The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced that Zimbabwe and Nepal had been reinstated as full-time members. Although it comes as a big surprise as Zimbabwe was suspended not long ago, it gets yet another opportunity to rebuild and prove themselves at the international level. Even as the African nation has never been a cricket powerhouse, it has produced some amazing upsets over the years, which have signified its vast cricketing potential. Let us take a look at five such matches where the Zimbabweans upset some of the biggest teams in the world.
This classic match from the '99 World Cup had India facing Zimbabwe at Leicester. Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and put the Zimbabweans into bat. Zimbabwe posted 252 on the board courtesy Andy Flower's unbeaten 68 & Grant Flower's 45. The Indian batting line-up was missing Sachin Tendulkar as he had flown to India due to his father's demise. The Zimbabweans made the most of this opportunity as Indian opener Sadagoppan Ramesh was the only batsman to get past fifty. Heath Streak and Henry Olonga got three wickets each as India could only manage 249 runs before losing all their wickets in a thrilling 3-run defeat.
Another match from the 1999 CWC was between Zimbabwe and South Africa. Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower won the toss and chose to bat. They set a target of a gettable 234 for the Proteas. However, Neil Johnson and Heath Streak had other ideas as they got the South African top and middle order out for single-digit scores. Even as Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener tried to save the match, but it was all in vain as Zimbabwe won by a comprehensive 48 runs.
In this ODI, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and chose to bat first. Pakistan got to a decent 244, thanks to the captain's unbeaten 83. The Zimbabwe batting, however, made light work of the chase as they ended up winning by 7 wickets with 1.4 overs remaining. Hamilton Masakadza led from the front as he scored 85 and no Zimbabwe batsman let Pakistan control the game.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor won the toss and decided to bat first in this ODI. New Zealand got to a commendable 328 as both, Taylor and Kane Williamson scored centuries. Zimbabwe kept losing wickets consistently but always stayed in the hunt with Malcolm Waller's unbeaten 99. The African nation snatched a victory on the penultimate delivery of the game.
West Indies captain Jimmy Adams won the toss and put the Zimbabweans into batting first in their 2000 Natwest Tri-series clash in England. Zimbabwe managed a decent 256 in 50 overs as Guy Whittall top-scored with 83. The Zimbabwean bowling outperformed itself as all except Guy Whittall got a wicket each. West-Indies tailender Nixon McNeal was the only batsman to manage a score of 50. The effort came in a little too late as Zimbabwe won the match by 70 runs.