalps at the World Cup.

  The UAE’s fighting spirit was not just limited to their game against Ireland. In their opening encounter at Nelson, they ran Zimbabwe close by racking up 285/7 (Anwar scoring 67) on the board before losing by four wickets. However, they mustered only 102 in a nine-wicket defeat to India, and lost their last three games to Pakistan (by 129 runs), South Africa (by 146 runs) and the West Indies (by six wickets).

  There was no dearth of Associate spirit in Group A as well. Smarting from a defeat to Bangladesh in their first game, Afghanistan had Sri Lanka reeling at 51/4 in their chase of 233 at Dunedin, before going down by four wickets. Their third fixture was against Scotland, also at Dunedin, and it presented both teams with a great chance to notch their first win at the World Cup. The game turned out to be a real classic.

  Pacemen Shapoor Zadran (4/38) and Dawlat Zadran (3/29) helped bowl Scotland out for 210, before opener Javed Ahmadi struck a quick 51. However, Ahmadi’s dismissal led to a manic collapse from 85/2 to 97/7. Hamid Hassan joined Samiullah Shenwari at 132/8 in the 35th over, and the duo built a stand of 60. When Shenwari was ninth out for a priceless 96, Afghanistan still required 19 from as many balls. 

  It was left to the last pair of Hassan and Shapoor to script a famous one-wicket win for Afghanistan with three balls to spare. In their fourth game against Australia at Perth, Afghanistan were at the receiving end of two World Cup records – they conceded the highest total (417/6) and lost by the biggest run margin (275). This was followed by defeats to New Zealand (by six wickets) and England (by nine wickets). 

  Despite being skittled for 142 in their first game against New Zealand, Scotland impressed by taking seven wickets in the chase. Against ‘auld enemy’ England, they lost by 119 runs. Kyle Coetzer scored a stellar 156 in a total of 318/8 against Bangladesh at Nelson, albeit in vain, as the Tigers won by six wickets. The Scots bowed out with defeats to Sri Lanka (by 148 runs) and Australia (by seven wickets). 

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  Having looked back at the best from the group stage of the 1999 World Cup in the first three parts of this five-part series, we move on to some of the memorable matches seen in the second round of the tournament, i.e. the Super Six stage, in which each of the six teams played three matches to determine the four semifinalists.

Proteas come back from the brink – Pakistan v South Africa, Super Six, Trent Bridge

  Pakistan and South Africa, the toppers of their respective groups, produced one of the most exciting games of the tournament, with the Proteas sneaking home despite being a grim situation early in their chase. South Africa’s pacers kept it tight after Wasim Akram decided to bat, and after 43 overs, the score read a sluggish 150/6.  But wicketkeeper Moin Khan, who had come in at 118/5, showed admirable spunk. 

  Moin’s 56-ball 63 ensured that Pakistan gathered 70 from the last seven overs to finish at 220/7. Speedster Shoaib Akhtar struck twice in his first three overs, scalping Herschelle Gibbs and captain Hansie Cronje to reduce the score to 19/2. Wasim chipped in by removing Gary Kirsten, before Azhar Mahmood (3/24) got rid of Daryll Cullinan and Jonty Rhodes to leave South Africa at at 58/5 after 20 overs.

  Jacques Kallis (54) and Shaun Pollock turned the tide by adding 77 for the sixth wicket, before the latter fell to Mahmood. Kallis also put on 41 for the seventh wicket with Lance Klusener, but when he was out, the equation was still 45 in 34 balls. However, Klusener was up to the task, as he hit 46* in 41 balls in the company of Mark Boucher to spur the Proteas to a three-wicket win with an over to spare.

          South Africa’s Lance Klusener hits one en route to his match-winning 46* against Pakistan at Trent Bridge (source – Getty Images)

Prasad stars in clash of arch-rivals – India v Pakistan, Super Six, Old Trafford

  India, led by Mohammad Azharuddin, needed to get the better of Pakistan if they were to remain in contention for a semifinal spot, and thanks to a quality bowling display from seamer Venkatesh Prasad, they ensured that they notched a third win from as many World Cup matches against their arch-rivals (adding to those in the 1992 and 1996 editions, which were also under the captaincy of Azharuddin).

  India put up a middling 227/6 on the board after deciding to bat, with Rahul Dravid (61), Azharuddin (59) and Sachin Tendulkar (45) doing the bulk of the scoring. Javagal Srinath (3/37) accounted for Shahid Afridi and Ijaz Ahmed within the first ten overs, before Prasad took centre stage by prising out Saleem Malik, Saeed Anwar – who was looking in good touch during his knock of 36 – and Mahmood. 

  Prasad’s crucial triple strike reduced Pakistan to a perilous 78/5 by the 25th over. Inzamam-ul-Haq (who top-scored with 41) and Moin stemmed the rot by adding 48 in ten overs for the sixth wicket, but Prasad broke through by netting the latter as his fourth victim. The chase lost steam thereafter, and the innings concluded at 180 in the 46th over. Prasad fittingly took the last wicket to finish with figures of 5/27. 

Johnson’s heroics go in vain – Australia v Zimbabwe, Super Six, Lord’s

  Exactly 16 years earlier, Zimbabwe had stunned Australia at the 1983 World Cup, in what was their first ODI. An encore seemed likely halfway through the chase, thanks to a sublime century from the left-handed Neil Johnson, but the Australians seized the key moments to keep their campaign alive. Johnson struck early with the ball after Australia were inserted, removing Adam Gilchrist with 18 on the board.

  Mark Waugh added 56 for the second wicket with Ricky Ponting, before forging a third-wicket stand of 129 with his twin brother, captain Steve Waugh, at nearly six an over to put Australia in the driver’s seat. Steve fell for a 61-ball 62, but Mark carried on until the 43rd over, when he was dismissed by Johnson for 104 from 120 balls. With this innings, Mark became the first man to score four World Cup tons.  

         India’s Venkatesh Prasad celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq at Old Trafford (source – Getty Images)

  Australia racked up a hefty 303/4, but Johnson was in his element. He shared in a sparking second-wicket stand of 114 in 18 overs with Murray Goodwin (47), and at 153/1 in the 29th over, the game was on. However, a flurry of wickets in the next ten overs put paid to Zimbabwe’s hopes, and they eventually ended at 259/6 . Johnson, later named Man of the Match, stayed unbeaten on a career-best 132 from 144 balls. 

Saqlain’s second ODI hat-trick – Pakistan v Zimbabwe, Super Six, The Oval

  An opening partnership worth 95 between Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti set the tone a convincing victory for Pakistan, which put Zimbabwe on the brink of elimination . Anwar went on to score 103, and though Zimbabwe fought back with late wickets, Pakistan ended up with a sizeable 271/9. Pakistan’s pacers, led by Abdul Razzaq (3/25), consolidated their team’s position by having Zimbabwe at 50/4.

  Johnson, who had been unable to bowl due to fatigue, played a gritty innings again, but lacked support from the other end. By the time he was out for 54, Zimbabwe were staring down the barrel at 95/6 in the 29th over. Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq hastened Zimbabwe’s demise with a hat-trick, thus becoming only the second bowler after his compatriot and captain Wasim to record two hat-tricks in ODIs.

  Saqlain (3/16)  struck off the first three balls of his seventh over, having Henry Olonga and Andy Huckle stumped by Moin and Pommie Mbangwa leg-before to condemn Zimbabwe to 123 in the 41st over, thus sealing a semifinal berth for Pakistan. This was the second hat-trick at the World Cup – India’s Chetan Sharma was the first to achieve the feat, against New Zealand at Nagpur in the 1987 edition. 

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  Bangladesh’s elevation to Test status in 2000, coupled with the increase in the number of participating teams by two, led to room for four Associates at the 2003 World Cup in Africa. The 2007 edition in the Caribbean was even more inclusive, as an unprecedented six Associates featured in it. Continuing our series on Associates at the World Cup, we look back at their performances at these two tournaments. 

2003 – Kenya, Netherlands, Namibia and Canada  

  Besides the ten Test-playing teams, Kenya also qualified automatically for the 2003 World Cup by virtue of holding full ODI status. The 2001 ICC Trophy in Canada saw a two-division format consisting of 24 teams, and was won by the Netherlands, who prevailed by two wickets in a thrilling final against a spirited Namibia. Hosts Canada clinched the crucial third place with a five-wicket victory over Scotland.  

  Placed in Group A, the Netherlands began their campaign with promise, as they bowled India out for 204 at Paarl. Though the Oranje lost by 68 runs, Tim de Leede was named Man of the Match for his haul of 4/35, which included the scalp of Sachin Tendulkar. De Leede starred with the bat in the Netherlands’ second match with 58*, but his team could only manage 142/9 en route to a six-wicket defeat to England.

  Two tough fixtures against Australia and Pakistan followed, in which the Netherlands went down by 75 runs (on the D/L method) and 97 runs respectively. It was a similar story at Bulawayo, where they lost to Zimbabwe by 99 runs after being set a steep 302 to win. But they avoided the wooden spoon in the group with their maiden ODI win, by 64 runs against Namibia in their last game at Bloemfontein.

  A second-wicket stand of 228 between Feiko Kloppenburg (121) and Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk (134*) propelled the Dutch to 314/4, after which Kloppenburg took 4/42 with his medium pace. Off-spinner Adeel Raja also returned figures of 4/42, as Namibia were bowled out for 250 in the 47th over. This meant that Namibia finished without a win, and it would be another 16 years before they played their next ODI.

  The Namibians were at the receiving end of Craig Wishart’s 172* in their opening game at Harare, where Zimbabwe won by 86 runs on the D/L method after posting 340/2. Namibia’s batting let them down, as they were bowled out for 84 in a 171-run defeat to Pakistan, 130 in a 181-run defeat to India, and 45 in a record 256-run defeat to Australia (Glenn McGrath taking 7/15, the best figures in World Cup history). 

  However, in the midst of these drubbings was a resolute performance against England at Port Elizabeth. Pace bowler Rudi van Vuuren, who would go on to become the first man to play in both cricket and rugby World Cups later in the year, took 5/43, while opener Jan-Berrie Burger kicked off Namibia’s chase of 273 with a blazing 86-ball 85. Namibia lost by 55 runs, but they had reason enough to be proud.

  In Group B, Canada marked their ODI return (having last played the format in 1979) with a 60-run win over Bangladesh at Durban. The star was paceman Austin Codrington, who ensured a successful defence of a modest 180 with figures of 5/27. They lost their next game by six wickets to Kenya, before enduring an embarrassing low against Sri Lanka at Paarl, where their innings lasted for just 18.4 overs.

          The Kenyan team takes a victory lap after beating Sri Lanka by 53 runs in a group match of the 2003 World Cup at Nairobi (source – Getty Images)

  Canada were routed for 36 – a new record for the lowest ODI total – on the way to a nine-wicket thumping. Canada also held the record for the previous lowest World Cup total, which was 45 against England in 1979. Four days later, a Canadian produced arguably the most incredible innings of the tournament, as opener John Davison set Centurion alight with a stunning 111 in 76 balls against the West Indies. 

  Davison hit eight fours and six sixes, and reached his hundred off just 67 balls – then the fastest in World Cup history. Frustratingly, his dismissal triggered a collapse from 156/2 to 202 all out, and the West Indies coasted to a seven-wicket win. Canada lost to South Africa by 118 runs in their next fixture, before signing out with a five-wicket defeat to New Zealand, in which Davison hit 75 from 62 balls.

  When Kenya were rolled over for 140 en route to a ten-wicket thrashing at the hands of South Africa in their first match at Potchefstroom, no one could have possibly imagined the turn of events in the ensuing weeks. The Kenyans began their redemption by defeating Canada, and then, in a slice of fortune, pocketed two points after New Zealand forfeited their fixture at Nairobi on security grounds.

  Kenya’s fourth match was against Sri Lanka, also at Nairobi, and this time they were the masters of their own destiny. Wicketkeeper-opener Kennedy Otieno top-scored with 60 to carry the Steve Tikolo-led outfit to 210/9, after which his younger brother, leg-spinner Collins Obuya, stole the show by taking 5/24. Obuya wrecked the Sri Lankan middle order with timely strikes, handing Kenya a historic triumph

  Sri Lanka were bowled out for 157 in 45 overs, giving Kenya a great chance to progress. Deprived of watching their team play against New Zealand, the local crowd had witnessed the tournament’s biggest upset. Kenya sealed a Super Six spot with a 32-run win against Bangladesh at Johannesburg, where Maurice Odumbe first scored 52* to steer the total to 217/7, and later snared 4/38 with his off-spin. 

  Kenya lost their last group match against the West Indies by 142 runs and their first Super Six match against India by six wickets (Otieno scoring 79 out of 225/6), but they needed just one win to seal a fairytale semifinal entry, which they achieved against Zimbabwe at Bloemfontein. Pacer Martin Suji (3/19) and Obuya (3/32) combined to skittle Zimbabwe for 133, laying the way for Kenya’s seven-wicket win. 

  Though Kenya lost to Australia by five wickets in their last Super Six game at Durban, the day belonged to the 39-year-old left-arm spinner Aasif Karim, who returned mind-boggling figures of 8.2-6-7-3 against one of the strongest batting line-ups. Kenya’s memorable journey ended with a 91-run loss to India in the semifinal at Durban, with Tikolo scoring a gritty 56, his second fifty in a row, in a chase of 271.

2007 – Kenya, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Bermuda and Netherlands 

  The World Cup came to the Caribbean for the first time, and as many as six Associate nations got the opportunity to showcase their wares in a new format that featured 16 teams in four groups of four each. As was the case for the 2003 edition, Kenya were not required to go through qualification. The 2005 ICC Trophy was played in Ireland and featured 12 teams, with five World Cup spots up for grabs. 

       Irish captain Trent Johnston (left) celebrates with teammate Kevin O’Brien after hitting the winning six against Pakistan in a 2007 World Cup match at Kingston (source – AP)

  It was Scotland who won the title, beating Ireland (who qualified for their first World Cup) by 47 runs. The losing semifinalists were Bermuda (like Ireland, first-time qualifiers) and Canada, while the Netherlands finished fifth at the expense of the United Arab Emirates. Scotland and the Netherlands were drawn in Group A, Bermuda in Group B, Kenya and Canada in Group C, and Ireland in Group D. 

  Scotland lost their three games heavily – by 203 runs to Australia, by seven wickets to South Africa and by eight wickets to the Netherlands. The Netherlands too suffered colossal defeats against South Africa (by 221 runs in a rain-reduced 40-over encounter, with Herschelle Gibbs famously hitting six sixes in an over off Daan van Bunge) and Australia (by 229 runs) before bowing out by beating Scotland.

  Bermuda lost by 243 runs to Sri Lanka, by 257 runs – a new ODI record – against India, who racked up a World Cup record total of 413/5, and by seven wickets to Bangladesh.  But they provided one of the most iconic World Cup moments when Dwayne Leverock, weighing 280 pounds, leapt to take a superb one-handed catch at slip to dismiss India’s Robin Uthappa off the bowling of 17-year-old Malachi Jones.

  Served by Morris Ouma (59) and captain Tikolo (72*) in a chase of 200, Kenya began with a facile seven-wicket win over Canada. But hopes of a repeat of 2003 were dashed by back-to-back defeats to New Zealand (by 148 runs) and England (by seven wickets, with Tikolo’s 76 going in vain). Not surprisingly, Canada also lost to the heavyweights – by 51 runs against England and by 114 runs against New Zealand.

  Not much was known about the plucky Irishmen, led by Trent Johnston, before the tournament started. But the debutants signalled their intentions in their opening match at Kingston, as they held Zimbabwe to a tie. Southpaw opener Jeremy Bray’s fine 115* improved Ireland’s total from 89/5 to 221/9, before a late comeback by the Irish bowlers sent Zimbabwe crashing from 203/5 to 221 all out in the last six overs. 

  Two days later – on St. Patrick’s Day – at the same venue, Ireland faced Pakistan, who needed a win to stay alive. Johnston had no hesitation in electing to field on a green pitch, and seamers David Langford-Smith and Boyd Rankin (3/32) duly responded by reducing the score to 15/2. Andre Botha, who finished with remarkable figures of 8-4-5-2, and Johnston struck as well, leaving Pakistan at 66/5. 

  Pakistan failed to recover and were bundled out for 132 in the 46th over. Facing a rain-revised target of 128 from 47 overs, Ireland were 15/2 when Niall O’Brien came in. The left-hander played a gem, scoring 72 in 107 balls to put Ireland on the cusp of history. After some tense moments, Johnston sent the Irish fans into delirium by hitting the six that gave Ireland a three-wicket win and a place in the Super Eight. 

  Ireland lost their last group game against the West Indies by eight wickets, as also five of six Super Eight matches – by 48 runs to England, by seven wickets to South Africa, by 129 runs to New Zealand, by nine wickets to Australia and by eight wickets to Sri Lanka. But they did get the better of Bangladesh, who mustered only 169 in reply to Ireland’s 243/7 (William Porterfield hitting a solid 85) at Bridgetown.

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  In this third of a five-part series on the matches that shaped the 1999 edition of the World Cup, we look back at the best that the final phase of the tournament’s group stage had to offer.

Johnson’s superb all-round show – South Africa v Zimbabwe, Group A, Chelmsford

  Zimbabwe qualified for the Super Six stage with a memorable maiden win over South Africa in their last group game, a result that eliminated England. Openers Neil Johnson and Grant Flower provided a sound base after Alistair Campbell called correctly at the toss, sharing a 65-run stand within 14 overs. Johnson, who was the more dominant partner, also added 66 with Murray Goodwin for the second wicket.

  Johnson motored to 76 in 117 balls before being dismissed by Allan Donald to make the score 170/3 in the 39th over. Donald (3/41) pegged Zimbabwe back with two more wickets, ensuring that the total was kept to 233/6. Johnson also played a stellar role with the ball, producing an incisive spell to derail the chase. He got rid of Gary Kirsten off the very first ball, thus setting the tone for a South African implosion.

  South Africa crumbled to 25/4, with Johnson (3/27) also netting Jacques Kallis for a duck. Nine runs later, he added the scalp of captain Hansie Cronje, soon after which Heath Streak (3/35) sent Jonty Rhodes back to reduce the Proteas to a dire 40/6. Shaun Pollock (52) and Lance Klusener (52*) showed fight, but the damage was done. The innings ended at 185 in the 48th over, when Donald fell to Henry Olonga.

Odumbe and Vadher shine in defeat – Kenya v Sri Lanka, Group A, Southampton

  Though both teams were already knocked out, this match was notable for a new partnership record. Sri Lanka began strongly after being put in to bat, with Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama sharing in an opening stand of 72. Thomas Odoyo (3/56) snared three wickets to reduce the score to 87/3, but Marvan Atapattu (52) and captain Arjuna Ranatunga (50) composedly put on 104 for the fourth wicket.  

          Zimbabwean all-rounder Neil Johnson (centre) celebrates one of his three wickets against South Africa at Chelmsford. He also scored 76 in the match. (source – Getty Images)

  The Kenyan bowlers again made inroads though, and at 209/7 in the 43rd over, Sri Lanka were in danger of being bowled out. However, thanks to a rapid eighth-wicket partnership of 64 between Mahela Jayawardene and Chaminda Vaas, they finished at a formidable 275/8. Sri Lanka’s seamers then left Kenya tottering at 52/5 in the 19th over, at which point Alpesh Vadher came out to join Maurice Odumbe. 

  The duo went on to delight the crowd with a partnership of 161 in 29 overs, going past the sixth-wicket ODI record of 154 set by West Indians Richie Richardson and Jeff Dujon against Pakistan in 1991-92. While Odumbe, who was later named Man of the Match, fell for 82 from 95 balls, Vadher remained unbeaten on 73 from 98 balls. Due to this effort, Kenya ensured that they batted out the overs, ending at 230/6.   

McGrath steers the Aussies forward – Australia v West Indies, Group B, Old Trafford

  Australia entered their last game needing nothing less than a win in order to make it to the Super Six. Glenn McGrath paved the way by gobbling three early wickets, including the prized scalp of captain Brian Lara, to leave the West Indies at 20/3, and from thereon, there was no looking back for the Australians. McGrath collected two more wickets later in the innings, which terminated at 110 in the 47th over. 

  McGrath’s final figures read 5/14, which would end up as the best return at the 1999 World Cup. Wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs (49*) became the first batsman to carry his bat in a World Cup innings, but no one else crossed 16. Curtly Ambrose (3/31) and Reon King injected some life in the contest by reducing Australia to 62/4, before captain Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan came together to steady the ship. 

       Glenn McGrath starred with 5/14 – the best bowling figures at the 1999 World Cup – in Australia’s must-win match against the West Indies at Old Trafford (source – Getty Images)

  Waugh and Bevan added 49* to take Australia to a six-wicket win, but used 21 overs for the stand. The reason for this go-slow approach was that, with a Super Six berth within sight, Australia set out to boost the West Indies’ net run-rate and prevent New Zealand’s progress, as qualification for the Windies (which ultimately did not happen) would have given Australia carry-forward points as per the rules.

A seminal moment for the Tigers – Bangladesh v Pakistan, Group B, Northampton

  The Tigers’ last fixture, against an undefeated Pakistan, was widely expected to be a mismatch, especially after they were inserted. However, an opening stand of 69 between Shahriar Hossain and Mehrab Hossain, helped by a generous number of extras, was a harbinger of the things to come. Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq took 5/35, but Bangladesh posted a competitive 223/9 (Akram Khan top-scoring with 42).

  Medium pacer Khaled Mahmud (3/31), who had earlier hit a breezy 27, did the star turn with the ball by removing Shahid Afridi, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saleem Malik in his opening spell. In between, Ijaz Ahmed was accounted for by Shafiuddin Ahmed without scoring, while the dangerous Saeed Anwar was run out in manic fashion. Pakistan were left reeling at 42/5 in the 13th over, and a big upset was on the cards.

  Despite a sixth-wicket stand of 55 between Azhar Mahmood and captain Wasim Akram, a shell-shocked Pakistan never recovered from the horrendous start, and limped to 161 in the 45th over, much to the jubilation of the Bangladeshi players and fans. This win was the sixth in ODIs by an Associate side against a full member, and proved to be instrumental in Bangladesh’s elevation to Test status in 2000.

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  As the 2019 World Cup rolls on, we continue our five-part series on the matches that shaped the 1999 edition of the tournament, after having begun the nostalgic ride in Part 1

Tendulkar’s courageous century – India v Kenya, Group A, Bristol

  Following defeats to South Africa and Zimbabwe, India’s chances of going past the group stage had been severely dented. Their third fixture, against Kenya, presented them with a good opportunity to get their campaign back on track. Making a return to the playing eleven was batting lynchpin Sachin Tendulkar, who had rushed home to attend his father’s funeral and hence had to skip the match against Zimbabwe. 

  Batting at number four instead of his usual opening position, Tendulkar came in at 92/2 to join Rahul Dravid. He reached his fifty in 54 balls, and went on to complete his century from 84 balls. Upon reaching the landmark, an emotional Tendulkar looked skywards, dedicating his brilliant effort to his late father. He eventually finished with 140* from just 101 balls, while Dravid scored 104* from 109 balls.

  The pair put on 237* to take India to a powerful 329/2, creating a new record for the highest World Cup partnership for any wicket – the previous highest was 207 between Mark Waugh and Steve Waugh for Australia, also for the third wicket against Kenya, at Vizag in the 1996 edition. Despite fifties from Kennedy Otieno (56) and Steve Tikolo (58), Kenya were never in the chase, and were restricted to 235/7. 

A see-saw contest in Leeds – Australia v Pakistan, Group B, Headingley

  Australia’s pacers began brightly after Steve Waugh elected to field, reducing Pakistan to 46/3 in the 13th over. Inzamam-ul-Haq (81 in 104 balls) joined Abdul Razzaq at this stage, and the duo revived their team’s fortunes by adding 118 in 27 overs. Razzaq’s wicket for 60 brought to the middle Yousuf Youhana, who combined with Inzamam for a rapid fifth-wicket stand of 52 before falling for a 16-ball 29.  

        Bangladesh’s Enamul Haque celebrates a wicket during his team’s 22-run win over Scotland at Edinburgh (source – Graham Chadwick/Allsport/Getty Images)

  Moin Khan built on the gains by slashing 31* off just 12 balls. Pakistan finished at 275/8, with the last ten overs fetching 108. Captain Wasim Akram (4/40) castled Adam Gilchrist for a duck in the first over, before Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting put on 91 for the second wicket. Saqlain Mushtaq induced a wobble though, as he scalped Ponting and Darren Lehmann in the same over to make the score 101/4.

  However, Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan (61) shared in a fifth-wicket stand of 113, and at 238/5 in the 45th over, the game was on a knife-edge. Shoaib Akhtar gave Pakistan the upper hand by bowling Waugh for 49, and Australia were ultimately left with a tricky 13 runs to score off the final over with two wickets in hand. Wasim kept it tight, and took the last two wickets to seal a tense ten-run win for Pakistan.

Tigers prevail in an all-Associate clash – Bangladesh v Scotland, Group B, Edinburgh

  This was the first ODI to be played in Scotland, and only the second time that two Associate nations were facing off in a World Cup match. Bangladesh endured a disastrous start after being put in to bat in windy conditions, as seamers John Blain (4/37) and Asim Butt sent the score crashing to 26/5 by the 11th over. It was left to number six Minhajul Abedin to show some fight, and he duly rose to the challenge.

  Minhajul found a willing ally in Naimur Rahman, with whom he put on 69 for the sixth wicket. Though wickets kept falling at the other end, he held the fort by shepherding the tail, finishing with a pivotal 68* from 116 balls that pushed Bangladesh’s total to a fighting 185/9. Scotland’s batsmen also got off to a poor start, what with the score falling to a dire 8/3 in the sixth over, which soon became 49/5.

   Sourav Ganguly (left) and Rahul Dravid set a new record for the highest ODI partnership by adding 318 for the second wicket against Sri Lanka at Taunton (source – Getty Images)

  Southpaw Gavin Hamilton, who would go on to play his first and only Test for England six months later, waged a lone battle with 63 from 71 balls. Having put on 55 for the seventh wicket with Alec Davies, Hamilton was seventh out at 138, and his dismissal proved to be the telling blow for Scotland. The innings terminated at 163 in the 47th over, giving Bangladesh only their second ODI success in 33 matches. 

Ganguly and Dravid run amok – India v Sri Lanka, Group A, Taunton

  When Chaminda Vaas removed Sadagoppan Ramesh in the first over, Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga’s decision to field seemed to be justified. Little did the defending champions know that a wicket would elude them for the next 45 overs, as the partnership record that was created by Tendulkar and Dravid against Kenya just three days earlier was bettered, this time by Sourav Ganguly and Dravid.  

  Ganguly and Dravid sent the fielders on a leather hunt, putting together a staggering 318 for the second wicket. This alliance not just broke the World Cup record, but also the all-wicket ODI record, which was hitherto 275* for the fourth wicket between India’s Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja against Zimbabwe in 1997-98. Dravid was the first to be dismissed, for a sparkling 145 from 129 balls. 

  Ganguly went on until the final over before perishing for rampaging 183 from 158 balls, striking 17 fours and seven sixes on the way. This knock went past Kapil Dev’s 175* (against Zimbabwe in 1983) as India’s highest individual ODI score, and also steered India to their then highest ODI total of 373/6. A deflated Sri Lanka were bowled out for 216 in the 43rd over, with medium pacer Robin Singh taking 5/31. 

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  As seen in Part 2, Zimbabwe became the ninth Test nation in 1992, thus opening up further opportunities for the Associates to partake at the World Cup. Moreover, the next two editions of the World Cup saw 12 teams in action, which meant that three spots were up for grabs for the Associates in each of the tournaments. Continuing our series, we look back at how the Associates fared at the 1996 and 1999 editions.

1996 – United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Netherlands

  The 1994 edition of the ICC Trophy was hosted by Kenya, and was the first to feature 50-over games (as against 60-over games until 1990). Since breaking away from the East African team and becoming an Associate member of the ICC in 1981, Kenya had played the ICC Trophy thrice, with their best effort being a semifinal finish in 1990. Playing at home, Kenya had a great chance to seal a World Cup berth.

  Kenya beat Bermuda in the semifinal to qualify for their maiden World Cup, and enjoyed an unbeaten run till the final, where they faced the United Arab Emirates, who were also yet to be beaten and were coming off a semifinal win against the Netherlands. Chasing a target of 282, the UAE triumphed by two wickets in an exciting finish. In the third-place playoff, the Netherlands prevailed over Bermuda. 

  Thus, the 1996 World Cup, co-hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, witnessed three first-time participants – Kenya in Group A, and the UAE and the Netherlands in Group B. While the UAE had earlier played two ODIs at the Austral-Asia Cup in Sharjah in 1993-94, this was the first ODI tournament for Kenya and the Netherlands. In their opening game, the UAE ran into an in-form Gary Kirsten.

  Kirsten struck a record-breaking 188* – which would remain as the highest individual score at the World Cup until the 2015 edition – in South Africa’s 169-run win at Rawalpindi, but the match is also remembered for the bravado of the UAE’s captain Sultan Zarawani, who audaciously came out to bat in a floppy hat instead of a helmet against the fury of Allan Donald, and was duly hit on the head first ball.

  The UAE lost their next three matches by wide margins as well – by eight wickets to England, by nine wickets to Pakistan, and by 109 runs to New Zealand. Similarly, the Netherlands, led by Steven Lubbers and having in their ranks Nolan Clarke, who at the age of 47 became the oldest ODI player, went down by 119 runs to New Zealand, by 49 runs to England, by eight wickets to Pakistan, and by 160 runs to South Africa.

         The Kenyan team celebrate the fall of a West Indian wicket on their way to a memorable 73-run win in Pune at the 1996 World Cup (source – Getty Images) 

  In the final round, the UAE and the Netherlands faced off at Lahore to avoid the wooden spoon, in what was the first ODI to be played between two Associate nations. Considering their spirited show against England at Peshawar, where Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk (64) and Bas Zuiderent (54) put on 114 for the fifth wicket in a chase of 280, the Dutch would have had backed themselves to put it across the UAE. 

  However, off-spinner Shaukat Dukanwala and opener Saleem Raza, who was playing in the city of his birth (in fact, six of the UAE’s eleven were Lahore-born), ensured a maiden ODI win for the UAE. Dukanwala captured 5/29 – the first five-wicket haul by an Associate bowler in ODIs – to restrict the Netherlands to 216/9, after which Raza belted a 68-ball 84 to lay the base for the UAE’s seven-wicket win. 

  Kenya lost to India by seven wickets in their first match at Cuttack, but they had the satisfaction of batting out their overs in making 199/6, with Steve Tikolo scoring 65. At Vizag against Australia, they ended at a respectable 207/7 in a 97-run defeat, with Kennedy Otieno (85) and captain Maurice Odumbe (50) among the runs this time. In their third game, they managed only 134 in a five-wicket loss to Zimbabwe.

  Kenya’s fourth fixture was against the West Indies at Pune on Leap Year Day. A fourth defeat loomed large for the African outfit when they were bowled out for 166 after being put in to bat, but their bowling unit rose to the occasion and delivered a stunning performance. The West Indies lost four wickets for just 35 runs, with those of captain Richie Richardson and Brian Lara falling to seamer Rajab Ali (3/17). 

  The off-spin of Odumbe (3/15) then damaged the middle order, and with every wicket, his team’s euphoria heightened. A memorable upset was confirmed when Rajab castled Cameron Cuffy in the 36th over, condemning the Windies to just 93. Kenya’s campaign ended at Kandy against a rampant Sri Lanka, who amassed a new ODI record total of 398/5. Kenya replied with 254/7, with Tikolo hitting a spunky 96.

1999 – Bangladesh, Kenya and Scotland

  Bangladesh secured a World Cup spot for the first time by beating Scotland by 72 runs in the semifinal of the 1997 ICC Trophy, hosted by Malaysia. Kenya pipped Ireland by seven runs in the other semifinal, and a few days later, rode on Tikolo’s 147 to post a solid 241/7 against Bangladesh in the final. But the Tigers chased down a rain-revised target of 166 from 25 overs off the last ball to win by two wickets.  

  Scotland also made it to their first World Cup, by virtue of a 51-run win over Ireland in the third-place playoff. Unlike Bangladesh, who had played 30 ODIs since 1985-86 (winning just once), the Scots, under the captaincy of George Salmond, were yet to play an ODI coming into the 1999 World Cup. Primarily played in England, the 1999 World Cup also saw matches in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands. 

       Khaled Mahmud is exultant after dismissing Saleem Malik during Bangladesh’s 1999 World Cup group match against Pakistan at Northampton (source – Getty Images) 

  Placed in Group A, Kenya could not repeat the magic they had woven at Pune in 1996. Led by Aasif Karim, they began with a five-wicket defeat to Zimbabwe, and went on to lose to England (by nine wickets), India (94 runs), South Africa (seven wickets) and Sri Lanka (45 runs). The silver lining was an ODI record sixth-wicket stand worth 161 between Odumbe (82) and Alpesh Vadher (73*) against Sri Lanka.   

  Bangladesh endured a torrid start in Group B, getting bowled out for only 116 in a six-wicket defeat to New Zealand at Chelmsford, and for 182 in a seven-wicket defeat to the West Indies at Dublin (in what was the first men’s ODI to be played on Irish soil). Their third game was against fellow first-timers Scotland, who had lost to Australia by six wickets and to Pakistan by 94 runs in their first two outings.

  Edinburgh played host to this clash – the first time that Scotland was witnessing an ODI match – that presented both teams with their best chance to notch a win. As was the case against Pakistan, whom they had reduced to 92/5 before squandering the advantage, Scotland began brightly, with seamers John Blain (4/37) and Asim Butt demolishing the top order, including the scalp of captain Aminul Islam for a duck.

  With Bangladesh tottering at 26/5, it was Minhajul Abedin (68*) who came to the rescue. He rallied with the lower order to push the total to 185/9, after which the bowlers completed the turnaround by scripting a 22-run win for the Tigers. Southpaw Gavin Hamilton, fresh off a 76 against Pakistan, led another one-man show by scoring 63, and went on to play his only Test for England six months later.

  Scotland’s batting nosedived further in their last two games, as they were dismissed for 68 and 121 to suffer defeats by eight wickets and six wickets to the West Indies and New Zealand respectively. Bangladesh’s fourth game was hardly any better, what with Australia chasing down a target of 179 within 20 overs to win by seven wickets. Abedin (53*) dropped anchor with his second unbeaten fifty.  

  The Tigers’ last fixture, against an undefeated Pakistan at Northampton, was expected to be another mismatch, especially after they were inserted. But an opening stand of 69 between Shahriar Hossain and Mehrab Hossain, helped by a generous number of extras, was a sign of the things to come. Saqlain Mushtaq took 5/35, but Bangladesh posted a competitive 223/9 (Akram Khan top-scoring with 42).

  Medium pacer Khaled Mahmud (3/31), who had earlier hit a breezy 27, did the star turn with the ball by removing Shahid Afridi, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saleem Malik in his opening spell. A shell-shocked Pakistan never recovered from a dire 42/5, and limped to 161 in the 45th over, much to the jubilation of the Bangladeshi players and fans. Bangladesh were, rather prematurely, awarded Test status in June 2000.     

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  Having revisited the fortunes of Associate nations at the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979 in Part 1 of this five-part series, we move ahead to the next three editions – held in England in 1983, in India and Pakistan in 1987-88, and in Australia and New Zealand in 1991-92. The decade from 1982 to 1992 was notable for the rise of Zimbabwe, who became the leading Associate side in the course of this period.

  Zimbabwe became an Associate member of the International Cricket Council in July 1981, a year after attaining independence. Until its independence in April 1980, Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia, and the Rhodesian team was often a part of the Currie Cup – South Africa’s premier domestic tourney. Between independence and becoming an Associate, the national team was known as ‘Zimbabwe-Rhodesia’.

1983 – Zimbabwe 

  Sri Lanka’s elevation to Test status in 1981 meant that there were now seven active Test teams (South Africa would remain in isolation for another ten years). Hence, there was a solitary spot up for grabs for Associate nations at the eight-team World Cup. The second edition of the ICC Trophy (World Cup Qualifier) was played in England in 1982, and featured 16 teams divided into two groups of eight each.

  Under the captaincy of pace-bowling all-rounder Duncan Fletcher, Zimbabwe dominated their group, and went on to cruise to an eight-wicket win against Bangladesh in the semifinal. They faced a sterner test in the final against Bermuda at Leicester, where they stumbled to 78/3 in a chase of 232 before Andy Pycroft (82) and Craig Hodgson (57) steered them to a five-wicket win with 33 balls remaining.

  Besides Fletcher, the Zimbabwean outfit for the 1983 World Cup had quite a few players with a good amount of domestic experience, including Pycroft, wicketkeeper-batsman Dave Houghton and Egypt-born off-spinner John Traicos, who had played three Tests for South Africa in 1969-70. Also part of the squad was future England international Graeme Hick, though he did not get a chance to play.

  A double round-robin format was adopted this time, through which each team would play every other in their group twice. Zimbabwe’s inaugural World Cup match, an opening-day Group B fixture against Australia at Trent Bridge, was also their first ever ODI. The debutants struggled to 94/5 after being put in to bat, at which point the left-handed Fletcher was joined by the promising Kevin Curran.

      Zimbabwean captain Duncan Fletcher starred with a knock of 69* and a haul of 4/42 in his team’s first ODI, against Australia at the 1983 World Cup (source – Patrick Eagar)

Fletcher added 70 for the sixth wicket with Curran, followed by another 75* for the seventh wicket with Iain Butchart, to help propel the total to 239/6 after 60 overs. The skipper scored 69* off 84 balls, but he was not done yet. With Australia at 61/0, Fletcher removed Graeme Wood, and duly finished with 4/42 to cap a fine all-round show. Australia were restricted to 226/7, handing Zimbabwe a memorable victory. 

  Zimbabwe’s next two matches did not bring much to cheer, as they went down by five wickets to India and by eight wickets to defending champions West Indies at Leicester and Worcester respectively. Fletcher underlined his worth again against the West Indies with a knock of 71*. Australia got even in the second round with a 32-run win at Southampton, but not before Houghton had scored a stroke-filled 84.

  The fifth match at Tunbridge Wells saw Zimbabwe lose by 31 runs despite being in an extremely strong position, thanks to a stunning innings of 175* from Indian captain Kapil Dev. Peter Rawson and Curran (who later scored 73) had India reeling at 17/5, but Kapil had other ideas, as he improved his team’s total to 266/8. Zimbabwe’s campaign ended with a ten-wicket loss to the West Indies at Edgbaston. 

1987 – Zimbabwe 

  Though the World Cup moved outside England for the first time, the ICC Trophy continued to be played in England. The 1986 edition, again having 16 teams, witnessed Zimbabwe reaffirm their status as the leading Associate, as they won all six group games. They trounced Bermuda by ten wickets in the semifinal, before prevailing by 25 runs over the Netherlands at Lord’s to book their World Cup ticket.

  While the tournament format was unchanged for the 1987 World Cup, the stipulated number of overs per innings was brought down to 50, thus altering the game’s dynamics significantly. Traicos-led Zimbabwe’s first match, against New Zealand at Hyderabad (India), was lit by a stellar performance from Houghton in a losing cause. Zimbabwe were 8/1 in a chase of 243, when Houghton came in to bat.

  The score kept sliding, and at 104/7, a big defeat loomed. But Houghton did not give up, and found support from Butchart (54), with whom he shared a partnership of 117 – still a World Cup record for the eighth wicket. Houghton was eighth out for 142 from 137 balls, with 13 fours and six sixes. Butchart took the game to the last over, but was run out off the fourth ball, leaving New Zealand victors by just three runs.

  The first game was by far the closest Zimbabwe got to victory in the tournament. Lacklustre batting contributed towards a 96-run defeat to Australia at Madras, followed by an eight-wicket drubbing at the hands of India at Bombay. The second round was little better, with Zimbabwe going down by four wickets against New Zealand, by seven wickets against India, and finally by 70 runs against Australia. 

1992 – Zimbabwe

         Eddo Brandes celebrates after dismissing his former schoolmate Graeme Hick for a duck en route to figures of 4/21 at Albury (source – Getty Images) 

South Africa made their maiden World Cup appearance, which increased the number of teams to nine at a late juncture, leading to a round-robin league format. Twenty months earlier in the Netherlands, Zimbabwe had enjoyed a third successive unbeaten ICC Trophy campaign – they beat Bangladesh by 84 runs in the semifinal and the Netherlands by six wickets in the final to win the 1990 edition.

  As was the case in 1987, Zimbabwe, this time captained by Houghton, squandered a golden opportunity of starting the tournament on a winning note. Wicketkeeper-opener Andy Flower celebrated his ODI debut with an unbeaten 115 against Sri Lanka at New Plymouth, and his unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 145 with Andy Waller (83* in just 45 balls) was instrumental in building a  total of 312/4.

  However, the Sri Lankans remarkably achieved the stiff target to win by three wickets with four balls to spare, thus completing the first successful ODI chase of a 300+ total. Success eluded Zimbabwe as the tournament progressed, as they endured a streak of defeats. At Hobart, they lost to eventual tournament winners Pakistan by 53 runs. At Brisbane, they were subdued by the West Indies by 75 runs. 

  It was no different against New Zealand and India, both of whom dictated terms in rain-hit encounters. Zimbabwe’s first ODI against South Africa too produced a lopsided result, as the Proteas chased down a modest target of 164 to win by seven wickets. Back in Hobart, Zimbabwe lost their seventh match to Australia by 128 runs . Their last chance to notch a win was against an in-form England at Albury.

  When England bundled Zimbabwe out for 134 after electing to field, an eighth defeat seemed to be on the cards. But paceman Eddo Brandes, a chicken farmer by profession, had captain Graham Gooch out leg-before off the first ball, thus providing the spark his team needed. Brandes (4/21) soon added the scalps of Allan Lamb, Robin Smith and his former schoolmate Hick to leave the score at 43/5.

  A sixth-wicket stand of 52 between Neil Fairbrother and Alec Stewart threatened to deny Zimbabwe, before the medium pace of Ali Omarshah, who had earlier dismissed Ian Botham, sent the latter back. Zimbabwe held on for a famous nine-run win, thus adding to their 1983 coup against Australia. They were given Test status in July 1992, and played their first Test in October, against India at Harare. 

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  Kent Cricket Club (KCC) Sierra Leone has recently received a huge consignment of cricket and football items donated by Australian philanthropist, Michael Pawley. This is the second set of donations from Pawley, who has a great passion to give back to the sport he played and loved, with the intention to help Kent and other clubs that will greatly benefit by affording quality playing kits for their players.

  The donated items, worth over AU$8,000, which is equivalent to about eighteen million Leones (Le 18 million), comprises of new and used second-hand items. These include bats, batting pads, cricket playing shoes, gloves, jerseys, track suits, cricket balls, socks, a box of school shoes for girls, and helmet for cricket use.

  Pawley has not only limited his donation to cricket, but has also provided heaps of football jerseys of different colours, boots and quality balls to be distributed to local football clubs, not to mention a volleyball net and some rugby items.

  According to the veteran cricketer, donating to needy people has become part of his life, and he enjoys doing it with a lot of passion, all in the interest to promote and uplift young talented boys and girls who have decided to take up cricket as their career.

  “There are so many talented cricketers in Sierra Leone, but they can’t afford to buy some of this equipment because it is costly. I have been following Sierra Leone cricket, with special reference to Kent Cricket Club, for which I have so much respect, especially the manner in which their board and management is working to develop the game”, Pawley said.

  Pawley further added that he will continue to send more kits to Sierra Leone, because he believes there is a possibility that the country has the potential to produce the next generation of heroes in cricket and other sports.

  Promoting sports in the West African nation, he said, will be of good help in creating the environment for an all-inclusive system, which will give opportunities to less-privileged kids to showcase how talented they are and what they can deliver if only they have the platform and equipment to play. He confirmed that another set of donations will be on its way to Sierra Leone in a month or two.

         Australian philanthropist Michael Pawley (source – Kent Cricket Club Sierra Leone)

  “I will continue to give more to Kent Cricket Club and Sierra Leone, because as things stand, I am very satisfied with the performance of the young cricketers”, he added. Receiving the donation, KCC Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Pessima, expressed thanks and appreciation to Pawley for his continued support to their club and the country.

  Pessima stated: “Kent Cricket Club is extremely honoured to receive this donation from Mike Pawley, and we cannot be more thankful to him for this generosity. We as a club would not be able to function without such donations, and we would definitely share these items to other clubs and charities around Sierra Leone to spread the joy of sport. We are honoured to spread the generosity shown to us by Mike Pawley”.

  The KCC Chief Executive Officer also said that Pawley has embodied the true meaning of altruism, and everyone at Kent Cricket Club looks up to him as a true inspiration – for most of them, they look at men such as Pawley as a blueprint for the type of person they would want to be.

  Pessima emphasised that as cricket continues to grow with high morals in the country, its equipment becomes more valuable and thus, each and every club including players need their personal equipment to develop their performance, both in training and on match day.

  Pessima disclosed that KCC will donate some of the clothing and football items to the National Paralympics Committee of Sierra Leone (NPC-SL), the Milton Margai School for the Blind and Bombali Shebora Blind School from Makeni in the northern region of the country.

  The women’s captain of KCC, Ann-marie Monica Kamara, who is also a senior player of the Sierra Leone national women’s team, expressed delight on behalf of her team-mates in receiving the donations, which she said will boost their playing and performance standards throughout the season.

  “We are glad to have someone like Mike, who is providing us with the equipment we need. Had it not been for people like him and other organisations that have been helping us greatly, it would have been difficult for us to enjoy cricket, because we keep using recycled kits and most of them are very old. But with the donations, we are sure of playing competitive and enjoyable cricket with ease”, Kamara affirmed.

  The Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Leone Cricket Association (SLCA), Francis Trevor Samura, welcomed the news, stating that it is a huge boost for the development of sports in the country.

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  Thanks to the International Cricket Council’s retrograde decision to reduce the number of the teams at the World Cup, the 12th edition of the showpiece event, set to begin in England on May 30, will feature only ten teams – the least number of teams since the 1992 edition.

  More tellingly, it will be the first World Cup without a single Associate team competing in it, which speaks volumes about how damaging the decision has been for the emerging cricketing nations. Every World Cup thus far has seen at least one non Test-playing nation, and over the years, the likes of Zimbabwe, Kenya, Canada and Ireland have only enhanced the tournament with their giant-killing acts. 

  While the absence of Associate nations from this year’s World Cup is hugely disappointing, there is no denying that they have provided some of the most indelible moments in the history of the tournament. In this first of a five-part series focussing on Associate nations at previous World Cups, we look back at their presence in the first two editions, held in England in 1975 and 1979 respectively.

1975 – Sri Lanka and East Africa

  Sri Lanka was still known as Ceylon when the national team attained Associate status in 1965. Over the course of the next decade, the islanders cemented their position as the leading Associate team, their game toughened by playing most of the Test sides in first-class fixtures. The inaugural World Cup in 1975 was an eight-team affair and had room for two Associates, making Sri Lanka’s inclusion a no-brainer.

  The second Associate team at the first World Cup was East Africa, consisting of players from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Led by Kenyan Harilal Shah, the East Africans were at the receiving end of Glenn Turner’s 171, then the highest ODI score, in their first game at Edgbaston. A total of 309/5 from the allotted 60 overs was always going to be out of reach, and New Zealand duly won by 181 runs.

  The game against New Zealand saw Frasat Ali become the first man to open the batting as well as the bowling in an ODI – the Pakistan-born pace-bowling all-rounder repeated the feat in East Africa’s remaining two matches. The oldest player in the East African contingent was 43-year-old Don Pringle, who tragically died in a car crash few months later, and whose son Derek went on to play for England.   

  Like East Africa, Sri Lanka too endured a torrid start, as they were bundled out for 86 en route to a nine-wicket defeat at the hands of the West Indies at Old Trafford. However, they produced a brave display at The Oval four days later against Ian Chappell’s Australians. Facing the likes of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in a chase of 329 was a daunting prospect, but Sri Lanka’s batsmen more than held their own.

       Duleep Mendis was named Man of the Match for his knock of 64 in Sri Lanka’s historic win against India at Old Trafford in 1979 (source – Patrick Eagar/Getty Images)

  Sunil Wettimuny (53) and Duleep Mendis took on the ferocity of Lillee and Thomson and the off-spin of Ashley Mallett with belligerent strokeplay, until both of them were forced to retire hurt due to rising deliveries from Thomson. Nevertheless, captain Anura Tennekoon (48) and Michael Tissera (52) continued the good work, and ultimately carried Sri Lanka to highly commendable total of 276/4.

  East Africa’s batting woes continued in their next two matches. They were bowled out for 120 against India at Headingley before going down by ten wickets, while against England at Edgbaston, they could muster only 94 in a chase of 291. Sri Lanka’s campaign also ended with a big defeat, as they capitulated from 60/2 to 138 all out at Trent Bridge after Pakistan had piled up a hefty  330/6 on the board.

1979 – Sri Lanka and Canada

  For the first time, a qualifying tournament was held to determine the Associates who would partake at the World Cup. The semifinals of the inaugural ICC Trophy, also played in England, were contested three days before the start of the World Cup. In the first semifinal, Sri Lanka thumped Denmark by 208 runs after posting 318/8. In the second semifinal, Canada chased down Bermuda’s 181 to win by four wickets.

  Tennekoon again skippered Sri Lanka, while Canada were led by St. Lucia-born wicketkeeper Bryan Mauricette, who had earlier played for the Windward Islands. Both teams were beaten convincingly in the first round – Sri Lanka were bowled out for 189 on the way to a nine-wicket defeat to New Zealand at Trent Bridge, whereas Canada’s 139/9 was surpassed by Pakistan for the loss of two wickets at Headingley.  

  Canada’s nadir came in their second match though, as England’s seamers Bob Willis and Chris Old took four wickets apiece to condemn them to a measly total of 45 at Old Trafford. This remained the lowest ODI total until 1992-93, and the lowest World Cup total until the 2003 edition, when Canada themselves broke it with 36 against Sri Lanka. England cantered to an eight-wicket win with 277 balls to spare.

  Canada bowed out with a seven-wicket defeat to Australia at Edgbaston, after another insipid batting display saw them total only 105. Sri Lanka, whose scheduled second match against the West Indies at The Oval was washed out without a ball bowled, locked horns with India in their last game at Old Trafford. Both teams were out of the reckoning, and were keen to avoid the wooden spoon in their group.

  Bandula Warnapura led the Sri Lankans in the absence of an injured Tennekoon. Wettimuny (67), Roy Dias (50) and Mendis (64 in 57 balls) steered the total to 238/5, after which a game-changing spell from leg-spinner Somachandra de Silva (3/29) ensured that India were dismissed for 191 in the 55th over. Sri Lanka thus became the first Associate to win an ODI, and were deservedly awarded Test status in 1981. 

  Curiously, the final of the ICC Trophy was played two days before the World Cup final, at New Road in Worcester. Sri Lanka lost Warnapura and Wettimuny early to become 39/2, but the efforts of wicketkeeper Sunil Jayasinghe (64), Dias (44) and Mendis (66), followed by some lower-order hitting, drove the total to 324/5. Canada replied with 264/5, with John Vaughan (80*) and Cecil Marshall (55) scoring fifties.

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