Ever since the first One Day International (ODI) was played between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1971, thousands of ODI matches have been played between the 10 Test-playing nations with permanent ODI status. While some matches have been ordinary, there are many that have really been extraordinary – both for spectators and players alike. Here for your liking we have listed top 10 greatest Cricket ODI matches ever played.
Taking the two countries on-field and off-field rivalry to hot and humid temperature in UAE, India and Pakistan battled it out for the Austral-Asia Cup at Sharjah. It was a great all round performance by India. The team, by their standards, played a hard knock and fielded and bowled well. But it was the heroic performance of Pakistani great Javed Miandad who scored 116 out of 248 in Pak’s innings to lead his team to a mesmerizing victory.
If stats are taken at face value then some of the finest innings played by the great Sachin Tendulkar were in the matches that India lost. Case in point is the World Cup game between England and India in Bangalore on Feb 27, 2011. Batting first, India posted a total of 338 runs on the board, courtesy a 120 run knock by the Little Master. But led by skipper Andrew Strauss, who scored 158 runs off 145 balls, and Ian Bell’s almost run-a-ball 69, England replied with all guns blazing. The match ended in a draw.
Australia were the reigning ODI champions but the strength of the Indian squad was redoubtable. The visitors came with all guns blazing in the first innings and scored a mammoth total of 350/4 in 50 overs – thanks to Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson’s opening stand of 145 runs. It would have been, however, little master Sachin Tendulkar’s day, who scored 175 off just 141 balls, had the other Indian batsmen supported him. India fell just 3 runs short of the Australian total. The spectators enjoyed every bit of some of the best performances of Australian and Indian cricketers.
Australia played West Indies in a low-scoring match that tested the nerves of the batsmen of both teams. The match schedule was affected by rains. It was reduced to 43 overs for each side. West Indies, with a well constructed knock of 93 from Carl Hooper, managed to score a fighting total of 172. Australia made a mockery of their chase until the greatest finisher of the game, Michael Bevan, took to the crease. He made 78 in an inspiring display of grit leading his team to a last ball victory.
The Cricket World Cup always brings out the best in each team. Such was also the case in the first edition of the world cup -a officially called the Prudential Cup. The mighty West Indies batted first and posted a mammoth total of 291 on the board, thanks to Clive Lloyd’s 102 run knock. The resilient Australian’s weren’t to be deterred by the score; however, their batting heroics could not stand the amazing bowling produced by Keith Boyce and other West Indian bowlers. West Indies became the first team to win the Cricket World Cup beating Australia by 17 runs.
A match can be dubbed a thriller, and can qualify as one of the best of all times, if it goes down to the wire. If the difference between victory and defeat is only of 3 runs, in a match where both teams have together scored over 800 runs, it sure deserves a mention. The India vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI at Rajkot in 2009 was one such encounter. Batting first, India scored 414, courtesy Virender Sehwag’s 146 run knock. The Sri Lankan batsmen did not lose their nerve and produced such a stunning display of cricketing skills that India seemed to be staring at the jaws of defeat. Fate had other ideas, however, and the visitors were bowled out at 411.
Trans-Tasman arch-rivals Australia and New Zealand battled it out in Hamilton in a high-scoring 3rd ODI of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in 2007. The powerful Australian squad proved it yet again why they are unarguably the world’s best team by scoring 346/5 in their stipulated 50 overs. Mathew Hayden’s unbeaten knock of 181 had to be given the credit especially when no other batsman could capitalize against a mediocre Kiwi bowling. But it was the Kiwi batting that made a mockery of the Aussies. A heroic display from Craig McMillan (117) and Brendon McCullum (86) took their side to an emphatic 1-wicket victory.
Australia and South Africa had scores to settle at the World Cup Semi-Final played in Birmingham in 1999, and boy did they. Australia’s total of 213, courtesy Steve Waugh’s 56 and Michael Bevan’s 65, wasn’t a total good enough to defend. But most of the South African batsmen were troubled by some great bowling effort from Shane Warne who scalped four wickets. The match ended in a rare draw, and allowed Aussies to advance to the Final on the basis of their tournament record. They went on winning the cup signalling the beginning of an era of cricket history in which Australians ruled the game.
One of the best one day internationals played at the Lord’s was the final of the NatWest Series between India and England in 2002. Centuries from both Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain led England to a record 325 for 5. But two young Indian batsmen, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif, had lot to prove. Building upon the not-so-great a start from the premier Indian batsmen, the duo helped the Men in Blue chase down the improbable total. Never before had a team chased such a total to win a game at the venue.
In an official survey by the ICC, the South Africa vs Australia match at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on March 12, 2006 was voted the greatest ODI match ever played. And why shouldn’t it be? The run fest-at Johannesburg is perhaps still fresh in the minds of those who saw it whether at the venue or on TV. Batting first, the mighty Aussies compiled a world record 434 losing 4 wickets in 50 overs. Skipper Ricky Ponting’s blistering 164 off 105 balls and three half century knocks, one each from Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich and Michael Hussey, set the tenor of the match. It appeared like it was curtains down for the Proteas. But Herschelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith, who scored 175 and 90 respectively, helped South Africa break the then highest team total and register the finest victory in an ODI match.