Home > Features > Moments in history >

1992 World Cup: Chicken farmer Eddo Brandes floors England with sensational spell

Eddo Brandes (left) celebrates the dismissal of England batsman Graeme Hick © Getty Images
Eddo Brandes (left) celebrates the dismissal of England batsman Graeme Hick © Getty Images

On March 18, 1992, at the outbreak town of Albury in Australia, underdogs Zimbabwe played with spirit and spunk to defeat England in the World Cup. Bharath Ramaraj looks back at that memorable day in the annals of Zimbabwean cricket.


The thrills and spills of watching a perennial underdog take on the gargantuan task of playing hot favourites and send them spiralling towards a heart-wrenching defeat is something that fans would fondly rekindle for a long time to come. On March 18, 1992, in the World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, Zimbabwe sent seismic shock waves through the cricketing world by defeating England in a cliff-hanger of a contest at Albury.

England had already sailed into the semi-final stage of the tournament by winning most of their games. New Zealand, who were in red hot form during that World Cup was the only team that had beaten England. On the other end of the spectrum, Zimbabwe were a trifle unlucky not to have usurped teams like India and Sri Lanka. However, they were largely criticised for their lacklustre bowling. Their batsmen tended to either play a shot or were rooted to the crease without rotating the strike.

England won the toss and elected to bowl on a bowler’s paradise. The track had plenty of juice in it and there was enough variable bounce too. Zimbabwe lost early wickets and crawled to a score of 134 in 46.1 overs. The experienced campaigner and captain of the side, David Houghton was the only batsman who was able to handle tough conditions on view and essay a knock of 29. He had to use every ounce of experience he had gained over the years to weather the storm and pass the baptism by fire with flying colours. Ian Butchart gave him valuable support with a knock of 24.

For England, all the five front-line bowlers took wickets at regular intervals. Ian Botham was the chief wicket-taker with three wickets to his name. It has to be said though, Phil Defreitas was arguably the most impressive bowler on show, as he made the ball move in the air and off the pitch with geometric precision.

Even on a track that had plenty on offer for bowlers, England were expected to cruise towards victory. To make it worse for Zimbabwe, their strike force, Eddo Brandes, known for bowling boomerang bending swing was misfiring. It led to the veteran spinner in the Zimbabwean setup, John Traicos, to work with Brandes in the nets to fix his problems. No one knows whether Traicos had a magic wand in his hand or not, as Brandes came out all guns blazing and made a telling difference to Zimbabwe’s fortunes.

It all started with Brandes trapping England captain, Graham Gooch in front with an in-swinging yorker that tailed into him. With England’s prolific batsman back in the hut, it lifted the sagging spirits of Zimbabwe. Omar Shah and Malcolm Jarvis gave Brandes valuable support by keeping English batsmen on a tight leash. But it was Brandes who landed the big blows. He removed the dangerous Robin Smith by shattering his stumps, followed it up by taking the wicket of his friend, Graeme Hick. Interestingly, during the only other game Zimbabwe had won back then in 1983 World Cup against Australia, Hick was the 12th man for Zimbabwe.

Neil Fairbrother, suffering from a stomach upset and wicketkeeper-batsman, Alec Stewart put on a painstaking 50-run partnership. But in the context of the game, it was a crucial one. Just in the nick of time of though, Shah and Butchart shared a wicket each to send both batsmen on a long walk back to the pavilion. It opened the flood gates for Zimbabwe to march towards victory.

With the last pair Phil Tufnell and Gladstone Small at the crease, England needed to score at more than seven runs an over. The last pair somehow took England to the final over of the game.

With nerves jangling and hearts pumping, Jarvis bowled the final over. He bowled a well-disguised slower delivery and Small duly obliged by offering a simple catch to Andy Pycroft which was gleefully taken. Zimbabwean players’ joy knew no bounds. They celebrated like there was no tomorrow. Those 5,000 odd fans who had made a beeline entry into the stadium got their money’s worth.

What followed?

Zimbabwe after the 1992 World Cup gained Test status. The chicken farmer, Brandes continued to torment English batsmen with his brand of late swing.

England defeated South Africa in a controversial rain-marred semi-final. But the mercurial Pakistan side, with Wasim Akram bowling at the peak of his prowess, proved to be too good for England in the final.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 134 in 46.1 overs (David Houghton 29; Ian Botham 3 for 23, Richard Illingworth 3 for 33) beat England 125 in 49.1 overs (Alec Stewart 29; Eddo Brandes 4 for 21) by 9 runs.

Man of the Match: Eddo Brandes

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton


South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run


Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai


AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal in upcoming One-Day series

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

VVS Laxman advises budding batsmen to score big hundreds

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Farah Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ is the Typical Over the top Masala and Action

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal in upcoming One-Day series

Real Madrid vs Barcelona Spanish La Liga 2014-15 Preview: Yet another Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo shootout on the cards in El Clasico

Pavitra Rishta to air its final episode tomorrow

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

International programme in Animal Husbandry

NGOs pursue education for all

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here