This piece speaks about the best performances in World Cup cricket by Associate and minnow cricket nations.>
Kenya, 2003 World Cup: Kenya had first qualified for the World Cup in 1996 and together with 1999 had won only one game in all – a shock win over West Indies. However, in 2003, they changed things around drastically. They were lucky to be awarded a win when New Zealand refused to tour their country and were awarded the points, but this was followed by a win over Sri Lanka and the other minnow nations in their group, Canada and Bangladesh. This helped them get to the Super Six stage and then to the semi-finals of the tournament where they went down to India. This was, by a distant margin, the best ever performance by an Associate country.
Ireland, 2007 World Cup:> It was their first ever chance to play at the World stage and they did not disappoint. First, in what was the biggest upset ever, they took out Pakistan from the tournament to enter the Super Eight and then beat Bangladesh in the second round. While they lost all their remaining five games, it was an effort well-done by the Irish side.
Bangladesh, 2007 World Cup: For a team which had done very poorly in the previous World Cups, this was a big one. They took out previous year’s runner-up India from the first round of the tournament and then beat South Africa in the second round. They lost to Ireland in the second round, which was a shame given their other performances but by then ha enough damage to make it to this list of top five performances by minnow nations.
Zimbabwe, 1999 World Cup: While Zimbabwe was neither an Associate nation nor a minnow, they were not expected to qualify for the second round of the competition. What happened in 1999 World Cup was that they beat both India and South Africa in the first round to not only go into the Super Sixes but also qualify with many points carried forward. Unfortunately they lost all their second round games and were ousted from the tournament.