The ICC T20 World Cup has seen a number of upsets over the years. What makes this version of the game more absorbing is that associate teams have greater chances of pulling off surprises than in the 50 overs One-Day International (ODI) format. No team is safe, as on their day the so-called minnows are capable of shocking the bigger teams. This year with two teams qualifying for the main draw among the associate nations, one can expect a shocker or two.
Here are the top 5 upsets in T20 Word Cup history:
1) Australia vs Zimbabwe (2007) - Zimbabwe won by 5 wickets
One of the biggest upsets in T20 history took place in the inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup when Zimbabwe shocked favourites Australia in Cape Town. Put into bat, the Men In Yellow could only manage 138 off their 20 overs, thanks to Andrew Symonds and Brad Hodge who scored 33 and 35 respectively.
Set to chase 139, few expected Zimbabwe to give Australia a fight, but in Brendan Taylor they had their Superman. Taylor's unbeaten 45-ball 60 along with Elton's Chigumbara 27 helped them romp home.
2) Bangladesh vs West Indies (2007)- Bangladesh won by 6 wickets
The 2007 edition saw another upset. This time it was the West Indies who were at the receiving end. Batting first, the Windies riding on Devon Smith's 51 and contributions from Shivnarine Chandepaul (37), Marlon Samuels (27) and Dwayne Smith (29), put on 164 for 8 off their 20 overs.
The Bangladeshi Tigers came out all guns blazing and attacked the Windies bowlers from the word go. An enthralling display of power hitting from Mohammad Ashraful and Aftab Ahmed helped them stroll to a six-wicket win. Ashraful scored a 27-ball 61 and Ahmed hit an unbeaten 62 off 49 balls.
3) England vs Netherlands (2009)- Netherlands won by 4 wickets with 0 balls remaining
Playing the opening game of the 2009 edition at Lords, England would not have in their wildest dreams imagined that their encounter with the Netherlands would turn into a nightmare. The Dutch, producing one of the biggest upsets in history, beat the hosts at the home of cricket. England batted first and posted an impressive 162 for 5. Opener Luke Wright top-scored with 71 from 49 balls, while Ravi Bopara chipped in with 46 from 34 balls.
In reply, the Netherlands looked in control despite none of their batsman crossing 50. There were crucial knocks all around, but in the end it was Ryan ten Doeschate's cameo, a 17-ball 22, that took them to a thrilling last-ball triumph.
4) Bangladesh vs Ireland (2009)- Ireland won by 6 wickets
We can't call this a big upset, but this match makes our list as Bangladesh by this time were playing top nations regularly and were favourites to win this tie. However, Ireland, and in particular the O'Brien brothers, had other plans. The pair scored a combined 79 of the 137 required. With this win, Ireland not only knocked Bangladesh out of the T20 World Cup, but also made it to the Super 8 stage for the first time.
5) England vs Netherlands (2014)- Netherlands won by 45 runs
They say it's very rare for lightning to strike twice, but unfortunately in England's case this is what happened as they were humiliated by the Netherlands for the second consecutive time in T20 World Cup history.
Coming into the game after dropping their biggest match-winner in Kevin Pietersen, England were in disarray. Batting first, the Netherlands put on a modest 133 off their 20 overs. However, what followed next will go down in folklore. The Dutch bowlers led by Mudassar Bukhari, bowled out the the Three Lions for just 88, their second lowest score in T20 International history.
What was even more humiliating from the English point of view was that this was the same Netherlands team that was bowled out for 39 by Sri Lanka a few days earlier.