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5 Costliest Drop Catches in World Cup History

There is an old saying in cricket: catches win matches. In this article, we look at the top 5 costliest drops in 50-over World Cups that impacted the result on the result of the match.

Ritik Goel
Last updated: 05.06.2020
5 Costliest Drop Catches in World Cup History | Sports Social Blog

There is an old saying in cricket: catches win matches. The converse is true as well. If you don’t hold on to your catches, you can lose matches even from winning situations. These losses hurt far more when it’s a world cup match, the most important tournament of a cricketer’s life. In this article, we look at the top 5 costliest drops in 50-over World Cups.

5. Marlon Samuels dropped Martin Guptill in the 4th quarter-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

2015 CWC was a dream tournament for the Kiwis. Their performances were clinical in all departments and in all matches. Along with the skipper Brendon McCullum, the man who led that Kiwi batting line-up was Martin Guptill. He ended the tournament as the leading run-getter. His best performance came in the all-important quarter-final against the West Indies where he became the first New Zealand cricketer and only the fifth overall to score a double hundred in ODIs. However, he would thank Marlon Samuels who dropped a sitter at square-leg in the very first over of the match and post that incident, Guptill made the West Indies pay. He was on 4 when he was dropped and ended up making 237 as New Zealand posted 393. This drop catch still remains the costliest in terms of runs scored by the batsman after being dropped. 393 was always going to be too much for the men in maroon as their World Cup hopes were finished.

Full Scorecard of the match: WI vs New Zealand Cricket World Cup 2015

4. Abdul Razzaq dropping Sachin Tendulkar in a pool game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003

The Indo-Pak clash of the 2003 World Cup was one of the most hyped games of WC history. It was one of the best and all-round teams that Pakistan has ever had. India, as well, was in exhilarating form. It promised to be quite a contest. Pakistan needed to win that game to keep their chances healthy in that tournament and they started well by posting 275 on the board. It was a very competitive total on a quick pitch at Centurion. Sachin Tendulkar, who batted as a man possessed throughout the tournament took the first strike. He was at his aggressive best. If you wanted to see him toying with fast bowling in an effortless fashion, you should see the innings he played in this game. India lost two quick wickets and were 57/2. Tendulkar was batting at 32 when we were dropped by Abdul Razzaq off Wasim Akram at mid-off. Wasim shouted, “do you know whom have you dropped.” Tendulkar made Pakistan pay heavily as he scored a mystifying 98 off just 75 to almost seal the deal before Yuvraj and Dravid finished the game off. Pakistan’s chances became bleak and they were eventually knocked out of the tournament.

3. Ross Edwards dropped Clive Lloyd in the 1975 World Cup final.

The first-ever World Cup saw the West Indies locking horns against Australia in the final at Lord’s. West Indies were batting first and the Aussies reduced them to 50/3. Clive Lloyd, the skipper, was batting at 26 when he was dropped at mid-wicket by Ross Edwards off Denis Lilee. It could have been the final nail in the coffin for the Aussies but they let that opportunity slip. Lloyd scored a masterful 103 to guide his team to 291. Australia in reply fell short by just 17 runs. Talk about fine margins! If it were not for that drop catch, who knows, Australia could have been the inaugural world champions.

2. Graham Gooch dropped Imran Khan in the final of the Cricket World Cup 1992.

The English captain, Graham Gooch would still rue the drop catch of his counterpart, Imran Khan in the 1992 World Cup final. Pakistan rose from the Ashes in that tournament. They were down and out and suddenly, on the back of some inspired performances, charismatic captaincy by Khan and some luck, found themselves in the final. Such oppositions are dangerous. When things are going in their favour and the momentum is with them, you can’t afford to give them even the smallest of opportunities. Khan decided to take the mantle upon himself and promoted himself to number 3 for the final.

The inspired move almost turned futile when he popped one delivery straight up in the air. Gooch could not hang on and the Pakistan captain was given a reprieve. He ended up making a gritty 75 allowing Pakistan to set England a stiff target of 249 on a tricky pitch at the MCG. England came close but were bowled out for 227 and Pakistan celebrated the most glittering moment of their cricket history.

1. Herschelle Gibbs Dropping Steve Waugh in a group-stage game in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999.

This game was a must-win game for the Australians after their embarrassing defeat at the hands of Pakistan. South Africa batted first and scored 271. In reply, Australia lost 3 wickets quickly but Steve Waugh was settling the ship for his team. He was on 56 when he lobbed one to Gibbs at mid-wicket who, in pursuit of celebration, dropped the catch. Waugh scored a defiant hundred and guided his team home.

This victory had more serious implications. Courtesy this win, Australia finished higher than South Africa in the group stages. The first semi-final of the tournament was between these two teams again, and it was tied after a series of dramatic events. However, since Australia finished higher than South Africa in the group stages, they progressed to the final. Gibbs couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams that a catch dropped in a group-stage could cost his team the World Cup. Waugh himself told him at the end of the tournament, ‘you dropped the World Cup.”

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