"Cricket is a game of uncertainties" and it is rightly said looking at the results of most of the matches played. The result of some games is not decided until the last ball of the match is bowled. Sometimes an over, a wicket or a batsman changes the fortune of its team to win matches from losing positions. This is what makes the game of cricket an enjoyable spectacle to watch.
The ICC Cricket World Cup has been no exception. It has produced some nail-biting thriller contest in the past. Also, there have been instances where the match played has resulted in a tie where both the team's scores have been leveled. This accounts for more drama and tension both on and off the field as the winner is then decided by the match officials on the basis of the criteria set for that particular tournament.
We take a look at the matches tied in the World Cup so far.
#1 Australia vs South Africa (Semi-Final, 1999)
Regarded as one of the best World Cup matches, the semi-final of ICC Cricket World Cup 1999 is the biggest nightmares for South Africa and especially for Alan Donald.
Australia was put into bat first and was struggling to get going after losing their top-order cheaply. Courtesy of Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan's half-centuries, the Aussies managed to put up a total of 213. Pollock was in top form picking up a five-wicket haul whereas Donald grabbed 4 wickets to his name.
Chasing a modest total of 214, the Proteas started their innings cautiously but lost the momentum in the middle. However, Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes stitched a partnership and carried the innings along. But soon the partnership was broken and no other batsman except for Lance Klusener was able to get going.
Klusener batted with great positive intent but got no support from the other end. He took the Australian bowlers on charge and brought South Africa close to their maiden World Cup final.
With 9 runs required from the final over the score read 205/9 with Klusener on strike, everyone was on the edge of their seat to witness a thriller in the knockouts. Damien Fleming was given the responsibility of bowling the last over but was soon taken on remand by Klusener who smashed two consecutive fours on the first two deliveries.
Now, 1 run was required from 4 balls and with one wicket in hand. Fleming bowled a dot ball and it made the batsman more tensed as all the eleven fielders were now inside the circle saving a single. Klusener tapped the next ball and called out Donald to run, who initially didn't move, dropped his bat in process and eventually got run-out trying to complete the run.
The game got tied but Australia advanced into the finals as they finished higher in the Super 6. Australia went onto win the World Cup and later on completed a hattrick by winning World Cups in the following years 2003 and 2007.
This was the first tied game at the World Cup and is still remembered by everyone as one of the most thrilling encounters of all time.
#2 Sri Lanka vs South Africa (Group Stage, 2003)
South Africa featured in another tied match at the World Cup, the following year to their 1999 semi-final defeat to Australia. This tied game proved to be even worse as they saw themselves making an early exit from the tournament at the group stage itself.
The Sri Lankan team won the toss and elected to bat first at Kingsmead, Durban. Marvan Atapattu was in a sublime form and brought up his 9th ODI century. He was well supported by Aravinda de Silva who scored a brisk 73 from 78 balls and together they put up a defending total of 268/9 in their allotted 50 overs.
South Africa needed to win this game to qualify for the next round as they were in a do-or-die situation. They started off well and were looking pretty much in control. Soon their run chase was hampered by the Sri Lankan spinners and they lost half of the team under 150 runs.
Mark Boucher and Klusener were at the crease to do the job for the Proteas, but rain played a spoilsport. The Proteas knew that they have to at least reach to the score of 230 runs by the end of 45th over to win the match on the basis of the Duckworth-Lewis method.
In the 45th over, Boucher went after Muttiah Muralitharan and struck 13 off 5 deliveries. The Proteas needed a single of the next ball to qualify. With rain storming in heavily, it was imperative for the batsman to take a single to win the match by D/L calculations.
Boucher played the final ball of the over towards the mid-on fielder who prevented that much needed single to the Proteas and ended it as a dot ball. Soon the players were off the field and the match was called a tie on the D/L method. With this tie, the South African team saw themselves out of the tournament with disappointment as they finished fourth in their group.
#3 Ireland vs Zimbabwe (Group Stage, 2007)
Ireland team was known as the giant-killers at the World Cup, courtesy to some of their brilliant performances that created major upsets in the tournament against top cricketing sides.
Ireland was facing Zimbabwe in their first ever World Cup in 2007. The Irish were put into bat first by Zimbabwe. It turned out in favour of the bowling side as the Irishmen saw themselves struggling at 89 for 5 against the Zimbabwean bowlers. But opener Jeremy Bray held up one end and with some paltry contributions from the tail, Ireland managed the score of 221/9.
Chasing a modest total of 222, the Zimbabwe batsmen kept losing their momentum all the way through their innings. Vusi Sibanda kept them in the hunt with a well-made half-century. Soon after his dismissal, Stuart Matsikenyeri took the charge but with little to no help from the other batsmen.
Zimbabwe needed 9 runs off the final over with one wicket in hand. They managed to sneak in 8 runs with a couple of singles and doubles and required 1 off the final delivery. Niall O'Brien stumped Matsikenyeri off the final ball of the over to end the match in a tie.
The Irish team rejoiced as they bounced back from a dire position to tie a World Cup match. The Zimbabwe team, on the other hand, looked distraught as they let the game slipped from their hands. This was the third tied game recorded at the World Cup.
#4 India vs England (Group Stage, 2011)
The tied game between India vs England at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 was a high scoring thriller contest, unlike the previous three tied games which were a low-scoring affair.
Playing at Bengaluru, which has always produced high scoring matches, the Indian team opted to bat first. India got off to a good start as the master Sachin Tendulkar looked in ominous touch. He scored another brilliant hundred to his name and was equally well supported by both Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh who scored their individual fifties.
In the end, the Indian team managed to put up a mammoth target of 338 for the English side to chase.
The England team got off to a good start with an opening partnership of 68 runs. After the fall of two quick wickets, Ian Bell joined skipper Andrew Strauss and together they put up a partnership of 170 runs for the third wicket. Bell scored a half-century, whereas Strauss scored a magical 158 runs off 145 balls. Together they threatened to take the game away from the home side.
MS Dhoni brought back his strike bowler Zaheer Khan into the attack and soon got rid of both Bell and Strauss on two consecutive deliveries. Soon, the English team started losing wickets and the game went in the final over with 14 runs required off the last 6 deliveries.
Munaf Patel was at the helm of bowling the penultimate over. With tailenders like Graeme Swann and Ajmal Shahzad at the crease, India were the favourites to win the match. However, Shahzad had some different ideas as he launched the third ball of the over for a six. Both the batsmen sneaked in a few runs and it came to the final ball with 2 runs to win.
Swann played the last ball of the over to Yusuf Pathan at extra cover and managed to sneak in just one run. This led to the match being tied and it was only the fourth instance that a match ended in a tie at the World Cup.