As the 11th edition of ICC World Cup is round the corner, let's relive some of the most memorable, emotional and action-packed moments from the past, which are still quite fresh in the minds of cricket lovers.
Australia v England, 1987 final, Eden Gardens
England were cruising towards victory in the 1987 World Cup final against Australia as they were at a strong position (135 for two), while chasing a total of 254 – with skipper Mike Gatting and Bill Athey at the crease. But then Australian skipper, Allan Border, decided to roll his arm, which worked for the Aussies as he got the crucial wicket of Gatting off his first ball. The left-hander went for an expensive shot – a reverse-sweep – and lost his wicket. Gatting's wicket gradually changed the scenario of the match as the required run-rate started soaring. And eventually, England failed to make the required 17 runs in the last over and Australia won the close encounter and Cup by seven runs.
Pakistan v South Africa, 1992 group match, The Gabba
Under the captaincy of Imran Khan, Pakistan created history by lifting their maiden World Cup in 1992. But Inzamam-ul-Haq’s run-out in the league stages of the tournament against South Africa was one of the highlights of the mega-event. Inzamam played the ball towards point region and ran in search of single, skipper Imran sent him back. But it was too late - Rhodes had gathered the ball within a flash and sprinted in before he dived full-length to break the stumps, to run him out. The superman effort by the best fielder of that time was the turning point of the match as from there on Pakistan lost the grip and eventually lost it by 20 runs.
South Africa v Australia, 1999 Super Six, Headingley
South Africa always look for bizarre incidents to happen to keep their 'chokers tag' intact in the big tournaments, and World Cup is no exception. One of the best fielders in South African squad, Herschelle Gibbs dropped a priceless catch of Australian skipper Steve Waugh in awkward style and paid a heavy price. In a much talked about incident, Gibbs threw the ball in the air to celebrate, without getting hold of it completely. It proved to be the turning point of the match, as Waugh went on to play a match-winning knock of unbeaten 120 runs. In fact, immediately after being dropped, Waugh even sledged Gibbs by saying `You've just dropped the World Cup, mate'. And his words proved correct as Australia went on to win the coveted trophy.
South Africa v Australia, 1999 semi-final, Edgbaston
As if Gibbs' blunder during the Super Six round was not enough to throw the Proteas out of World Cup, they found a new way in the semis against the same opponent. Lance Klusener superb cameo (31 off 14 balls) almost turned the match around for South Africa as the score got levelled at 213 in the final over. But in a rush of blood, Allan Donald got run out with two balls to spare - and the Australians booked a berth in the final on the basis of better Super Six net run-rate. It was another heart-breaking moment for the South Africans in a crucial match.
Bermuda v India, 2007 group match, Queen's Park Oval
We have seen many outstanding catches in past World Cup's. But Bermuda’s Dwayne Leverock's spectacular one-handed catch at slip cordon to dismiss Robin Uthappa is still fresh in the minds of many. A full stretched dive by one of the heaviest players to have played the game (approx 120 Kgs), amazed many. It was an emotional moment for the bowler, Malachi Jones, as well, as he got a wicket of his first World Cup ball. Though Bermuda was crushed by India in the match, that was the moment Bermuda players will cherish throughout their lives.