Every cricket fan wants their favorite team to as many games as possible. However, nothing can be more exciting than to witness your side turn a match on its head, claiming victory from the jaws of defeat. Comebacks are always memorable, aren’t they? Let’s look at the 5 most incredible fightbacks in the history of cricket & the IPL.
New Zealand v Pakistan (1992)
Pakistan’s win over England in the 1992 ICC World Cup final is remembered for giving the Shaheens their first world title. However, their most memorable win of the tournament came in the semis, when they snatched the match from right under the noses of the New Zealanders. With home advantage, and leading comfortably at 262 for 7, the Kiwis looked set for victory.
But then came along a certain Syed Inzamam-ul-Haq to turn the tables. Blazing 60 off 37 balls, he inspired the Green Shirts to a win with one over to spare. The rest is history that’s just too painful for Kiwi fans.
Ireland v England (2011)
Ireland’s recent ODI win over England (Aug 4, 2020) was only their second in living memory. The first one came back in a 2011 World Cup duel, a match where the Men in Green were 1321/100 underdogs. And that was before the game started; now imagine how high the odds might have been with England leading 327/8 after their 50 overs.
What do you do when life gives you lemons? You express yourself freely, as Kevin O’Brien did when he took the bat with his team trailing at 111/5 after twenty-five overs. O’Brien hit a century off 50 balls to put Ireland in prime position for a coup. Then came Trent Johnston and John Mooney to complete what’s still the World Cup’s largest comeback win (329/7 in 49.1 overs). There’s a good chance that some journalists had to rewrite their reports when the match drew to a close.
South Africa v Australia (2006)
It’s 12th of March 2006, and the Proteas are hosting the Baggy Greens in the year’s fifth ODI. The visitors win the coin toss and opt to bat first. Going on to score 434/4 runs in 50 overs, the Aussies smash a decade-long record for innings haul in an ODI match. And this isn’t just a new record; it’s pretty much an insurmountable perch — no one has yet scored 400 runs in a single ODI.
So to say that the hosts had a mountain to climb would be an understatement, especially given the early loss of specialist batsman Boeta Dippenar for 1. Even so, Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs paired for an incredible 187 runs, bringing the stratosphere within reach. AB de Villers then stepped up when Smith went out for 90, while consistent hits from Mark Boucher and Johannes van der Wath kept things in control when Gibbs was dismissed. South Africa ended up winning with 3 balls to spare, scoring 438/9 in 49.5 overs.
While the record has long been surpassed in the years since, this still remains one of the most legendary matches in cricket history. In an era when 280+ scores were considered huge, two teams surpassed the unthinkable 400 on the same day.
Windies v Kenya (1996)
What would you expect when an Associate nation is pitted against a two-time champion in a World Cup meeting? A decisive victory, right? That’s exactly what happened when West Indies met Kenya in a 1996 group stage match held in Pune — only problem is that the minnows triumphed over the giants.
How did it happen? Well, it was all going according to script when Windies won the coin toss and elected to field first, restricting the Kenyans to 166 all-out. But the minnows would soon show what they were made of when their turn came; none of the Windies batsmen crossed the 20-run mark. They’d end up registering 93 all-out eventually, handing the Associates their first international win. It’s a pity that Kenya has pretty much faded off the landscape in recent years, given the potential they showed at the time.
West Indies v South Africa (2015)
There must be something special about a team that appears on the list twice, isn’t there? West Indies have suffered a host of capitulations of the years — besides the one we’ve just seen. Perhaps it’s this experience that drove them to achieve the biggest successful fightback in
T20 history so far.
It came in 2015 against South Africa, after the latter had posted 231 runs. Windies seemingly hammered the nail on the coffin when they came on to lose 4 wickets in quick succession. But that proved to be a small setback, as they went on to overturn the scores and beat the Proteas by 4 wickets.