Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman’s drop of Glenn Maxwell during the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 match against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is the latest in the list of game-changing dropped catches during World Cup matches.
Here is a look at dropped catches in World Cup history that completely changed the game.
Mujeeb ur Rahman drops Glenn Maxwell in 2023
Afghanistan had reduced Australia to 91/7 after setting a 292-run target for the five-time World Cup winners to chase. Maxwell was the last recognized batter in the Aussie line-up and was joined by captain Pat Cummins at the crease.
Mujeeb shelled an easy chance at short fine leg in the 22nd over, bowled by Noor Ahmad, as Maxwell mistimed his attempted sweep shot.
The drop proved to be extremely costly as a hamstrung Maxwell scored an unbeaten 201*, stitching an unbeaten 202-run partnership with Cummins, to take Australia over the line and qualify for the semifinal.
Maxwell’s double-ton was the first by an Australian batter in ODI cricket and the third in World Cup history. It was also the first double-hundred scored by a non-opener in the 50-over format.
Herschelle Gibbs drops Steve Waugh in 1999
South African batter Herschelle Gibbs was claimed to have ‘dropped the world cup’ after his drop during a World Cup 1999 Super Six clash against Australia at Headingley.
Gibbs, who was considered one of the best fielders in the world at the time, dropped captain Steve Waugh off the bowling of Lance Klusener.
The drop was caused due to a premature celebration of the dismissal and proved crucial with Waugh scoring 120 runs to win the game. Gibbs had scored a hundred in the first essay to set up a total of 271, but his drop helped Australia recover from 48/3 and win the game, securing a place in the semifinal.
Australia faced South Africa again in the semifinal, the famous tied contest in Birmingham where Allan Donald was runout off the last ball, sending Australia into the final.
The Aussies went on to win their second world cup title in the final against Pakistan.
Marlon Samuels drops Martin Guptill
Brendon McCullum’s New Zealand faced the West Indies in the quarterfinal of the 2015 World Cup on home turf in Wellington.
Martin Guptill opened the batting with the captain after the home team won the toss and opted to bat first. Three balls into the first over bowled by Jerome Taylor, Guptill flicked a ball on the stumps towards square leg, where Marlon Samuels fluffed the catch.
Guptill was batting on 4 after scoring a boundary of the first ball of the game. The drop proved crucial as Guptill went on to score the highest-ever individual score in ODI World Cup history, finishing the innings unbeaten on 237 and helping the team amass 393 in 50 overs.
West Indies went on to lose the game by 143 runs with New Zealand qualifying for the semis where it defeated South Africa, before losing to Australia in the final.
Imran Khan gets a life after Gooch’s drop in 1992
Pakistan faced England in the final of the 1992 World Cup in Melbourne. Batting first, the Pakistan openers were dismissed early by Derek Pringle forcing captain Imran Khan to promote himself to three.
After a slow start, Imran went for an aggressive shot against Phil DeFreitas, resulting in a top-edge. England captain Graham Gooch put in a dive but spilled the tough chance handing Imran a lifeline.
The all-rounder went on to score 72, helping the team put up a total of 249, eventually winning the final by 22 runs.
Apart from these instances in ODI World Cup history, Thisara Perera’s drop of Rohit Sharma in 2014, resulting in the highest-ever individual ODI score of 264 and Shane Warne’s missed chance off Kevin Pietersen in the 2005 ashes, after which he went on to score 158 are other special mentions.
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