USA qualify for T20 World Cup Super 8: Five greatest underdog stories in the history of ICC competitions | Sporting News India

USA qualify for T20 World Cup Super 8: Five greatest underdog stories in the history of ICC competitions | Sporting News India

The USA have managed to do the unthinkable by qualifying to the Super 8s of the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup. Prior to the start of the World Cup, it would have been foolish to even think that USA would manage to qualify in the next round with heavyweights like India and Pakistan present in the same group as them. 

As the tournament kicked off, the USA managed an impressive victory over Canada, but it was Canada after all. The shock came when they turned up against Pakistan for their second game of the tournament. 

Restricting the men in green to 159 runs, in reply, USA skipper Monank Patel batted to a brilliant half-century before Aaron Jones and Nitish Kumar’s theatrics during the final overs helped the hosts draw level with Pakistan’s score, resulting in a super over. Managing to score 18 runs against Mohammad Amir in the super over, USA and Saurabh Netravalkar did exceptionally well in defending the total and winning the game by 5 runs. 

With two wins in two games, and Pakistan going on to lose against arch-rivals India as well, the USA just needed one more win or a favour from the rain gods in one of the matches to seal their spot in the next round. They lost their third game against India, entering in a must-win tie against the Irish. 

The weather in Florida though decided to play the spoilsport, as the game was called off due to heavy rains, resulting in both teams getting a point each and USA qualifying for the Super 8s at the expense of the 2022 finalists, Pakistan.  

READ MORE: Who is the leading run scorer at T20 World Cup 2024?

The USA cricket team have undoubtedly pulled off one of the greatest underdog stories in T20 World Cup history, and could even manage to go further, considering the quality of cricket that they have displayed throughout the tournament. 

Celebrating their massive achievement, The Sporting News takes a look at some of the best underdog stories in World Cup history. 

Top five underdog stories in ICC events 

India – ODI World Cup 1983

India’s campaign in the 1983 World Cup is something out of the books, a story that turned the nation into the crazy cricket-loving country that it is now. Kapil Dev’s Indian team pulled off the impossible, as they went on to win against some of the top teams in world cricket back then to make it to the finals of the tournament.

The finals awaited the West Indies, who had already played and won in two World Cup finals prior to this, but the Indians had different plans as they defended a mere total of 182 runs against the mighty West Indians, becoming the first nation after the West Indies to lift the Cricket World Cup.

READ MORE: T20 World Cup 2024: Full list of teams qualified for the Super 8

Kenya – ODI World Cup 2003

Kenya came forward as one of the very first underdogs of cricket history. After competing in its first-ever World Cup in 1996 as an independent nation, Kenya were given full ODI status and the African nation played in the World Cup once again in 2003. 

This time, against all the odds Kenya made it all the way through to the semi-finals of the tournament before getting knocked out by the eventual runners-up, India. 

READ MORE: England’s Super 8 qualification: Group B scenarios and points explained

Zimbabwe – ODI World Cup 1999

Zimbabwe put on one of the best performances in the World Cup in the 1999 edition of the tournament. The African team managed to make it to the super 6s of the tournament, missing out on the semi-final spot but only just, as New Zealand edged past them on net run rate. 

READ MORE: Who is the leading wicket-taker at T20 World Cup 2024?

Ireland – ODI World Cup 2007

Ireland played their inaugural World Cup in 2007 and managed to surprise a lot of teams and pundits with their performances. They defeated Pakistan in their second group-stage game of the tournament, also knocking them out in the process. They managed to make it to the Super 8s but lost four important clashes and crashed out of the competition. 

Bangladesh – ODI World Cup 2007 

It wasn’t just Ireland who had a good 2007 World Cup but also the Asian side, Bangladesh. Bangladesh shocked the world in their opening game itself as they won against the mighty Indians. They managed to qualify for the Super 8s, once again causing a huge upset by defeating the South Africans, but it proved to be their only win in the 7 Super 8 matches. 

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