Thrill-a-minute rides that kept the fun going

Thrill-a-minute rides that kept the fun going

World Cup 2015: A quick look at the close finishes that had the fans glued to their seats

Thrill-a-minute rides that kept the fun going

In every edition of the World Cup, there have been some games that weren't over till it was all over. Teams fighting until the very end, producing high intensity and gripping encounters. Frenzied fans lapping up every second of the action. Let’s take a look at few of the top games that went to the wire.

Windies steal a thriller (1975)

Helped by half centuries from Majid Khan (60), Mushtaq Mohammad (55) and Wasim Raja (58), Pakistan reached a competitive total of 266 for seven in 60 overs at Birmingham. In reply, the West Indies batsmen failed to support skipper Clive Lloyd (53) as wickets kept tumbling at one end. With the match tilting in favour of Pakistan, Deryck Murray decided to play a special knock. In the final 16 overs, they needed 64 when Andy Roberts, the last batsman joined Murray.

The inaugural World Cup then saw the first glimpse of a sensational last gasp victory, as the duo knocked off the required total, with the winning run scored off the fourth ball of the 60th over. The determination of Roberts (24 n.o.) and the audacity of Murray (61 n.o.) saw them winning a famous encounter.

One run short (1992)
At Brisbane against Australia, chasing a revised target of 236 from 47 overs due to a rain interruption, India were helped by captain Mohammed Azharuddin’s brilliant 93 even as the hosts kept picking crucial wickets. Sanjay Manjrekar too batted sensibly for his 47 off 50 balls as the match reached the climax. With 13 needed off the last over, India looked good with three wickets in hand. Wicket-keeper Kiran More hit the first two deliveries off Tom Moody for fours. Moody clean bowled More off the third ball. Manoj Prabhakar took a single off the next delivery only to run himself out on the penultimate ball.

Four runs were required off the final delivery and Javagal Srinath swung his bat to send the ball high in the air. Steve Waugh sent a sharp throw from the boundary to wicket-keeper David Boon who broke the stumps to run out number eleven Venkatapathy Raju, who was returning for the third run. India were left heartbroken, as Australia clinched the thriller by one run.

Warne the magician (1996)
In the semifinal showdown at Mohali, West Indies’ chase of 207 against Australia was going on smoothly. Till the 41st over, with the score reading 165 for two, there clearly was one winner. But what unfolded in the final 50 minutes showed the sheer unpredictability of the game. Opener Chanderpaul, troubled by cramps, fell to McGrath for 80. Australia then pounced and the Windies collapsed incredibly in the final few overs. Shane Warne bowled a devastating second spell, picking three wickets. For the Caribbeans, with two wickets in hand, all hopes rested on leader Richie Richardson, who was on 44. Ten runs were needed in the final over and Richardson smashed a boundary off the very first ball from Damien Fleming. But Curtly Ambrose was soon run out and the last man in was Walsh, who ambitiously heaved at his very first ball only to be clean bowled and the Australians rejoiced.

Choking at the finish (1999)
Perhaps, no one-day international match can get as close and thrilling as the semifinal clash between Australia and South Africa. At Birmingham, South Africa looked good to make their first final appearance after restricting Steve Waugh’s men to 213.  They began the chase in decent fashion.

The wily leg spinner Shane Warne led Australia’s fightback and removed the top order. Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes then steadied ship but Australia struck again to leave the match in balance. With nine required off the last over. Lance Klusener hit two cracking fours off Damien Fleming. Waugh brought his men closer and looked for a tie.

Klusener sent the fourth delivery to mid-on and rushed for the all important single but his partner, Donald was caught watching the ball and set off too late.

An alert Mark Waugh rushed the ball to Fleming who threw it to the striker’s end and Gilchrist did the rest. The match was tied. South Africa were eliminated yet again in the semifinal, as Australia were ranked above them in the Super Six stage.

Drama at Chinnaswamy  (2011)
This day-night encounter at Bengaluru between India and England turned out to be a cracking contest. India made good use of the perfect batting conditions to score a mammoth 338 all out in 49.5 overs thanks to a masterful century from Sachin Tendulkar (120). England made a terrific chase, with skipper Andrew Strauss scoring a brilliant 158.

India hung in, picking crucial wickets. England came close and looked to knock off the target with 14 required off the final over. Munaf Patel was given the ball and number nine batsman Ajmal Shahzad whacked Munaf’s third ball to maximum to set up a grand finish. With two required off the final delivery, Graeme Swann powered one to the covers and rushed for a single as fielder Yusuf Pathan held on to avoid a second run. In a match where two teams played equally good till the last moment, there was no clear winner.

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