Certainly, let’s take a look back at
5 of the most thrilling matches in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup:
1.1996- Australia vs West Indies (Semifinals)
The 1996 Cricket World Cup quarter-final match between Australia and the West Indies was an intense and memorable encounter and is one of the most thrilling matches in the history of world cup.
Australia elected to bat first after winning the toss. They scored a respectable total of 207 runs in their allotted 50 overs while losing eight wickets. Australia’s leading scorer, Shane Warne, contributed 45 significant runs. It wasn’t a particularly high total, though, and the West Indies were thought to have the best chance of beating it.
The West Indies started their innings smoothly, but when wickets started to fall, they quickly ran into difficulty. The Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne proved to be the West Indies’ worst nightmare, taking significant wickets and piling on the pressure. The power-hitting West Indies batsmen had trouble adjusting to Warne’s spin.
The West Indies lower order, led by Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, displayed tremendous fortitude in the face of increasing pressure. They fought valiantly and maintained the hopes of their group. The Australian bowlers became upset by their partnership, and it appeared that the West Indies might pull off a stunning victory.
The match approached a nail-biting finale with just a few runs needed for a win and Ambrose and Walsh inching closer. However, Australia was able to overcome the obstinate opposition, and Shane Warne got the game’s final wicket by eliminating Courtney Walsh. With 202 runs, the West Indies painfully missed the mark.
In a dramatic and exciting encounter, Australia prevailed by five runs. The West Indies lower order’s tenacity and Shane Warne’s outstanding ball-handling made this match an unforgettable quarterfinal encounter making it in the top of the list of most thrilling matches in cricket world cup.
2. 1999 – Australia vs. South Africa (Super Six)
The 1999 Cricket World Cup semi-final between Australia and South Africa is widely regarded as one of the most thrilling matches in history. It was a nail-biting encounter that ended in a tie.
3. 2019- West Indies vs. New Zealand (Group Stage)
The West Indies vs. New Zealand match during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage was an absolute thriller and is often remembered as one of the most thrilling matches in the tournament’s history.
The West Indies were attempting to beat New Zealand’s tough but doable score of 292 runs. The performance of Carlos Brathwaite in this match is legendary. He had been effective with the ball earlier in the game, taking two key wickets, but it was his batting heroics that really stole the show.
In the final over of the match, the West Indies needed six runs to win off the last ball. The equation seemed almost impossible. Brathwaite, however, had other ideas. He faced Jimmy Neesham, who was bowling the final over for New Zealand. This was the moment when this made into the list of most thrilling matches in world cup history.
When the final ball was thrown, Brathwaite made a beautiful connection with it, sending it skyward into the Manchester sky. The West Indies supporters cheered as it appeared as though he had hit the winning six. The ball, however, dropped just short of the boundary rope because cricket can be a cruel game. At long-on, Trent Boult leaped to take the catch. Fans of the West Indies saw a spectacular and devastating moment when Brathwaite was removed for 101 runs, almost missing an incredible victory.
Carlos Brathwaite’s outstanding performance will live on in the memory even though New Zealand was able to hold on and win the game by 5 runs. Thanks to his century, one of the greatest World Cup comebacks in history came perilously close. It was one of those thrilling matches that perfectly encapsulated the intrigue, thrill, and unpredictability that make cricket such a seductive sport, and it gave both participants and fans wonderful memories.
4. 1983- India vs West Indies (Finals)
The 1983 Cricket World Cup final between India and the West Indies is indeed one of the most thrilling matches in cricketing history. The West Indies, led by Clive Lloyd, were a cricketing powerhouse at the time, having won the previous two World Cups (in 1975 and 1979). They were a formidable side with a lineup full of world-class fast bowlers and explosive batsmen. On the other hand, India, captained by Kapil Dev, was considered an underdog.
The final took place on June 25, 1983, at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. The West Indies won the toss and chose to field, putting India in to bat. India struggled during their innings, managing to score just 183 runs.
The turning point of the match came during the West Indies’ innings. The West Indies seemed to be cruising toward their target when Kapil Dev, stationed at midwicket, took one of the most iconic catches in cricket history. He sprinted backward and held on to Vivian Richards.
Kapil Dev’s catch served as motivation for India’s bowlers, who produced a fantastic effort. With the ball, Mohinder Amarnath shone, picking up three significant wickets. The early dismissal of Gordon Greenidge by Balwinder Sandhu sets the tone. When the West Indies were 50/1, they were bowled out for only 140 runs, which was less than India’s total. It was one of the most thrilling matches especially for the Indian fans.
5. 2019 – England vs. New Zealand (Final)
The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand is remembered as one of the most dramatic and closely contested matches in the history of the tournament. One of the most thrilling matches in history, and that too in the final of the World Cup.
England batted first and posted a total of 241 runs, a target that appeared modest but proved to be challenging on a pitch that offered assistance to the bowlers. New Zealand’s bowlers put up an exceptional display to restrict England.
New Zealand bravely fought back in response. They had to put up with a sluggish but persistent run chase, with their captain Kane Williamson taking the lead with a cool century. However, England’s bowlers continued to strike at critical moments to maintain the match.
In the penultimate over of New Zealand’s innings, the drama peaked. The scores were tied, and both teams ended up with 241 runs. This led to a Super Over, an unprecedented situation in a World Cup final. Each team had to nominate three batsmen to face an over, and the team that scored the most runs would be crowned the champion.
In the Super Over, England scored 15 runs while batting first, mostly as a result of some thunderous hitting from Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. In response, New Zealand scored 15 runs as well, establishing a tiebreaker based on the total number of boundaries scored throughout the game. Due to England’s higher total number of boundaries during the entire game, they were proclaimed the winners.
The remarkable drama of the 2019 World Cup final, the unusual Super Over result, and the extreme sportsmanship exhibited by both teams will live in infamy. England’s victory marked a historic moment in their cricketing history, and New Zealand’s spirit and grace in defeat earned them widespread admiration.
This championship game demonstrated the thrills, suspense, and heart-stopping moments that made cricket such an alluring sport. It left behind memories of one of the world class thrilling matches that fans and players alike will appreciate for years to come.