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Tied Games at the ODI World Cup

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Tied Games at the ODI World Cup:

There are very few things in life that can meet the thrill and excitement of a tied cricket match. These matches, wrapped in suspense till the last ball, have left both players and fans with a mélange of joy, heartbreak, and disbelief. These are games where the pendulum keeps swinging from one team to the other and eventually is unable to decide where to rest. Let’s take a look at all the tied games in the history of the ODI World Cup:

  1. South Africa vs. Australia, 1999, Birmingham:

This match, undoubtedly, remains one of the most thrilling ODIs ever. South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first – a decision that proved right as they had the Aussies struggling at 68/4. Steve Waugh (56) stitched an important partnership with Michael Bevan (65) and helped his team post a fighting total of 213. Pollock and Donald had proved why fast bowlers hunt in pairs by picking up 5 and 4 wickets, respectively. Kirsten and Gibbs gave the Proteas a steady start, but once the first wicket fell at 48, the South African innings got rattled, thanks to some exceptional display of spin bowling by Shane Warne (4/29). Kallis (53) and Jonty (43) played well but got out at the wrong time for South Africa. 9 were required off the last over with Klusener at his striking best. He hit the first two deliveries for fours, and South Africa needed just 1 run off 4 deliveries. He tried to turn it into a hat-trick of fours, however, wasn’t able to clear mid-on. Donald had backed up too far, however, Lehmann missed a direct hit. The next ball was hit by Klusener to mid-off, and this time Donald didn’t leave the crease, while Klusener just kept running. Both the batsmen ended up at the bowler’s end and Donald was run out comfortably, much to the joy of the Australians, who had made it to the final on the basis of their win over the Proteas in the Super Six stage.

2. South Africa vs. Sri Lanka, 2003, Durban:

Yes, it’s South Africa once again! Some call them chokers, while some believe they are plain unlucky. No matter what, one thing’s for sure – the Proteas do get excited about World Cups in bizarre ways. Even in 1992, they needed a gettable 22 from 13, but the weather played spoilsport and when play resumed, the target was reset to 21 from 1. Being the hosts in 2003, they were expected to turn the tables and just needed to win their last league game against the Lankans, to qualify for Super Sixes. Sri Lanka batted first and scored a respectable 268 riding on Marvan Atapattu’s brilliant 124. South Africa started well, however, the Lankan spinners picked up some quick wickets and pulled the game back in their favour. Shaun Pollock and Mark Boucher were involved in a crucial partnership. The duo kept scoring at a brisk rate since there was a storm brewing around. With 57 required off 45, Pollock got run out. When 46 were required off 32, Boucher hit Muralitharan for a six as the rain had become heavy by then. He thought they had won the game with it, and hence, didn’t take a single off the next delivery despite the ball going to mid-wicket. It was only when the play was halted, he realised that 229 was the par score (D/L method), and they had to score 230 in order to win the game. The game had ended in a tie and South Africa was once again left to rue their luck.

3. India vs. England, 2011, Bangalore:

India looked like the team to beat in the 2011 World Cup, and apart from South Africa, it was only England who managed to give them a run for their money in the entire tournament. India opted to bat first and scored a mammoth 338 thanks to Tendulkar’s century (120) and a couple of fifties by Gautam Gambhir (51) and Yuvraj Singh (58). Andrew Strauss (158) led from the front and took the attack to the opposition. He was ably supported by Ian Bell (69). At 281 for 3, the English were cruising along till Zaheer Khan (3/64) dismissed them back-to-back. England’s lower order played their part and brought it all down to 14 runs off the last over. With 2 required off the final ball of the innings, Swann could muster only a single, and the match ended in a thrilling tie.

Sometimes both the teams play so well that you don’t want either of them to lose and wish that the game ends in a tie – a luxury only available with ODI games when it comes to the shorter format of the game.

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