ICC World Cup 2019: 5 Times When a Dropped Catch Changed the Course of the Showpiece Event
We are less than a couple of weeks away from the start of the 2019 World Cup and it is expected to be a carnival for cricket fans for the next two months. This will be the 12th edition of the World Cup with the first being played way back in 1975. The format of the tournament has changed and no teams will get a chance to complain as all the teams are expected to meet others in the group league stage and the top four teams will go through to the playoffs.
In a big tournament, we often see catches getting dropped as the pressure tend to get the better of the opposition. There have been several catches in the past which has gone on to cost their side the match in the end. With the World Cup slated to begin in less than a fortnight’s time, we must get an account on how missed catches affected the outcome of some World Cup games.
Now let us have a look at 5 Instances in the World Cup when a dropped catch changed the course of the match
1999 World Cup- Herschelle Gibbs dropped the catch of Steve Waugh
It was a group stage match of the 1999 edition of the tournament. Australia hadn’t started off well in the tournament and needed to win their match against South Africa to harbour hopes of going through to the playoffs. After batting first, South Africa posted an impressive 271 on the board.
Australia got off to the worst possible starts and lost 3 wickets for just 48 runs. It is when Steve Waugh came out in the middle to resurrect the run chase. Steve Waugh looked in great touch and scored a well-deserved half-century. However on the score of 56, he gave a simple catch to Gibbs and in an attempt to throw the ball in the air, Gibbs lost the balance and the ball popped out of his hand.
Steve Waugh went onto score a match-winning 120 and in the process also shared a magnificent 126 runs with Ricky Ponting. This dropped catch proved to be the turning point of the tournament as Australia went onto lift the World Cup.
2007 World Cup Final- Dilhara Fernando dropped the catch of Adam Gilchrist
This particular catch proved to be a disaster for Sri Lanka as Adam Gilchrist played one of the greatest innings in his lifetime during the final of the 2007 World Cup. The final of the tournament was reduced to a 38 overs affair after persistent rain prevented the match to start.
After batting first, Adam Gilchrist got off to a great start but was dropped on 31 by Dilhara Fernando. The southpaw made full use of the opportunity and kept plundering the Sri Lankan bowlers all around the park. It was a special knock especially due to the fact that it came in a final of a World Cup.
He went on to score 149 of 104 deliveries, an innings which was studded with 13 fours and 8 sixes. His exceptional knock also helped Australia win their 3rd World Cup title on a trot.
2011 World Cup Semifinal- Sachin Tendulkar dropped 4 times
The platform was set as it was arch-rivals India and Pakistan who locked horns in the semi-final of the 2011 edition of the tournament. After batting first, India got off to a great start courtesy some exceptional shots by Virender Sehwag. Sachin Tendulkar too joined in the fun.
After Sehwag’s wicket, Sachin Tendulkar survived quite a few close calls and was dropped on 4 occasions by the Pakistan fielder. It was a pretty dodgy innings from Sachin Tendulkar and not one of his best under any stress of imagination.
However, his knock of 85 proved to be crucial in the end as India posted a competitive total on the board in their allotted 50 overs. Eventually, the Indian bowlers were impressive and handed India a famous victory which helped them go through to the final of the tournament.
2015 World Cup Quarterfinal- Shane Watson dropped by Rahat Ali
It was one of the biggest drops of the tournament as it eventually helped Australia lift their 5th World Cup title in the end. The former Australian all-rounder came out in the middle with Australia under some sort of pressure while chasing a moderate target of 214 to win the match.
Pakistan started off well with back to back wickets. They came into the game courtesy some exceptional bowling by left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz. He bowled his heart out and troubled Watson on a consistent basis. He was literally bounced out by Riaz and Watson had no clue to his deliveries.
As he attempted a hook shot, it took the edge of the bat and went flying towards the fine leg fielder Rahat Ali. However, despite reaching the ball, Rahat missed a sitter which proved to be the game-changing moment. Eventually, Australia chased the target down in the 34th over and progressed through to the semi-final.
2015 World Cup Quarterfinal- Martin Guptill dropped by Jerome Taylor
It was another high voltage game when Jerome Taylor dropped a simple catch of Martin Guptill who became just the 2nd batsman in World Cup history to hit a double century. He looked in ominous touch from the outset and smashed the Windies bowlers all around the park.
The New Zealand opener looked in ominous touch and kept smashing boundaries after boundaries as he raced off to a century. He was extraordinary in his strokeplay. Guptill smashed a breathtaking 237 of just 163 deliveries, an innings which was studded with 24 fours and 11 sixes.
Windies posted a mammoth 393 on the board in their allotted 50 overs. Eventually, New Zealand registered a 143 runs victory to progress through to the semi-final.
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