The ICC ODI Cricket World Cup is the idol of one-day international cricket, featuring the best international teams competing for the sport’s highest honor. The tournament has produced some of the most thrilling and memorable matches in cricket history, with notable victories such as Ireland’s 328-run victory under Kevin O’Brien and India’s 17-for-5 triumph against Zimbabwe. The 11 ODI cricket World Cup tournaments have produced many compelling games, including low-scoring thrillers, suspenseful draws, and thrilling comebacks. Here is a list of Top 10 Greatest World Cup Matches ever.
As fans are eagerly waiting for ICC World Cup 2023 to start, we have listed here the top 10 most memorable games in World Cup history that includes West Indies vs. Australia in 1975, Zimbabwe vs. India in 1983, New Zealand vs. Pakistan in 1992, West Indies vs. Australia in 1996, Australia vs. South Africa in 1999, England vs. Australia in 2003, India vs. England in 2011, India vs. Sri Lanka in 2011, South Africa vs. New Zealand in 2015 and England vs New Zealand in 2019.
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Top 10 Greatest World Cup Matches
Since its founding in 1975, this esteemed competition has been the scene of numerous unforgettable events that have left a lasting impression on cricket history.
ODI Cricket World Cup
The ICC ODI Cricket World Cup is the zenith of one-day international (ODI) cricket, in which the best international teams compete for the sport’s highest honor. The most thrilling and notable matches in cricket history originated from this prestigious competition over the years.
The World Cup produced some outstanding cricket since Madan Lal tossed the tournament’s first ball on a summer morning in London in 1975. Cricket enthusiasts found themselves on the brink of their seats from the outset, whether Ireland chasing down 328 under the direction of Kevin O’Brien or India coming back from 17 for 5 to win.
We embarked on an appealing historical journey to uncover the top 10 most memorable moments in the glittering past of the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup, from mind-blowing feats of expertise to massive upsets that defy all expectations. We select the Top 10 Greatest World Cup Matches of all time for you.
1: West Indies vs. Australia; Lord’s, 1975
Result: Australia lost to West Indies by 17 runs.
Summary: The first World Cup final featured everything: West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd’s phenomenal 85-ball 102, left-arm swing bowler Gary Gilmour’s outstanding performance (five for 48 off 12 overs), the legendary Viv Richards’ incredible display of fielding, which included three run-outs, Keith Boyce’s four-wicket haul, and a valiant 41-run last-wicket stand between Jeff Thompson and Dennis Lillee are just a few of the highlights.
2: Zimbabwe vs. India; Tunbridge Wells, 1983
Result: By 31 runs, India defeated Zimbabwe.
Summary: Kapil Dev’s innings against Zimbabwe overcame logic at Tunbridge Wells. Before the tournament even started, no one other than Kim Hughes gave the Indian squad any hope. The captain of Australia referred to India as the underdog.
Even before the T20 era, the Indian captain’s unbeaten 175 off 138 balls helped his team reach 266 for eight (60 overs) after they entered at nine for four and quickly moved up to 17 for five. Of course, Kapil’s Devils would continue to win the competition and demonstrate Hughes’s point.
3: New Zealand vs. Pakistan; Auckland, 1992
Result: Pakistan defeated New Zealand by four wickets
Summary: Due to Inzamam-ul-Haq’s outstanding performance, Pakistan managed to escape eradication and carry its fairytale in Australia. The World Cup provided the ideal platform to display his poise and skill.
When Pakistan lost captain Imran Khan and Salim Malik within a few balls while chasing the host team’s 262 for seven in the semifinal, team was in some trouble. Pakistan played in its first World Cup final thanks to Inzamam’s brilliant 60 off 37 balls.
4: West Indies vs. Australia; Mohali, 1996
Result: West Indies lost to Australia by five runs.
Summary: Australia fell to 15 for four in this thrilling semifinal because of Ian Bishop and Curtly Ambrose deadly bowling attack. However, Australia successfully made 207 for eight, thanks to Michael Bevan (69) and Stuart Law (72).
As Shane Warne (four for 36), Damien Fleming, and Glenn McGrath bowled Australia to victory in the final, West Indies fell to 202 with three balls remaining in the chase after reaching 165 for two in the 42nd over.
5: Australia vs. South Africa; Edgbaston, 1999
Result: Australia ties match with South Africa
Summary: Australia scored a modest 213 in the opening match of the World Cup, thanks to the 90-run fifth-wicket partnership between skipper Steve Waugh (56) and Michael Bevan (65).
Lance Klusener’s 16-ball 31 kept South Africa in the game, but Allan Donald got run out on the fourth ball of the final over. Africa sputtered. Few people probably predicted at the time that the Proteas would later elevate crushing to a masterpiece.
6: England vs. Australia; Gqeberha, 2003
Result: By two wickets, Australia triumphs over England.
Summary: Even if your batters fail you, you should win when you post the second-best bowling statistics in World Cup history. If you’re Andy Bichel, you make 34 while combining with Michael Bevan (74 not out) to add 73 for the unfinished ninth wicket.
Australia’s pursuit was shaky at 48 for four despite Bichel’s seven for 20, limiting England to 204 for eight. Most likely, Bichel hadn’t padded up yet.
7: India vs. England; Bengaluru, 2011
Result: India ties match with England.
Summary: Before the dinner break, the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium got lit by two outstanding innings. Andrew Strauss, the skipper of England, and Sachin Tendulkar (120, 115b) neither deserve to be on the losing team. No, they didn’t.
Strauss broke his record, making it the best individual score in ODIs by an England batter. Graeme Swann received only one run off the final ball from Munaf Patel, preventing his team from earning a storied triumph.
8: India vs. Sri Lanka; Wankhede, 2011
Result: By six wickets, India defeated Sri Lanka.
Summary: At home, no team ever won the World Cup. No team had ever successfully overtaken a target of 250 in a final. Sachin Tendulkar did not win the World Cup despite his brilliance.
After Gautam Gambhir’s 97, it took a captain’s performance from Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91 not out off 79 balls) to turn things around. In response to Sri Lanka’s 274 for 6, which got backing by Mahela Jayawardene’s admirable 103 not out off 88 balls, he moved up the order.
9: South Africa vs. New Zealand; Auckland, 2015
Result: A four-wicket victory for New Zealand over South Africa.
Summary: Grant Elliott led New Zealand to its first-ever final with one of the best World Cup performances. The opponent was South Africa, the nation where he was born, which presented a D/L method target of 298 off 43 overs.
Elliott (84 not out, 73 balls) shot Dale Steyn over long-on for a six when five runs were necessary from the final two balls. This shot and the nearly 41,000 ecstatic Eden Park spectators will live in fame.
10: England vs New Zealand; Lord’s,2019
Result: New Zealand and England have ties.
Summary: Few sporting World Cup finals ever generated as much drama. First, the host team tied the game thanks to an outstanding performance from Ben Stokes (84 not out, 98b); it lost its final wicket off the last ball while chasing New Zealand’s 241 for eight.
England scored 15 runs in the Super Over to win without losing, and Jofra Archer backed that total. Despite the second tie in the game, England prevailed to claim its first World Cup thanks to more boundaries scored from outside the box.
All three types of thrilling games—low-scoring thrillers, suspenseful draws, and thrilling comebacks—have arisen in the 11 ODI Cricket World Cup tournaments.
Warm up matches for much anticipated ICC ODI World Cup 2023 tournament has started. Fans are hoping that the legacy to produce historical matches will continue this year as well.
If you feel there’s any match that should be on the list of Top 10 Greatest World Cup Matches do let us know in the comment section.