The first One-day International(ODI), a 50-50 over the short format of the game, was played between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on 5th January 1971. After this, there have been 43 long years since ODI Cricket is being played and there have been some great ODI matches that instantly comes to our minds when we think of cricket. The history is full of thrilling games that took the breath out of spectators’ lungs. In recent years, there are some concerns about the future of ODI’s as they are losing their popularity against the shortest format of the game, T20 cricket. Here, in this article, we are going to discuss top-10 ODI matches ever played in the history of cricket. It is tough to pick out top ten matches because several close matches are contested every year. But I will try to pick up some of the best games played ever since the ODI cricket started.
#1-South Africa vs Australia at Edgbaston, Birmingham (17 June 1999).
This match is considered the best ODI to have ever been played in the history. This was the second semi-final of the 1999 world cup between South Africa and Australia in Birmingham. South Africa won the toss and chose to field first. After 17 overs, the Australian team was in deep trouble at the score of 68-4. Waugh and Michael Bevan played good innings and scored 56 and 65 runs respectively and help Australia to set up a target of 214 runs before South Africa in 50 overs Australians were bowled out at the score of 213 runs in 49.2 overs.
During the chase everything was going comfortably for South Africa They were 48/0 after first 12 overs and Gibbs and Gary Kirsten were batting nicely. It seemed like Australia will be out of the world cup but then came Shane Warne fantastic spell. He dismissed Gibbs, Kristen, Hansie Cronje and Jacques Kallis finishing up with excellent bowling figures 10-4 29-4.
South Africa needed one run from 4 balls with one wicket in their hand. Klusener hit a yorker from Damien Fleming straight to Mark Waugh at mid-off and ran for a single, but Donald remained stoned at the non-striker’s end, and South Africa lost their 10th wicket as a runout. The match was tied, and Australia went through the finals.
#2 South Africa vs Australia at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg (12 March 2006).
In the five-match ODI series, being played between South Africa and Australia, both the teams won 2-2 matches and in the 5th match both came down to play to win the series. On an excellent batting track, Australia scored a record 434 runs for The loss of just four wickets in 50 overs. Ricky Ponting was the star batsman for Australia, scoring his career-best score 164 runs with a strike rate of 156.9 with 13 boundaries and nine sixes. Australians thought that they won the match, but the miracle was waiting to happen. When South Africa came to bat with nothing to lose, they started playing aggressively from the beginning, and unbelievably they chased down the target of 435 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 49.5 overs, therefore setting a new world record for the highest successful run chase in ODI cricket. Herschelle Gibbs was awarded the man of the match for his 175 runs inning from 111 balls while Graeme Smith made 90 runs from 55 balls at the start of the South African inning and gave the team a base for chasing such a challenging target.
#3- India vs Pakistan at Sharjah (18 April 1986)
In the Austral-Asia Cup Final, Pakistan and India faced each other at Shah Jahan in 1986. India set up a target of 246 runs in 50 overs before Pakistan. Javed Miandad scored 116 runs from 114 balls and helped Pakistan to chase down the target. India lost the match, but it is considered one of the best games in ODI’s history. With four needed from one delivery, Javed Miandad hit a full toss from Chetan Sharma for a six over the mid-wicket and give his team a memorable victory over India.
#4- Australia Vs Sri Lanka in Melbourne, Australia (3 November 2010).
Australia won the toss and chose to bat first. They put up a target of 240 runs before the Sri Lankans. At a time Sri Lankans were 107/8 but then came a partnership of 132 runs for the 9th wicket between Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews that brought Sri Lanka back into the game again.When one more run was needed to win the match, Lasith Malinga was dismissed but the next batsman Muthaiya Muralidharan came out and hit a boundary, and Sri Lanka won the game.
#5- New Zealand Vs South Africa at Eden Park, Auckland (24 March 2015).
Choosing to bat first, South Africa lost their openers Quinton de Cock and Hashim Amla without many runs on the board.Faf du Plessis played a good knock.When AB de Villiers came to that, he was on fire. Everything was going well for South Africa, but then rain intervened. With an outstanding knock from David Miller, South Africa posted 281 runs on the boards in 43 overs.
Brendon McCullum, Elliot and Corey Anderson took the match away from the hands of South Africa, but then Morkel’s fantastic spell brought the Proteas back into the game. Dale Steyn needed to defend 11 runs in the final over, but Elliott smashed a six to register the win for the New Zealanders.
#6- Australia vs England in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (2 March 2003)
This was the match of 2003 ICC World Cup. Andy Bichel fantastic spell 7/20 from his ten overs restricted England to a total of 204/8 in 50 overs. While chasing this target the Australian’s were 35/8 at a time in the match that brought Bichel on to the crease, and he played an incredible knock. He put up a fantastic partnership with Bevan (74) for the 9th wicket and Australia won the match by two wickets.
#7- India vs Sri Lanka in Rajkot, India (15 December 2009).
On an excellent batting track where nothing was there for bowlers, India put up a total of 414/7 in their 50 overs. Virender Sehwag was the star batsman for India who scored 146 of 102 balls.When Sri Lanka came to bat April Tharanga, and Kumar Sangakkara hit half-centuries, and Tillakaratne Dilshan made 160 from 124 balls. However, Sri Lanka could not manage to win the match and India won by three runs.
#8- Australia vs West Indies in Sydney, Australia (1 January 1986).
Australians were chasing a target of 173 runs from 43 overs in the rain interrupted the match. Australians were 38/6 at a time in the game, but then Bevan with the help of Ian Healy and Paul Reiffel managed to take Australian team to victory. Australia registered a miraculous one wicket win over West Indies on the last ball of the match.
#9- New Zealand Vs Australia in Hamilton, New Zealand (20 February 2007)
Matthew Hayden’s 181 from 166 balls helped Australia to put up a total of 346 at the loss of 5 wickets in their 50 overs.When New Zealander’s came to chase this target, they got the worst possible start when they lost the wicket of Stephen Fleming in the early overs of New Zealand’s innings. Lou Vincent, Ross Taylor and Scott Styris wickets also fell shortly after that.But Craig McMillan(117 off 96 balls) and Brendon McCullum’s 86 not out gave some support to New Zealand’s innings. An incredible inning of 28 from 15 balls from Mark Gillespie helped New Zealand to win the match in the 49.3 overs.
# 10-England vs India at Lords, England (13 July 2002)
It was the Natwest Final between England and India. England batting first, puts up a total of 325/8 from 50 overs, which included centuries from Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain The Indian openers gave a superb start and scored 100 within the first 15 overs. But then England came back into the game, and once Indians were 146/5, very close to another defeat in a final. But, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif’s partnership of 121 runs brought India once again in the game. After the fall of Yuvraj’s wicket at 67 put the match back in England’s favour once again. Then Kaif with the help of lower order batsman helped India to ensure a famous 2-wicket win in the final over.