The Cricket World Cup has given the cricket fans a lot of memorable moments ever since the first edition. There were standout moments in all the decades. The West Indian supremacy in the '70s and India becoming a cricketing powerhouse in the '80s. The '90s also witnessed plenty of moments that were memorable as well as forgettable. Here's a look at some of those moments which made the showpiece event famous in the '90s.
1. Allan Donald and Lance Klusener's run out that shattered South Africa's World Cup dreams in 1999 and the 'Chokers' tag was born
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This was arguably the most thrilling encounter in World Cup history. Australia and South Africa faced off against each other in the second semi-final at Edgbaston. Chasing 214, South Africa were in a spot of bother at 61/4 before Jonty Rhodes and Jacques Kallis brought the Proteas run chase back on track. However, the Aussie bowlers came back with some quick wickets and soon the momentum shifted from one team to another. All-rounder Lance Klusener then rescued his team with a sturdy of boundaries. In the final over, his couple of boundaries off Damien Fleming titled the momentum completely in South Africa's favour as they needed one run from the three balls.
Klusener decided to end the proceedings with a single as he hit the ball to mid-off and set for a run instantly. Unfortunately, Allan Donald standing at the non-striker's end seemed disinterested and when he saw Klusener come halfway down the track, he set off for the run but dropped his bat in the process. An alert Mark Taylor fielded the ball, threw it to bowler Damien Fleming, who in turn rolled it down the pitch where wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist completed a run-out.
The match ended in a tie but Australia advanced to the final because of a superior net run-rate. This comical mix-up not only shattered South Africa's dreams but it also gave birth to the 'Chokers' tag which continues to haunt the Proteas till date in ICC tournaments.
2. Sachin Tendulkar's stumping against Sri Lanka in the 1996 World Cup semi-final
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Chasing a stiff target of 252 runs for a place in the World Cup final, India were off to a cautious start. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and Sanjay Manjrekar added 90 runs for the second wicket stand. It seemed like Tendulkar was batting on a different planet with his neat and delightful strokes. Just when it seemed like the Little Master would carry India into the finals single-handedly, he was stumped by Romesh Kaluwitharana off Sanath Jayasuriya which dealt a huge blow for India. Sachin's wicket was the turning point of the match. After his dismissal, the Indian batting suffered a dramatic collapse. The Lankan spinners made merry on the Eden Gardens wicket which was turning and very soon, India who were 98/2 were reduced to 120/8.
The local crowd then started throwing bottles on the outfield and a section of the stand was set on fire. Match referee Clive Lloyd interfered and the teams were taken off the field for some time. However, when the crowd trouble continued, the match was awarded to Sri Lanka by default as Vinod Kambli walked off the field in tears.
3. Inzamam-ul-Haq's match-winning knock against New Zealand in the 1992 World Cup semifinal
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Young Inzamam-ul-Haq was making his first World Cup appearance in 1992. He did not have a great tournament leading up to the semifinal. However, he brought his A-game in the semis against the late Martin Crowe's New Zealand. Batting first skipper Martin Crowe scored an 83-ball 91 which helped the Kiwis get to a formidable score of 263 in their 50 overs.
In reply, Pakistan were very cautious in their run chase. When the scorecard read 140/4, it looked an uphill task for them as they needed 123 runs from 15 overs. Inzamam after a slight hiccup anchored Pakistan's run chase with a quickfire 37-ball 60. His precious knock helped Pakistan reach their maiden World Cup final which they went on to win.
4. Brian Lara's century knocks favourites South Africa out of the 1996 World Cup
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South Africa were the firm favourites to win the 1996 tournament as they had qualified for the quarterfinals without a single defeat in the group stages. They were up against an inconsistent West Indies who had lost one of their group game against minnows Kenya. However, the Proteas made a huge mistake of dropping their star fast bowler Allan Donald and selecting Paul Adams.
West Indies won the toss and elected to bat. They got off to a good start. Brian Lara came into bat after the Calypso Boys were 42/1. He shared a 168-run second wicket partnership along with Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Lara scored a 94-ball 111 which included 16 boundaries which helped West Indies get to 264/8 in their 50 overs. In reply, South Africa were bowled out for 245 with three balls to spare as the Caribbeans sealed a place in the semifinal.
5. Venkatesh Prasad's revenge against Aamir Sohail (1996):
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Brilliant innings from Navjot Singh Sidhu and Ajay Jadeja helped India get to 287/8 in their 50 overs against arch-rivals Pakistan in the 1996 World Cup quarterfinal at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. In reply, Pakistan got off to a solid start. Stand-in captain Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar put on an 84-run opening stand. Even after Anwar was dismissed, Sohail anchored Pakistan's run chase. After reaching his half-century, he tried to make a statement to pacer Venkatesh Prasad after hitting him to the extra cover fence for a boundary and asked him to go and fetch the ball.
However, on the very next delivery, Sohail tried to slash Prasad on the leg side but missed the ball completely and the leg stump went for a walk. It turned out to be the turning point of the match as Pakistan lost precious wickets of Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq. Veteran batsman Javed Miandad tried his best but his run out ended Pakistan's hopes as India won the contest by 39 runs and sent the defending champions out of the tournament.