The great T20 World Cup upsets following Ireland's triumph

The smash and grab over their eastern neighbors is just one of several T20 World Cup upsets we’ve seen over the years

The great T20 World Cup upsets following Ireland's triumph PHOTO: ICC

Ireland once again have shown their mettle in ICC events, stunning England by five runs (DLS) at the MCG on Wednesday.

Following two ODI triumphs, the win today is the first in T20Is over England, and shakes up Group 1 of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 further after an earlier defeat for defending champions Australia against New Zealand.

ALSO READ: Ireland stun England for famous win at T20 World Cup

The smash and grab over their eastern neighbours is just one of several T20 World Cup upsets we’ve seen over the years.

Ireland defeated Bangladesh, 2009

Two years after their stunning Cricket World Cup win over Pakistan, on St. Patrick’s day to boot, Ireland continued to show their white-ball class when turning their attention to the 2009 T20 World Cup.

In their first T20 World Cup match, Ireland faced Bangladesh on a Trent Bridge track they seemed to enjoy on both sides. Holding Bangladesh to 90/6, the men in green leaked 137 in the end, though remained confident.

In reply, Ireland’s best showed up with the bat. Older O’Brien brother Niall set the tone with 40 from 25 balls, while Kevin (39* off 17 balls) ensured the match was won in the penultimate over.

Hong Kong defeated Bangladesh, 2014

When Tanwir Afzal claimed Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman in the first over, Hong Kong had almost hit the mute button on a stunned Chittagong crowd. 

The hosts looked to have turned things around at 85/3, though spinners Nadeem Ahmed (4/21) and Nizakat Khan ripped through a hapless middle order bereft of answers. Helped by a backing fielding effort, exemplified by good catches from ‘keeper Jamie Atkinson, and Babar Hayat in the outfield to hold their opponents to 109.

Shakib made early headway with the dismissal of Waqas Barkat, and Hong Kong looked at longer odds after Mahmudullah claimed then-Hong Kong international Mark Chapman to leave Hong Kong reeling at 50/5.

While 40-year-old Munir Dar showed calm in their attack making 36 (27), he fell to Abdul Razzak with nine still required. Haseeb Amjad stood tall late for Hong Kong, hitting a one-handed six over cover to win with two balls to spare.

 Scotland defeated Bangladesh, 2021

The opening day of the 2021 edition in Oman provided not just an all-time upset, but perhaps one of the greatest comebacks in T20I history. Sat perilously at 53/6, Chris Greaves, who had only debuted days early, rescued the men in purple.

His awe-inspiring 45 in 28 balls lifted them to a defendable 140, and after Bangladesh lost early wickets, Kyle Coetzer’s men moved into the ascendancy. Bangladesh crawled closer, though timed their run a fraction too late, with Brad Wheal’s 3/24 helped by Chris Greaves double salvo to complete his player of the match performance.

Netherlands defeated England, 2014

History repeated itself five years after their 2009 defeat, though unlike the time before, this one came as a compounding blow after England were already eliminated from the competition.

Stephan Myburgh pushed things along on a slow surface, though picked out a fielder to fielder to hand Ravi Bopara and England a breakthrough. England pulled the Dutch back to 133/5, who would have lamented a slow finish after being 110/2.

With the ball though, the Dutch executed their plans to perfection. Mudassar Bukhari (3-12) took two wickets in two balls to remove Michale Lumb and Alex Hales. And when Timm van der Gugten removed Eoin Morgan, England were left reeling at 26/3. Peter Borren struck with his first ball to stick the boot in at 32/4, and a run out of Tim Bresnan from the bouncing Bukhari pushed the Dutch further. 

Logan van Beek finished with 3/9, England crumbled to 88 all out inside 18 overs, and the battering forced a re-think in England’s white-ball approach in future tournaments

Zimbabwe defeated Australia, 2007

The formative years of T20 cricket leaned into surprise results, though not many would have picked an all-conquering Australian side losing to Zimbabwe.

Elton Chigumbura claimed 3/20 in three overs, dismissing both Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist. Gary Brent’s 2/19 stifled the middle order, and Australia clutched and fought to make just 138.

Vusi Sibanda (23 from 15 balls) ensured Zimbabwe stayed on top, while Brendan Taylor showed a cool head at the death with Zimbabwe needing 12 off the last over. He eventually finished with 60 not out from 45 balls. It came down to 12 off the last over, but Taylor swept Nathan Bracken for four, and Zimbabwe stole four leg-byes off to win with a ball to spare.

Namibia defeated Sri Lanka, 2022

If Ireland needed any more motivation Namibia showed the Lions of Sri Lanka, boasting Asia Cup silverware, could still be felled.

Sri Lanka firmed as an even stronger proposition in 2022 as compared to 2021, and when Namibia sat at 93/6, even staunch Associate cricket fans feared the worst.

Step forward: Jan Frylinck. Given a bigger batting role for Namibia, he repaid the faith with interest. He finished with 44* in 28 balls to hand his side momentum, and JJ Smit highlighted his hitting credentials with a 16-ball 31*.

Chasing 164, Sri Lanka were ambushed by Ben Shikongo, providing an extra yard of pace and a right-arm point of difference in a side of lefties. He claimed a double-wicket maiden, and Gerhard Erasmus tightened the screws at Kardinia Park. Namibia took every chance, and as the the required rate became too big, the result became a foregone conclusion well before the final wicket.

Afghanistan defeated West Indies, 2016

Still an Associate member at this point, Afghanistan were underestimated by the eventual champions, and the Blue Tigers struck.

Afghanistan’s modus operandi of going at everything looked to have failed, and when Mohammed Nabi’s cover drive was caught by Marlon Samuels after a fielding ricochet, it seemed they may have been out of luck too. They finished with 123, with Najibullah Zadran’s 48* providing the only respite.

Johnson Charles seemingly took the game away from Afghanistan, but an outstanding bowling and fielding effort kept things tense. Amir Hamza conceded just nine in four overs, and a young Rashid Khan flexed his leg-spinning muscles. Mohammad Shahzad’s run out of the Andre Russell at the non-striker’s end raised the decibels, and Mohammed Nabi ensured a final-over win.

Netherlands defeated England, 2009

Playing their first-ever T20 World Cup match, the Dutch had been given little chance of causing an upset at the 2009 opener, only for their odds to blow out further after leaking 162.

Wedged at 23/2, reporters had begun the pre-writing, though Tom de Grooth’s knock of 49 (30) brought a glimmer of hope, as did Peter Borren’s 30 from 25 balls.

Rain threatened to bring the game to a halt, though it was Ryan ten Doeschate and Edgar Schiferli that had the final say. Ten Doescate (22* from 17) exemplified calm in the middle of a maelstrom, and Schiferli’s scuffed slog outdid a sprawling Stuart Broad, who missed the run out chance that led to the winning overthrow on the final ball.

Ireland defeated England, 2022

Rain may have marred the ending to the match at the MCG, though Andy Balbirnie’s men will feel they deserved victory after having the upper hand for long periods.

The skipper himself led with bat in hand, making a 47-ball 62, well-complimented by Lorcan Tucker (34 off 27), who has enjoyed a rich vein of batting form in the last three months.

England were unable to gather much momentum during their chase of Ireland's decent total of 157 and will rue the fact they were five runs short of the par score when the rain hit late at the MCG.

The equation was 53 required from 33 deliveries when the players left the field and both teams would have been thinking they were well placed for victory when the heavens opened.

Classy all-rounders Moeen Ali (24*) and Liam Livingstone (1*) had just started to find the boundary with ease, while Ireland knew they were well placed and only had to hold their nerve to prevail.