World Cup 2019: Best of the rest – Five Associates players who made a splash at World Cups
The history of the cricket World Cup has instances of Associates making headlines.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 begins May 30 with hosts England taking on South Africa at The Oval.

The ten-nation World Cup runs until July 14, on which day the final will be held at Lord’s.

Since its inception in 1975, the cricket World Cup has seen several occasions where underdog teams and players have risen beyond the odds to put in memorable performances, some of which have resulted in famous upset victories.

(READ: Top five run-getters in World Cup history)

Here are five Associates nation cricketers who made headlines during World Cups:

Duncan Fletcher, 1983 World Cup

Minnows Zimbabwe started their World Cup sojourn in the most incredible manner, beating Australia by 13 runs in the tournament opener at Trent Bridge on June 9. Their captain, Duncan Fletcher, walked to the middle when Zimbabwe’s innings was on the verge of disaster and hit a cool 69 to set up a fighting total.

Australia were cruising along at 61 for no loss in reply, but Fletcher returned, snapped up four vital Australian top-order wickets that set up the historic triumph. The Times noted that “few more deserving victories have been obtained”.

(READ: Most capped players in World Cup history)

Austin Codrington, 2003 World Cup

Back playing international cricket after 24 years, Canada began their 2003 World Cup campaign with a big ODI win to their credit. Bangladesh, a Test-playing nation, were beaten by 60 runs at Durban with pace bowler Austin Codrington snaring five wickets on debut.

Lifted to 180 despite not a single batsman managing a half-century, Canada pulled off a tremendous win with Codrigton exploiting the seaming conditions with 5/27 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 120.

John Davis World Cup 2003
In 2003, John Davison belted the then-fastest century in a World Cup. © Getty

John Davison, 2003 World Cup

On February 23, 2003, just four days after Canada had been steamrolled for a paltry 36, a crowd of 10,240 at Centurion witnessed one of the most memorable innings of any World Cup, which was all the more spectacular because it came from a 32-year-old Australia-bred Canadian.

John Davison was an unknown before this day, but after smashing a brilliant century off off 67 balls – the fastest in World Cup history – he forever etched his name in the record books. For 98 minutes, Davison tucked into the West Indies attack and flogged eight fours and six sixes. There were drops along the way, on 50 and 78, but never did Davison change his tempo: Mervyn Dillon was removed from the attack after just four overs, Vasbert Drakes lasted only two, Carl Hooper managed three, and the bowling was constantly shuffled in an attempt to curb Davison.

Note Davison’s role in the partnerships he forged: from 96 for the first wicket, Ishwar Maraj made 16; in 59 for the second, Desmond Chumney’s contribution was 19. When Davison fell at a team score of 156, he had made 111.

Collins Obuya, 2003 World Cup

A day later in Nairobi, Kenya, one of four non-Test nations, pulled off the shock of the tournament with a remarkable 53-run victory over Sri Lanka.

Kenya’s reception at the World Cup had been lukewarm – it was reported that just one journalist greeted them on arrival – and after they were thrashed by South Africa it seemed they would fade into obscurity. But instead they rallied to defeat Sri Lanka, with Collins Obuya – who was inspired to bowl legspin by watching Mushtaq Ahmed on television in the 1996 World Cup – snaring 5/24, the best ever figures by a Kenyan.

Sri Lanka, firm favourites after three consecutive wins, were bowled out for 147 in 45 overs chasing 211. Buoyed by a full home crowd, the local heroes turned in an excellent effort in the field in what was the hallmark of the greatest Goliath-slaying run in world cricket. Pool B was thrown alive by Kenya’s highly unexpected victory over Sri Lanka and they kept their nerve against Canada and Bangladesh and, because of their four points over New Zealand, entered the Super Six stage with 10 out of a possible 12 points.

Kevin O'Brien 2011 World Cup England
Kevin O’Brien scored a match-winning World Cup century against England in 2011. © Getty

Kevin O’Brien, 2011 World Cup

After the dizzying heights of India versus England, those who turned up at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on March 2, 2011 were treated to another match of epic proportions. Chasing 328, Ireland looked down and out at 111/5 but Kevin O’Brien’s outrageous century, the fastest in World Cup history and sixth overall, turned the match on its head and sealed a victory that will go down in history.

Not least because it was the highest World Cup chase ever.

With a nerveless Alex Cusack for company, O’Brien walloped from the word go – he clubbed six resounding sixes off a shellacked England attack – and didn’t let up his intentions until he was run out for 113 off 63 balls in the penultimate over. Pause for a moment to consider that there were 24 dot balls during O’Brien’s century, indicative of how savage he was.