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The Rebellion of Afghanistan and Netherlands Ignites World Cup Fever

The Rebellion of Afghanistan and Netherlands Ignites World Cup Fever

The Cricket World Cup has been the stage for some of the most remarkable and astonishing triumphs in the sport's history. Whether it's underdog teams toppling giants or reigning champions experiencing unexpected defeats, these moments throughout the years have left an indelible mark on the illustrious history of the coveted tournament.

From Zimbabwe's surprising victory in 1992 to Afghanistan's remarkable win in 2023, these matches have underscored the sport's inherent unpredictability.

In a surprising turn of events, Afghanistan achieved a significant upset in the current World Cup by defeating the defending champions, England, in Delhi. Afghanistan, a team that had only secured one victory in World Cup history prior to this, convincingly beat England, captained by Jos Buttler, by a margin of 69 runs.

This triumph at Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium put an end to Afghanistan's 14-match losing streak, a streak that extended back to their winless performance in the 2019 World Cup.

The Netherlands pulled off a significant upset in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 by defeating a strong South African team. South Africa, which had previously posted impressive scores of 428 and 311 in their first two matches against Sri Lanka and Australia, was dismissed for just 207 by the Netherlands.

This marks the Netherlands' third victory in the ODI World Cup, with the most recent one being 16 years after their last win against Scotland in the West Indies. Their first win in the tournament occurred during the World Cup 2023 when they defeated Namibia.

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ENG vs AFG- The Rebellion

It's as if history repeated itself for England in 2015, as the defending champions experienced what could arguably be considered the most significant upset in the entire history of the Cricket World Cup. Afghanistan, displaying remarkable resilience and surpassing all expectations, secured a historic 69-run victory that will forever be etched in the annals of cricketing lore.

This shocking turn of events unfolded at Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium, marking England's most substantial upset since they were eliminated by Bangladesh in the 2015 tournament, or the stunning defeat handed to them by Ireland in 2011. Jos Buttler and his team were given a harsh reminder of their past setbacks on a seemingly serene Sunday evening. This occurred just after the spectacle of the much-anticipated India-Pakistan match at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium, with Afghanistan compelling the world of cricket to shift its focus to Delhi as they etched their names into the history books.

For Afghanistan, this was only their second World Cup victory since their maiden appearance in 2015 when they had narrowly defeated Scotland in Dunedin by a single wicket. After enduring a disheartening winless streak in the 2019 World Cup, which continued with losses against Bangladesh and India in the 2023 edition, Afghanistan finally managed to break free from their 14-match losing streak with this monumental win, not just in the context of international cricket but also within this format.

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The Netherlands appeared to be on the verge of a third consecutive defeat when they stumbled to 82 for five. However, an outstanding unbeaten innings of 78 runs from 69 balls by their wicketkeeper-captain, Scott Edwards, enabled them to post a competitive total of 245 for eight. This proved to be a target that the previously formidable South African team couldn't chase down, despite their impressive wins by margins of 102 and 134 runs in their opening two games against Sri Lanka and Australia.

The Netherlands, led by captain Scott Edwards, had not secured a win before this match, but they stunned a South African side that had looked dominant in their initial matches.

The South African team, who had started well at 36 without loss, faced a sudden downturn when former Somerset all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe, who had contributed a useful 29 runs from 19 balls with the bat, took two quick wickets, leaving South Africa reeling at 44 for four. Despite a determined effort with 43 runs from David Miller, South Africa lost wickets at regular intervals and suffered their first defeat in the tournament.

It was a humbling day for Temba Bavuma's team as they experienced a double setback against the Netherlands, marking the second monumental upset victory by the Dutch over the Proteas at a World Cup in less than a year. In the previous November, the Netherlands had pulled off a surprising win in Adelaide, knocking South Africa out of the T20 World Cup.

The Netherlands and Afghanistan's triumph over England and South Africa in the Cricket World Cup was not just a momentous event for the teams involved; it was a watershed moment for cricket as a whole. It showcased the global nature of the sport and proved that determination and hard work can help underdog nations rise to the top. The confidence boost that these victories provide will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the cricketing landscape, inspiring other associate nations to dream big and strive for similar successes in the future.

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Anurag Singh30 Oct 2023

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