Kenya cricket team
Kenya got the better of two-time world cup winners in Pune (Getty Images)

In the build-up to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, CricketCountry brings to you the most memorable moments and matches from the tournament over the years – right from its first edition, way back in 1975. With 62 days to go, in our latest World Cup Countdown, we take a look at one of the biggest upsets in the history of ODI cricket

In the opening round of 1996 World Cup, the cricketing world witnessed an upset of massive proportions, as new entrants Kenya left two-time champions West Indies stunned.

The two teams squared off in the Group A fixture at the Nehru Stadium in Pune, and although it was touted to be a one-sided contest, a decent crowd had turned up for the event.

Put in to bat first, Kenya slumped to 81 for 6, before crawling their way to 166. Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh were among the wickets, as expected, and accounted for most of the top-order. Kenya’s middle-order batsmen, Hitesh Modi and Thomas Odoyo, put up a defiant partnership and were instrumental in their side going past the score of 150.

Even if the West Indian batsmen just went through the motions against the frail Kenyan attack to chase down 167, one felt they would cruise home. In three overs, Sherwin Campbell and Richardson moved the score to 18, thanks partially to Tariq Iqbal’s horrendous wicketkeeping. Then commenced the collapse. Richardson dragged one onto his stumps off Martin Suji; Campbell was bowled round his legs by Rajab Ali; Lara — who recklessly went after every bowler during his short stay in the middle — edged one to the ’keeper, who held on to it, albeit inelegantly; and Keith Arthurton was run out for nought. The West Indies were reeling at 35 for 4, and this was to be no minor hiccup.

To make matters worse, Shivnarine Chanderpaul failed to put away a loose, short off-break from Maurice Odumbe, and cut it straight to Tikolo at point. At 65 for five, Odumbe struck again, this time having Adams caught at silly-point by Modi.

Defeat loomed large upon the West Indies now, and only Kenya’s inexperience combined with Roger Harper’s grit could have pulled them out of the muddle. But, Odumbe drifted one onto Harper’s pads, and in an attempt to steer it to the fine-leg boundary, the latter edged it down the leg to the ’keeper. At 78 for 7, all recognised West Indian batsmen had been dismissed, and Walsh, Ambrose and Cameron Cuffy, alongside Ian Bishop, were left with the gargantuan task of scoring the remaining 85 runs.

Ambrose fell while attempting to snatch a single, Walsh was caught after a bit of juggling by the fielders behind the wicket and Cuffy, the final batsman, was bowled by Ali. The Kenyans had shot West Indies out for just 93. Their joy knew no bounds, and the crowd at Pune appeared to be equally ecstatic, for they knew they’d witnessed a historic game.

Brief Scores: Kenya 166 (Roger Harper 3 for 15, Courtney Walsh 3 for 46) beat West Indies 93 (Maurice Odumbe 3 for 15, Rajab Ali 3 for 17) by 73 runs