5 Lowest Totals in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup History

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West Indies holds the unwanted record of scoring the fifth-lowest total in T20 World Cup history

The ICC T20 World Cup is a spectacle of power-hitting, audacious sixes, and lightning-fast fielding. Yet, amidst the whirlwind of boundaries, there are moments where batting collapses expose the inherent fragility of the format.

In this unforgiving arena, a single over of exceptional bowling or a string of soft dismissals can dismantle a well-set batting lineup, leading to scores that appear embarrassingly low.

This article delves into the unfortunate side of T20 cricket by exploring the five lowest totals ever recorded in the ICC T20 World Cup. We’ll revisit these matches, analyzing the factors that contributed to these batting debacles. 

From exceptional bowling performances to unexpected batting frailties, we’ll uncover the stories behind these scores that stand as stark reminders of the fine line between glory and despair in the shortest format of the game 

Let’s have a look at the 5 Lowest Totals in ICC T20 World Cup:

#5 West Indies: 55 vs England, Dubai, 2021

Despite their reputation as the only team to clinch two ICC T20 World Cup titles, the West Indies also hold the unwanted record of scoring one of the lowest totals in the tournament’s history. This unfortunate event occurred during their clash against arch-rivals England in the 2021 World Cup, which, due to the pandemic, was relocated from India to Dubai.

Sent in to bat first at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the West Indies faced trouble early on, losing key wickets from the second over itself. Evin Lewis was the first to depart, and by the end of the powerplay, the Windies found themselves reeling at 31 runs for the loss of four wickets, with their top order back in the pavilion.

Given the firepower in their batting lineup, the West Indies were expected to stabilise and rebuild their innings. However, their hopes were dashed as the middle order collapsed, failing to produce any substantial contributions. Chris Gayle emerged as the highest scorer with just 13 runs. The duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali wreaked havoc, dismantling the West Indies batting lineup by claiming a combined total of six wickets.

Chasing a modest target of 56 runs, England encountered early hiccups as they too lost wickets in the pursuit. However, Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan steadied the ship, guiding their team to a comfortable six-wicket victory.

#4 Uganda: 54 vs Afghanistan, Guyana, 2024

Uganda, a newcomer to the international cricket scene, faced a daunting challenge in their debut ICC T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan. Opting to field first against a formidable Afghanistan side, Uganda encountered a formidable opening pair in Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran. The duo wasted no time in asserting their dominance, propelling Afghanistan to a commanding total of 183 runs for the loss of five wickets by the end of their innings.

Tasked with chasing a challenging target of 184 runs, Uganda’s hopes were dashed early on as they lost two wickets in the very first over. From there, things only went downhill as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals. By the end of the powerplay, Uganda found themselves reeling at 21 runs for the loss of five wickets.

Despite some resistance from Riazat Ali Shah and Collins Obuya, Uganda struggled to mount a significant partnership. Their innings eventually came to a disappointing end as they were bowled out for just 54 runs, handing Afghanistan their largest victory margin in T20 cricket. 

Fazalhaq Farooqi led the bowling attack for Afghanistan, claiming a five-wicket haul, while Naveen-ul-Haq and Rashid Khan provided valuable support with two wickets each. The comprehensive 125-run victory underscored Afghanistan’s dominance in the match.

#3 Netherlands: 44 vs Sri Lanka, Dubai, 2021

Sri Lanka pick up a 9-wicket win over Netherlands in the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup

Netherlands has faced its fair share of challenges in the T20 World Cup, often finding themselves on the receiving end of brutal defeats. One such instance occurred in 2021 when they were handed a crushing defeat by none other than Sri Lanka, a team they would have hoped to avoid.

Opting to bat first, the Netherlands encountered early troubles as they lost a wicket in the very first over of the match. The situation only worsened during the powerplay, with the Orange Army losing six wickets for a mere 37 runs, courtesy of the relentless bowling attack led by Lahiru Kumara and Wanindu Hasaranga. 

Eventually, the Dutch found themselves bundled out for a paltry total of 44 runs, with both Lahiru and Hasaranga claiming three wickets each to dismantle the Dutch batting lineup. In response to the modest target, Sri Lanka wasted no time asserting its dominance. 

Kusal Perera led the charge with a brisk 33 runs from just 24 deliveries, despite losing an early wicket in the second over. Sri Lanka comfortably chased down the target, securing victory by eight wickets with a whopping 89 balls to spare.

#2 Netherlands: 39 vs Sri Lanka, Chattogram, 2014

The Netherlands has carved a reputation for themselves as the giant slayers on the international cricket stage, often causing upsets and sending shockwaves through the cricketing world. 

However, amidst their memorable victories lies a blemish—a joint record for the lowest score in the ICC T20 World Cup. This dubious record dates back to a decade when Sri Lanka ruthlessly dismantled the Netherlands, restricting them to a mere 39 runs.

In the 19th match of the tournament, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to field first at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. From the outset, the Sri Lankan bowlers were relentless, unleashing a barrage of fiery deliveries. 

Within the first few balls of the innings, Sri Lanka struck, dismissing both Dutch openers without them scoring a run. Despite an effort from Tom Cooper, who managed to score 16 runs from 18 deliveries, Netherlands struggled to build any momentum. 

Angelo Mathews and Ajanta Mendis led the bowling attack, claiming three wickets each, while Lasith Malinga chipped in with two dismissals. With a paltry target of 40 runs to chase, Sri Lanka wasted no time in their pursuit. They comfortably achieved the target before the powerplay ended, losing just one wicket in the process. 

#1 Uganda: 39 vs West Indies, Guyana, 2024

On June 9th, 2024, Uganda found themselves in the record books, matching the Netherlands for the lowest total ever in the ICC T20 World Cup. Their match at Providence Stadium in Guyana against the West Indies turned into a one-sided affair, with Uganda’s batting lineup facing a daunting challenge.

The West Indian batters, led by Brandon King, unleashed an onslaught, with almost everyone surpassing the 20-run mark. Jonathan Charles and Andre Russell’s contributions were particularly noteworthy as they propelled their team to a formidable total of 173 runs in just 20 overs.

Uganda’s task of chasing down 174 runs seemed difficult, especially on a pitch favoring spin. Their hopes were quickly dashed as Roger Mukasa fell to Akeal Hosein’s bowling in just the second ball of the innings.

What followed was a disastrous collapse, with Uganda losing wickets at regular intervals. Akeal Hosein emerged as the chief tormentor, claiming a five-wicket haul and leaving Uganda reeling. Despite the dire situation, Juma Miyagi’s gritty effort of scoring 13 runs was a lone bright spot, preventing Uganda from suffering the ignominy of being bundled out for a sub-30 score.