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Top 5 ODI Matches in Cricket History

These matches are characterized by moments of brilliance which have made them eternal in the books of cricket history. The Top 5 ODI games in descending order are as follows.

Ritik Goel
Last updated: 09.05.2020
Top 5 ODI Matches in Cricket History | Sports Social Blog

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One-Day Cricket has been in progress for over almost 50 years and has given us countless moments of joy, drama, emotion and of course riveting cricket. It will be hard to sum them up but we try to pick up the best 5 ODI games ever in the history of the game. These matches are characterized by moments of brilliance which have made them eternal in the books of cricket history.


The Top 5 ODI games in descending order are as follows:



5. Australia vs West Indies, 5th match, Benson and Hedges World Series, 1996, SCG


World series cricket back in the nineties produced some epic players and treated the spectators with a plethora of great cricket matches. In the 5th match of the B&H cup of 1996 between Australia and West Indies, the rain played spoilsport and the match was reduced to 43 overs per side

The West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first. In not such easy conditions to bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Carl Hooper put on a masterclass of batting on a slow and spinning wicket to score 93 off 96 balls and took the West Indies to 173. The total was perhaps below par nut enough for the West Indies to fight.


In reply, Australia were reduced to 38/6 which virtually killed their hopes but not the hopes of the "original" finisher- Michael Bevan. He took Australia close to victory with support from Ian Healy and Paul Riefel. The batting from Bevan was an exhibition of how to pick your moments and how to bat with the tail in a difficult run chase.


In the last over, Australia needed 7 runs with 2 wickets in hand. Shane Warne who was on strike played a dot ball and then got out leaving Glenn McGrath on strike. He somehow took a single and Bevan got on strike when Australia needed 4 off the last 2 balls. He played a dot ball and then hit a boundary straight back past the bowler to complete a historical and an impossible looking run chase.


Bevan showed the world why he was the greatest finisher of that era and why the Aussies are known to fight till the last ball.


4. Pakistan vs India, final, Austral-Asia cup, 1986, Sharjah


Austral-Asia cup was a unique multi-national tournament featuring the best teams from Asian and Australian continents. The arch-rivals India and Pakistan faced-off against each other in the final of the tournament. It was a perfect setting for an epic cricket match.


Courtesy gritty half-centuries from Kris Srikanth, Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar, India posted a competitive 246 on the board.


Pakistan in reply lost 3 wickets for just 61 runs and Javed Miandad, arguably, the greatest Pakistan batsman ever was left stranded for support. Fortunately for him, Saleem Malik and Abdul Qadir played decent hands to give him the support to reach a century. However, Pakistan were losing wickets at regular intervals which was not helping their cause. They were reduced to 241/9 needing 4 off the final ball. Chetan Sharma had the ball in hand and he still says that he was confident enough of an Indian victory. However, Miandad, who was known for his amazing ability to pull-off remarkable run-chases had different ideas. He hit the last ball for six to seal an unlikely victory. It made the India-Pak rivalry even more fierce.


3. Australia vs South Africa, Semi-Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 1999, Edgbaston


It is known that Steve Waugh, the Australian captain, told Herschelle Gibbs that he dropped the World Cup as he dropped Steve Waugh in a group-stage match. Waugh went on to guide Australia to 272 with a century and Australia eventually won. This game had a part to play in the semi-final between these two teams.


Australia won the toss and in tough conditions, posted 213 and Waugh scored another half-century. South Africa were reduced to 61/4 and were likely to lose. However, Jacques Kallis scored a good 53 and Jonty Rhodes 43 to take South Africa forward. However, both of them got out in quick succession leaving South Africa in need of 39 runs in 31 balls with six wickets in hand.


Lance Klusener who was South Africa's go-to man in that tournament was once again left to do the job. He took the proteas close but they had already lost 9 wickets. In the last over which was to be bowled by Damien Fleming, South Africa needed 9. Klusener hit the first two balls for boundaries but later. played 2 dot balls. On the fifth ball, Allan Donald, the non-striker had a brain-fade moment. He ran blindly when there was no run and was run- out comprehensively. Once again, a quality South Africa that should have won found a way to choke and lose. The game was tied and Australia won by the virtue of finishing higher in the group stage as they won their group stage match against South Africa.


Talk about fine margins, South Africa lost the World Cup by the finest of margins.


2. Australia vs South Africa, 5th ODI, Johannesburg, 2006


South Africa and Australia continue to produce great One-Day games and this game was certainly the best between the two nations. The series was levelled at 2-2.


In the final game, Australia won the toss, elected to bat first and became the first team to score 400 in an ODI. The great Ricky Ponting came to the fore, scoring 164 off just 105 which must have given flashbacks to the 2003 World Cup final to the Indian fans. Australia went on to score 434 and had almost won the series as no-one thought such a score could be chased down.


South Africa lost a wicket early but then the skipper Graeme Smith put up a massive 187-run partnership with Herschelle Gibbs. Gibbs added another 94 runs with AB De Villiers. Gibbs redeemed himself for dropping Steve Waugh's catch in the 1999 World Cup by making a remarkable 175 off just 111 balls, leaving the Australians gaping. However, South Africa lost a flurry of wickets and got pushed back. They needed 80 off 47 balls as once again, they were close to getting choked. Johan van der Wath scored 35 off only 18 balls to give Mark Boucher some support. In the final over, South Africa needed seven runs. Despite losing Andrew Hall in the third ball, Boucher hit a four in the fifth ball to complete his half-century and seal a record-breaking chase for his side.


Finally, in a close game, South Africa ended up on the winning side. Imagine, the record for the highest score in an ODI was broken twice on the same day in the same match!


1. England vs New Zealand, Final, ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019, Lord's


"England won the World Cup, by the barest of margins, by the barest of all margins!"


This epic piece of commentary from the great Ian Smith is still afresh in our heads. It was the perfect venue- the Lord's, the perfect setting- a world cup final and a wonderful evening in London. It just couldn't have better than this for the greatest ODI game ever. The hot favorites England hosted New Zealand in the final. New Zealand were not given much of a chance before the tournament but they once again punched above their weight.


It was a green track, very typical of the Lord's. New Zealand went with the mantra of runs on the board in a final as they batted first. England made a much-talked-about decision of leaving Moeen Ali out for Liam Plunkett. The move turned out to be inspirational as he picked up 3 wickets to restrict New Zealand to 241.


New Zealand was confident of defending such a total after doing it against India in the Semi-Final. However, they had the best batting line-up in the world in front of them.


England, a side is known to score 350 succumbed to the pressure of the final. England needed almost 140 runs with 5 wickets already down. Jos Buttler played a small but effective knock to support Ben Stokes who was the man possessed that night. The game is also remembered for some of the finest run-outs and outfield catches you will ever see. New Zealand just latched onto every opportunity that night. England needed 15 off the last over as he hit the third ball for six after 2 dot balls. However, on the fourth ball, a bizarre thing happened. Stokes was looking to come back for the second and as he put in the dive, the ball hit his bat and raised towards the boundary. It wasn't deliberate. Perhaps, the Gods wanted England to do well.

The game was eventually tied. However, for the first time, an ODI game was to be decided by a super over. However, the super over also got tied but England won by the virtue of hitting more boundaries.


Well, it was a delight for England but agony for New Zealand. Kane Williamson who got the man of the tournament award accepted this result graciously.

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