India, Australia and the West Indies all have flourishing Twenty20 tournaments that attract the best players in the world, and India’s IPL in particular has established itself as one of the most important cricket events on the schedule. Every year, the attention of the cricket world is drawn to India, and every sports bettor looks for deposit match bonus from a sportsbook. It creates a huge spike of cricket-centric traffic, as eager bettors look to wager on their team.
Before the Big Bash League, the CPL and the IPL, the international cricket community took the step of staging a Twenty20 tournament for international teams. In 2007, the Twenty20 World Cup was presented for the first time, and there have been seven editions of this tournament, including the current 2021 World Cup, being held in Dubai. This tournament has provided plenty of excitement over the years and it has also produced its share of shocks and surprises. Here are five of the biggest:
Zimbabwe v Australia, 2007
The sheen of invincibility had not yet been rubbed off the Australian cricket team in 2007, so when one of the world’s greatest cricket lineups fell to the minnows from Zimbabwe, the shockwaves could be felt around the cricket world. Australia had not fully adapted to the new format and were made to struggle to a total of 134. They were still favorites to win the game, but Zimbabwe showed immense character, and anchored by a cool half-century from Brendan Taylor, secured a famous victory.
Bangladesh v West Indies, 2007
In a tournament that captured the public imagination from the start, there was another major shock to report when Bangladesh played their first-ever Twenty20 World Cup game. The Tigers bowled first and the West Indies, one of the powerhouses of Twenty20, scored a solid 164. Bangladesh were expected to crumble under the pressure, but instead, a huge partnership between Mohammad Ashraful and Aftab Ahmed steered them home, underlining the unpredictability of the young format.
Netherlands v England, 2009
The second edition of the Twenty20 World Cup took place in England, the home of cricket, but it wasn’t much of a homecoming for Eoin Morgan and his team. Their very first game of the competition, at the historic Lord’s ground, was against the Netherlands and was expected to offer an easy win.
Yet things didn’t quite work out like that. By this time, it had become apparent that the shorter format and focus on big hitting had forever changed the conventional wisdom of the sport. Shorter games meant lower totals, which meant less pressure for the chasing team. The Netherlands provided a perfect illustration of this new cricket world order as they chased down a target of 163, as England’s bowlers and fielders toiled on a summer evening. The Netherlands secured their win off the last ball of the game and the celebrations among the orange-clad supporters began.
Hong Kong v Bangladesh, 2014
By the time the 2014 World Cup arrived, it had become clear that spin bowling was more important than pace bowling in the 20-over format. And it was one of the teams that had profited from being able to call on an array of spinners that fell victim to another shock.
Bangladesh, the conquerors of the West Indies seven years earlier, were playing at one of their home grounds, in Chattogram, against Associate nation Hong Kong. The spin-friendly conditions were supposed to favor Bangladesh, but instead, they were bundled out for 108, and after suffering a mid-innings stumble, Hong Kong closed out the game for a two-wicket win.
Afghanistan v West Indies, 2016
West Indies lifted the World Cup Twenty20 trophy in 2016, but along the way suffered a shock defeat to Afghanistan. Once again, it was a game dominated by spin bowlers. Having restricted Afghanistan to 123, West Indies would have expected to win the game with comfort. Instead, they were tied down by the opposition spinners, who limited them to 117 from their 20 overs. West Indies went on to triumph in the competition, but the game provided the launching pad for a number of young Afghanistan stars, including Rashid Khan, who has established himself as one of the best 20-over players in the world.