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10 GREATEST World Cup matches

Last updated on: May 27, 2019 20:38 IST

The 12th edition of the World Cup will be held in the United Kingdom from May 30 to July 14. Hosts England take on South Africa in the tournament opener at The Oval in London, on Thursday, May 30.

As the teams gear up for the World Cup, here is a look at the 10 greatest matches in the history of the mega-event:

Adam Gilchrist

IMAGE: Adam Gilchrist celebrates after running out Allan Donald as the Australia vs South Africa semi-final at the 1999 World Cup finished in a tie. Australia advanced to the final having finished higher in the Super Six stage. Photograph: Andrew Budd/Action Images/Reuters

Australia v West Indies (1975)

The West Indies and Australia produced the final that stands the test of time as one of the cricket World Cup's greatest.

Lord's was the stage, and scorching midsummer weather meant the crowds were spilling out of the bleachers, young fans romping onto the outfield with every boundary struck.

Clive Lloyd played a captain's innings, hauling the West Indies from 50 for 3 into ascendancy thanks to a brutal century in a 149 fourth-wicket stand with Rohan Kanhai.

Despite an electrifying run-chase, solidified by Ian Chappell's 62, Australia fell 17 runs short of a target of 291 - ousted by Viv Richards's excellence in the field as he executed three straight run-outs.

India v Zimbabwe (1983)

Kapil Dev

IMAGE: Kapil Dev during his record innings of 175 not out off 138 balls against Zimbabwe, at Tunbridge Wells. Photograph: Trevor Jones/Getty Images

India were reduced to 17 for 5 in a top-order totter and it seemed their signal victory over reigning champions West Indies in the opening game would go to waste. However, skipper Kapil Dev blasted 175 from 138 balls and somehow took his side to 266 and set up a stern run-chase for Zimbabwe.

Madan Lal and Dev turned the screw with the ball, earning a remarkable victory and setting the tone for a campaign that would end in India lifting the World Cup at Lord's a fortnight later.

India v West Indies (1983)

IMAGE: Captain Kapil Dev holds aloft the trophy India's World Cup triumph in 1983. Photograph: Dave Cannon/Allsport

You cannot beat a low-scoring thriller and one of the classics of the genre came on the biggest stage -- the World Cup final -- 36 years ago.

The vaunted West Indies bowling attack suffocated India with swing, seam and pace, with Andy Roberts taking three for 32 and Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding two scalps each.

Knocking off 184 seemed an elementary task, but Viv Richards's side faltered, failing to live up to the favourites tag that saw them victorious in the first two editions of the tournament.

Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath were chief tormentors as the great cricketing power of the era was brought to its knees in front of 30,000 at Lord's.

Australia v India (1987)

With the World Cup venturing away from familiar English climes for the first time since its inception, a thrilling opening game was needed to prove India could be equally fine hosts. But none of the thousands who packed into the ground in Madras could have envisaged just how closely matched the two nations would be.

Australia silenced the home crowd with a commanding effort with the bat: Geoff Marsh carved out 110 and asked India to chase down 270.

For every Indian wicket that fell, a commanding partnership followed in a compelling push-pull encounter, but the heroics of Navjot Sidhu (73) and Krishnamachari Srikkanth (70) proved in vain in a one-run loss.

Australia vs West Indies (1996)

This game marked the passing of one cricketing dynasty and the birth of another, as the West Indies were stopped at the semi-final stage for the first time ever, by Australia.

Richie Richardson, bowing out of one-day cricket at the end of the tournament, would have been rubbing his hands when Australia slumped to 15 for four.

But even as Stuart Law and Michael Bevan led a recovery to 207, the West Indies looked like they had more than enough as Shivnarine Chanderpaul guided them to 165 for two. Then came a batting collapse of epic proportions -- seven wickets fell for 29 runs -- and Australia reached their first final in nine years.

Australia v South Africa (1999)

Nine runs were needed with just one over remaining. It seemed a simple equation separating South Africa and the World Cup final. Yet, what followed was an art form of indecision and drama that saw them miss out on a first-ever final.

Shaun Pollock had figures of 5 for 36 as Australia were restricted to 213.

Jonty Rhodes and Jacques Kallis combined to leave South Africa needing one run to win, with one wicket left.

But when Lance Klusener bunted to mid-off, Allan Donald did not hear his call for a quick single. Wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist whipped off the bails and the match finished in a tie.

Australia qualified for the final after finishing higher in the Super Six stage.

India vs Pakistan (2003)

Sachin Tendulkar

IMAGE: Sachin Tendulkar's blazing half-century lifted India to victory against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup match at Centurion. Photograph: Getty Images

Great rivals India and Pakistan produced a superb encounter and those present in Centurion saw three players at the peak of their powers. The first was Saeed Anwar, who flicked and forced his way to a century to keep his team in the contest by posting 273 for 7.

Sachin Tendulkar produced one of his best One-day innings to guide India to victory, slamming 98 from just 75 balls, laced with 12 fours and a six. But many will remember the game for the sheer venom of Shoaib Akhtar's bowling, dismissing Tendulkar two shy of the century.

Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag (21 from 14 balls) ripped apart the Pakistan pacers in the early overs, as they put on 53 runs for the opening wicket from just 34 balls.

Yuvraj Singh provided the finishing touches, stroking 50 not out to guide India to a six-wicket victory.

England v Ireland (2011)

In the history of the World Cup, no single name has ever been so deeply intertwined with one match as Kevin O'Brien is. The first half of the game between England and Ireland saw Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott firing England to 327/8, a total no side had ever previously chased down.

O'Brien (113 off 63 balls), without a half-century in nine World Cup knocks, smashed 13 fours and six sixes to produce one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament. It was the fastest century in World Cup history and an innings that may never be bettered for its sheer significance to the Irish cricketing story.

England v India (2011)

The 2011 clash between host nation India and England in Bangalore saw little master Sachin Tendulkar caressing his way to 120 runs, which set a towering 339 to chase.

In reply, Andrew Strauss stroked a brilliant 158 before Graeme Swann and Ajmal Shahzad guided England to a thrilling tie.

New Zealand v South Africa (2015)

AB de Villiers

IMAGE: Dale Steyn is heartbroken as Daniel Vettori and Grant Elliott celebrate New Zealand's maiden entry into the World Cup final. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

South Africa, again in search of a first showpiece appearance, had their foot in New Zealand's throat for the most part as Faf du Plessis and AB De Villiers dragged their side to 281/5, during the 2015 World Cup semi-final match in Auckland.

However, the Kiwis came out all guns blazing as captain Brendon McCullum smashed a quickfire 59 from 26 balls.

A couple of quick wickets saw South Africa bounce back in the middle overs, but it was Grant Elliott, who saved the hosts with a cracking innings of 84.

With five runs needed from two balls, Elliott smashed Dale Steyn for a six over mid-on to power his team into the final.

Source: ANI