Former US Open champion Samantha Stosur recently crashed out in the first round of the ongoing Grand Slam event, losing to a little-known 17-year old American qualifier who had made only one other major appearance in the 2011 edition.
The defeat was as unexpected as the senior Indian cricket team losing to Afghanistan. It also highlighted the uncertainty that defines any sport around the world.
Cricket, too, has seen its share of – for lack of a better word – upsets. Lesser-known teams have been known to stun the established performers more than once, and this trait has occurred quite a few times in recent years.
Here is a list of the top ten greatest upsets in ODI cricket:
10. Zimbabwe vs England (Albury, Benson & Hedges World Cup 1992)
In a low-scoring game at Albury, Zimbabwe pulled off a shocking upset when they beat favourites England by nine runs in a World Cup game at Albury in 1992. Prior to this, England had only lost one out of six games, while Zimbabwe had suffered defeats against Sri Lanka and India.
Graham Gooch won the toss and sent the African nation in to bat first. The pitch kept low and offered variable bounce, allowing pacer Ian Botham and left-arm spinner Richard Illingworth to share six Zimbabwean wickets between them. Only skipper Dave Houghton and Iain Butchart scored above 20 as Zimbabwe were skittled out for 134.
Eddo Brandes, a chicken farmer who was in the side as a pace bowler and had been erratic throughout the tournament, responded with a splendid four-wicket haul – dismissing Gooch for a golden duck, having Lamb caught by Wayne James, and castling both Robin Smith as well as Graeme Hick – to bring his side back into the contest. Fairbrother and Alec Stewart added 52, but Ali Shah removed the latter to end the stand.
Fairbrother fell soon after to Butchart, who also scalped Phil DeFreitas, and Malcolm Jarvis secured the win when he dismissed Gladstone Small, with England collapsing for 125. Brandes won the Man of the Match award for his 4/21, keeping his side alive in the tournament.