5 host nations who fluffed their lines on opening night like India


India’s big night fell flat as New Zealand crushed them in the opener of the World Twenty20 by 47 runs.

The Black Caps’ win was a mood-killer in Nagpur, but it is not the only time a host nation has suffered from stage fright in the opening match of their own tournament. Here are a few other host teams who got it wrong.

1. England fall flat against Holland

(Gareth Copley/PA)

England hosted the 2009 World T20 but not even a Lord’s opener against Holland proved to be a safe-as-houses banker.

Paul Collingwood captained the side that made 162 for five – Luke Wright top-scoring with 71 – but Holland chased down the runs, taking victory on the final ball. England recovered to win their group but went out at the Super 8 stage.

2. Same old story for English rugby league

(Rebecca Naden/PA)

The Rugby Football League hosted the 2000 World Cup to great fanfare and even took the opening game to rugby union HQ – Twickenham.

Australia killed the buzz, though, beating England 22-2 in an outcome that would become familiar throughout the 2000s. Andy Farrell scored England’s points and they went on to endure a largely miserable tournament.

3. All Blacks win at Twickenham

(Ross Land/AP)

England hosted the 1991 Rugby Union World Cup and the Red Rose opened things up at Twickenham against the All Blacks.

Three Jonathan Webb penalties and a Rob Andrew drop goal were as good as it got, though, as New Zealand won 18-12. England at least recovered to make the final, but lost to Australia.

4. Argentina stun France

(David Davies/PA)

When hosting the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup, France never accounted for losing their opener at the Stade de France.

They did, though, undone 17-12 by Argentina with full-back Ignacio Corleto’s try the difference. But France would recover, going on to make the last four where they were beaten by England before losing again to Argentina in the bronze-medal match.

5. They think it’s all over


Not quite a disaster but when England started the 1966 World Cup with a 0-0 Wembley draw with Uruguay, there were no blatant signs they would be hoisting the trophy aloft by the end of the tournament, which of course is what happened.

Let’s hope for India that a poor start does not mean a disappointing end.


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