ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Memorable New Zealand wins

When the Kiwis took flight ...

ESPNcricinfo looks back at some memorable New Zealand victories in global tournaments

Nitin Sundar

March 26, 2011

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

New Zealand's stunning win against South Africa in Mirpur is the latest addition to a list of memorable barn-storming performances from a team that has invariably brought its A-game to the big events. ESPNcricinfo looks back at some other memorable New Zealand victories in global tournaments.

Stephen Fleming and Nathan Astle troop off after a remarkable victory, South Africa v New Zealand, 15th match, World Cup, Johannesburg, February 16, 2003
Stephen Fleming was the protagonist when New Zealand toppled South Africa in the 2003 and the 2007 World Cups © Getty Images
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2007 World Cup Super Eights v South Africa

The tournament format left New Zealand needing just one upset to make it to the last four. It came in their Super Eights game against South Africa, on a damp and dark Grenada pitch that made batting a nightmare. Shane Bond and James Franklin were close to unplayable with the new ball, as South Africa lost their openers with just three runs on the board. Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince grafted hard to put up 193 for 7, a score that bordered on the defendable, given South Africa's pace arsenal. Stephen Fleming and Scott Styris, though, stone-walled their way to half-centuries, as New Zealand ground out a win in the 49th over.

2003 World Cup v South Africa

Having lost to Sri Lanka and forfeiting their game in Kenya, New Zealand had to upset South Africa to sneak into the Super Sixes, and Stephen Fleming's best one-day innings helped them do that. Herschelle Gibbs' energetic 143 had propelled South Africa to 306, but New Zealand came out throwing punches in all directions. Craig McMillan kickstarted the chase with typical flamboyance, but his dismissal, sandwiched between a power breakdown and a rain interruption, did little to thwart New Zealand's momentum. Fleming waded into the seamers with an array of explosive drives and cuts, and when Mark Boucher dropped him on 53, an upset seemed to be on the cards. Things got considerably easier for the visitors after a 52-minute rain break in the 31st over, that reduced the target to 226 off 39. Nathan Astle joined in the fun as New Zealand charged to a famous nine-wicket win.

1999 World Cup Super Sixes v India

With their World Cup dreams already shattered, India sleep-walked through their final Super Six fixture, much to New Zealand's joy. On a track with early movement, against a steadily incisive seam attack, India's in-form top three exited after making promising starts. Ajay Jadeja held things together and took them past 250, a score that had proved defendable in all but one game in the World Cup. New Zealand galloped off the blocks as Nathan Astle thumped anything loose, while Matt Horne scrapped a valuable 74. Roger Twose carried the baton for the middle order, but a late rain break and an unusually subdued Chris Cairns brought India back into the game. Adam Parore had plans of his own though, stealing five fours in 14 balls to win the game with ten balls to spare, and put his side in the semi-finals.

1992 World Cup v Australia

Martin Crowe inaugurated New Zealand's most consistent World Cup campaign with a measured 100 that paved the way for an upset of the defending champions in the opening game of the 1992 World Cup. Three early wickets had New Zealand in some strife before Crowe and Ken Rutherford revived the innings with a 118-run stand, setting Australia a target of 249. David Boon matched Crowe's effort with an even 100 of his own, but New Zealand's merry army of dibbly-dobblies, led by the miserly Gavin Larsen pulled the plug on the chase with ease. The win set the template for New Zealand's dominance in the group stage, that included wins against West Indies, India and England.

ICC KnockOut, 2001

New Zealand first sprinted past Pakistan to ruin a potential India-Pakistan final clash in the ICC KnockOut, and then went on to spoil India's party with another upset in the final. Saeed Anwar scored an attractive century to set Pakistan up for a big score in the semi-final, but New Zealand restored parity through Shayne O'Connor's five-wicket haul in the end overs. Roger Twose anchored the chase of 253 with a typically gritty 87, while Craig McMillan played the finisher's role to perfection, scoring a risk-free 51 off 56 balls to set up an encounter with India. Things began to fall apart early in the final, as Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly added 141 in 26.3 overs, but New Zealand clawed their way back into the game through two run-outs. India's innings went into tailspin in the end overs, closing at 264, at least 30 runs short of what the openers had set them up for. Chris Cairns, who had missed the Pakistan game, played the innings of his life to hustle New Zealand past the finish line with two overs to spare, giving them their only piece of ICC silverware to date.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 16 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 28, 2011, 10:44 GMT)

Always been one of my favourite teams. Showed how grit and organisation can grind out results even if you lack the talent, technical guile. Perfect role model for teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe. This is coming from a Bangladeshi fan. All the best with the semis. Hopefully this time they can go a step further.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 28, 2011, 6:50 GMT)

If NZ win the WC 2011, it'll be a victory for 50 over Cricket. All the very best NZ. Do well!

Posted by Jiten on (March 28, 2011, 2:27 GMT)

South Africa are the unluckiest cricket team in the world. I don't understand how NZ were given to chase 226 of 39 overs after the rain interrupted in 2003 wc. The revised target is always meant to be more difficult for the team chasing. NZ were chasing 307 in 50 overs with more than 6 an over required and after the rain interruption, they were chasing 226 in 39 overs with less than 6 an over required??? Howz that? The tie against Sri Lanka in the same wc was also coz of the mistake by the target setters. First, they said 229 to win and later they said it was a mistake and 229 was to tie. That was not SA's mistake, that was the umpires' mistake. I pity SA, such a professional team and such hard luck!! PS: I'm Indian!!

Posted by Maduwantha on (March 28, 2011, 1:43 GMT)

Worldcup history NZ has failed to reach final.

Posted by Dylan on (March 27, 2011, 22:44 GMT)

@ArishaG It's good to hear we have some foreign supporters. As a New Zealander I actually prefer to follow our Rugby League and Cricket teams than our best in the world All Blacks. There is something with NZ team sport that on our day we can ebat anyone and we usually save it for the big occassions. I find it MUCH more exciting watching enigmatic underdogs with the potential to beat anyone than favourites who are expected to win

Posted by Somnath on (March 27, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

New Zealand are no pushovers and have always been a very respectable team. They succeed through teamwork rather than individual efforts. Yes they may have struggled in subcontinental conditions, but then so have the SA & Aus. And subcontinental teams too are not well known for their prowess on grassy New Zealand wickets.

Posted by Narayan on (March 27, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

New Zealand was my pick against SA. I will again pick Kiwis in the semi finals against Sri Lanka.

Posted by Pratik on (March 27, 2011, 5:56 GMT)

I wonder why this writer is mentioning NZ's victory against India as an upset as if NZ were in the ranks of Kenya an Zimbabwe. The recent win against SA is an upset based on the form the team ha in 2010. Please check the head to head record of India and NZ before saying NZ's victory in 2000 vs India as an upset.and also 2003 match against SA.

Posted by Morgan on (March 27, 2011, 0:01 GMT)

In each tournament NZ has been under estimated and the opposition has given them little respect... 3 days ago SA was saying "We are not worried, NZ does not scare us" .... Another example of what happens at almost every major tournament!! Show respect and be prepared I say - something NZ is very good at doing to all teams they face

Posted by Mosiah on (March 26, 2011, 23:23 GMT)

hopefully the flightless birds can keep on flying...

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Nitin Sundar Social media manager Nitin spent his formative years perfecting the art of landing the googly, before blossoming into a book-cricket specialist. More excellence followed in the underarm version of the game before, like the majority of India's misguided youth, he started taking studies seriously. After four forgettable years of electrical engineering, followed by a rigorous MBA and 16 months in the strategy consulting industry, he began to ponder life's more profound issues. Such as the angle made by Brian Lara's bat with the horizontal at the peak of his back-lift. A move to ESPNcricinfo followed and Nitin is now a prolific nurdler in office cricket, with a questionable technique against the short ball.

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