The Cricket World Cup was very first created in 1975 and has a fantastic selection of moments in history. In this article, we cover the best cricket games ever and how they have helped shape and form the history of the game. Have a read through, to see what cricket memories we have in store for you.
West Indies Defeat Australia in 1975
The World Cup final was played at Lords between the West Indies and Australia. After opening the scoring, the West Indies were in front courtesy of a century from Clive Lloyd. The batsman helped push the national team to victory along with teammate Viv Richards’ fantastic fielding. The duo were essential in leading the West Indies to a famous victory over Australia by 17 runs.
However, victory was not a certainty. The Aussies did a splendid job in fighting until the end. They managed to pull the scores back almost level and played until the last wicket. However, the duo of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee were not enough to defeat the West Indies, as Thomson was run out by Deryck Murray. The World Cup final is widely considered to be one of the best cricket games ever.
Windies Defeat Pakistan in 1975
Another famous West Indies win in 1975 was over Pakistan. The Pakistan national team scored an impressive 260 following centuries from Wasim Raja, Mushtaq Mohammad and Majid. However, much to their surprise, their total was not good enough to keep out the impressive last wicket stand from Deryck Murray and Andy Roberts.
At 203-9, the duo were resilient enough to conjure up a 64-run stand as the final wicket pair. If either one of them would have faltered, Pakistan would have won the match. However, as miracles do occasionally happen in cricket, the West Indies last wicket duo were steadfast in their play. They scored efficiently to record a fantastic win over Pakistan.
England Hang on to Defeat New Zealand in 1979
One of the most outstanding cricket matches of all time was played in 1979. England were playing against New Zealand in the World Cup and managed to hang on to their total. They defeated New Zealand on the day by nine runs. This victory meant England secured their name in the World Cup final, with New Zealand narrowly missing out.
The New Zealand national team started off strongly with an impressive 71 from Graham Gooch and a 53 from Mike Brearley. However, even though they were impressive, the team could not stop losing cheap wickets. Their only other high scorers were Derek Randall, who scored 42 to get them up to 221-8 in 60 overs. The most noteworthy middle-order batsman was John Wright, who contributed with a 69 but that was not good enough to ensure that New Zealand seal their place in the final. As mentioned before, the national team fell 9 runs short of defeating England.
West Indies vs India in 1983
India shocked the world by advancing to the World Cup final. They were heavy underdogs against a fantastic West Indies side. And, as expected, the West Indies pace bowlers claimed many victims in their innings, reducing India to a mere 183 all out from 54 overs. The top Indian batsman on the day was Kris Srikkanth, who scored a measly 38.
However, despite falling to a pathetic total, the Indian bowling department shocked the world at Lords. They bowled out the West Indies defending world champions and secured a shocking yet fantastic win for their nation. The win saw India progress to the World Cup final, despite scoring a pathetic total. The Indian bowlers were heroes, particularly as they eliminated the West Indies batsman, who were regarded as the best in the world at the time. The remarkable game at Lords is still considered as one of the best cricket games ever.
Australia Defeat Archrivals England in 1987 World Cup Final
The 1987 World Cup final was played between Australia and England. The two nations are famously archrivals in cricket. They share the bi-yearly Ashes tournament, a competition that is only played between England and Australia.
In the 1987 World Cup final, the two nations met at the height of competitions. Unfortunately for England, Australian captain Allan Border lifted the World Cup trophy at the end of the day. Australia defeated England by 7 runs. However, England did put up a good fight.
After deciding to bat, England appeared to be marching to victory before their captain, Mike Gatting, played a high-risk reverse sweep against the left arm spin of bowler and captain Allan Border. The move appeared to be a moment of madness and proved costly for England. After he fell, England collapsed from a position of strength until they were eventually all-out. Their total was not enough to keep the Aussies at bay, eventually catching up and beating their total with 7 wickets remaining.
More England Misery in 1992 World Cup Final
In the 1992 World Cup final, Pakistan defeated England in memorable fashion. The World Cup final was played at the MCG and has been listed as one of the best cricket games ever. The Pakistani team were led out by Imran Khan who was pivotal in leading the national side to victory.
On the day, the best player on the pitch was Wasim Akram, who absolutely destroyed England with his swing bowling. The Pakistani player was essential to driving Pakistan to a famous win. After a poor start, the team were playing like cornered tigers and found a way to drag themselves out of the hole they had dug for themselves.
Australia Defeat Windies in 1996 World Cup Semi Final
One of the most iconic cricket matches of all time was the 1996 World Cup semi final clash between Australia and the West Indies. The Australian national team produced a miracle to win the match, having only scored 207-8. However, that too was an impressive achievement, considering they were 15-4 down at one stage.
In the semifinal, Australia won the match by 5 runs. They were almost down and out but produced a fantastic bowling display to keep the West Indies at bay. At one stage, the West Indian were 165-2. It was a fantastic achievement for the Windies who were rapidly approaching a massive victory. The final score, however, would be very telling. The West Indies lost with 202 all out. It secured victory for Australia, in the unlikeliest of fashions.
Sri Lanka Win World Cup in 1996
Having defeated the West Indies in the semifinal, Australia were playing against Sri Lanka in the final. The game was played in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Sri Lanka were not backed as favourites, having only became a Test playing nation 15 years before. The Sri Lankan national cricket team pulled off a miracle, defeating Australia by seven wickets.
Furthermore, Arjuna Ranatunga, the captain of the team, became the first side to win the trophy by chasing. The World Cup win for Sri Lanka was their most famous sports achievement of all time. To this date, Sri Lanka will always look back at the cricket World Cup win as their greatest sports moment of all time.
Australia v South Africa in 1999
The 1999 World Cup fixture between Australia and South Africa is widely considered to be the best one-day international cricket game of all time. It saw two of the top teams go head-to-head in a winner takes all battle. However, the match ended in an unlikely tie, with neither team able to capitalize.
The hopes of South African dreams rested on the shoulders of the big hitting allrounder, Lance Klusener. He managed to form a partnership with Allan Donald to try and score a big winner to win the match. However, having clawed back the results, South Africa needed only one run from four balls to win. They could not score that final run, as Allan Donald was not on the same wavelength as Klusener. The match ended as a draw.
India v England in Group B of 2011 World Cup
One of the most iconic cricket matches of all time was India against England in the World Cup group stage. The match had a little bit of everything, with nothing to decide between the two teams. In the cricket match, England and India drew with 339 runs apiece.
Having opened up the batting, India scored an impressive total that looked like it would be unreachable by England. Their 339 runs were a fantastic achievement, including 120 from Sachin Tendulkar. However, England were not as down and out as they appeared to be. Their hopes lay on the shoulder of captain Andrew Strauss, who scored a mighty 158 runs in his innings. His total gave England the chance to win the game, but in the end, the two teams drew with equal totals from the last ball.
Irish Win Over England in 2011
Another impressive game in the 2011 World Cup was played between Ireland and England. The Irish team appeared to be down and out, having only scored 111-5 at one stage. England, on the other hand, were massively in front, with an impressive 327 for eight. However, as Ireland were down and out, they looked to their big hitter, Kevin O’Brien.
O’Brien produced one of the greatest appearances in the cricket World Cup of all time. He scored the fastest World Cup century of all time, hitting 113 off just 50 balls. That broke the previous record held by Australia’s Matthew Hayden, who scored 100 off 66 balls in 2007. Furthermore, the runs from O’Brien helped Ireland record their greatest ever cricket World Cup win.
The 2011 World Cup Final
In the 2011 World Cup final, India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets. The two teams were the greatest powerhouses in the sport at the time. India relied on the impressive charged from Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni to defeat their rivals in a classic cricket World Cup final.
The game was set as Sri Lanka scored an impressive 275 from their innings. It was not overly difficult to achieve but there was a lot more pressure on India. Having won the World Cup in 1983, the Indian national team would go almost thirty years without the trophy.
Their successful batsman on the day were Gautam Gambhir who scored 97, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who scored an unbeaten 91. The two combined to give India the advantage, beating the Sri Lankan total with ten balls to spare. The victory meant India would become only the third nation to ever win the World Cup more than once, after Australia and the West Indies.
New Zealand Win by One Wicket over Australia in 2015
One of the best cricket games ever was played in 2015 between New Zealand and Australia. With only six needed to win, Kane Williamson scored 45 not out and hit Pat Cummins for a straight six. That took New Zealand to a one wicket win over Australia.
In the match, Trent Boult took a career best five for 27. The Australian national cricket team were dismissed for just 151 all out. New Zealand failed to impress as well, however, they eventually got there in the end, despite skipper Brendon McCullum’s 24-ball 50.
New Zealand Defeat South Africa in 2015 World Cup
The 2015 World Cup was played between New Zealand and South Africa. New Zealand were granted a victory thanks to Grant Elliott, who was actually born in South Africa. The New Zealand player defeated his birth country whilst New Zealand only needed five runs off two balls. The rain-interrupted game resulted in a four wicket win for New Zealand.
At the end of the match, the Kiwis and their fans went absolutely crazy. However, unfortunately for South Africa, they had tears on their face. That was because the game was so tight and AB de Villiers’ men
England v New Zealand in World Cup 2019
Finally, to sum up on the best cricket games ever, we have the cricket World Cup final of 2019. The final was one of the greatest ever One Day matches. It was actually tied twice, before England went on to defeat New Zealand.
The England v New Zealand World Cup final was the first ever tie in a World Cup final. Both teams scored 241 in their 50 overs. Furthermore, they also batted for an extra over each. In that over, both teams scored 15 points each. The way in which England won the World Cup final was because they scored more boundary fours and sixes in the entire match. Perhaps a tad unfair on New Zealand, but it sealed a famous World Cup victory for England.
The Bottom Line
We hope that you have enjoyed reading about the best cricket games ever. We chose the World Cup as it is probably the most influential tournament in cricket. Moreover, it has a mix of many different nations, so that every single country has their opportunity to feature on this list.
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