Top 10 ODIs of All Time

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No one knew the impact one dayers would have on cricket when England and Australia played the first one on the fifth day of a rain curtailed Test match in 1971. Within 4 years the World Cup was being staged in 1975 in the One day format of the game and over the years it has provided viewers with never seen before entertainment. Following are the 10 best one day internationals to have been ever played. Relive those edge-of-the-seat moments in the following slides.

10. Australia v Bangladesh, Cardiff, 2005

Here’s an upset that you might not have ever imagined would happen. If you have followed major upsets in ODIs you would notice that the stronger team usually fails to chase down the target because of a possible complacent attitude but what makes this match unique is that Bangladesh produced a stupendous batting performance chasing a competitive 250 against Australia. The shining light of the innings was the superb 100 scored by Mohammad Ashraful with able support from Habibul Bashar who scored 47. Bangladesh won and you would be surprised to know that the next day was declared a bank holiday in the country to commemorate the brilliant effort.

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9. India v Pakistan, Rothmans Cup, Sharjah, 1985

The usual suspects are at it again, you would say but the number of humdingers these 2 teams have produced it is only natural that some of their most famous matches find their place in this list. This one was a low scoring encounter where Imran Khan bowled a scorching spell to shoot out India for 125 and end up with remarkable figures of 6/14 from 10 overs. The second innings seemed like a mere formality but the Indians led by Kapil Dev had other ideas as they produced a scintillating team effort to dismiss Pakistan for 87 in 32.5 overs on a crumbling pitch.

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8. Australia v West Indies, Sydney, 1996

The nail biting one dayer that Australia and West Indies played on New Year’s Day of 1996 in Sydney cemented Michael Bevan’s place as one of the most reliable finishers in the game. Chasing 173 in a rain curtailed 43 over a side tie; Australia kept losing wickets and at one stage were at 74/7 with 99 runs still needed.  However Bevan stood tall among the ruins as he strung together a partnership with Paul Reiffel. With Roger Harper bowling a tight last over Australia needed 4 to win off the last over with Bevan on strike. You would think most batsmen would go for a slog but not Bevan as he blasted the last ball down the ground, piercing the long off and the long on fielders as Australia registered an epic win.

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7. England v India, Natwest Trophy Final, 2002, Lord’s

At number 7 is another classic from the hallowed turf of Lord’s.. India were in fine form throughout the tournament but their form seemed to have deserted them when England posted an imposing 325 in 50 overs with the aid of centuries by Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain. The reply was a stinging one as Ganguly and Virender Sehwag put on 100 plus in 15 overs but once Ganguly was dismissed, wickets started to tumble as India found themselves at a hopeless 146/5. Enter Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif. The two youngsters (at the time) patiently rebuilt the innings as the match entered a stirring climax. Although Yuvraj was dismissed with 59 still needed, Mohammad Kaif found a willing patner in Harbhajan Singh. Even though there was a late flurry of wickets Kaif held firm to take India home with 3 balls to spare. You can watch the highlights in YouTube and feel the adrenaline flow all over again.

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6. India v Pakistan, Independence Cup- 3rd Final, Dhaka, 1998

India and Pakistan squared off for the 3rd of the best of three finals in Dhaka in one of the most exciting finishes. After India put Pakistan in to bat, the plan misfired badly as Saeed Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed scored masterful centuries to take the total to a near insurmountable (in those days) 314. India took on the challenge head on as Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar got the team off to a flier piling up 71 in just over 8 overs when Tendulkar was dismissed. However, Robin Singh at number 3 provided able support as Sourav Ganguly anchored the innings with a strokeful 124. Although wickets kept tumbling in fading light, it was India who kept their nerves in check as Hrishikesh Kanitkar hit the second last delivery for a four to win it for India. It was the highest run chase at the time and has been a part of cricket’s folklore ever since. Don’t you think it erased painful memories of the last ball six by Javed Miandad?

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5. Australia v West Indies, World Cup Final, Lord’s, 1975

It was the first World Cup final and it lived up to the expectations from the very first delivery. Roy Fredericks hooked Lillee for a six of the first ball of the match but dislodged his stumps as he lost balance. A six and a dismissal of the first ball and the stage was set for a savage attack by captain Clive Lloyd and the great Rohan Kanhai on Lillee, Thomson and Co. as the West Indies racked up a massive 291 in 60 overs. Australia responded in kind but the brilliant fielding of Vivian Richards was their undoing as he affected 4 run outs including those of the Chappell brothers- Ian and Greg. Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson fought on gamely but eventually Australia were all out-17 runs short. The heady cocktail of the brilliant batting of the West Indians, their fielding and the never say die approach of the Australians makes this match one of the most loved of all time.

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4. India v West Indies, World Cup Final, Lord’s, 1983

The West Indies in 1983 were a fearsome unit and India’s seemingly less glamorous team stood no chance when they were to face them in the final of World Cup at Lord’s. Everything went according to the script as West Indies’ battery of fast bowlers, which included Marshall, Roberts, Holding and Garner decimated India for 183. The top score was a mere 38 by Kris Srikanth. So, you can imagine the daunting task that faced India’s bowlers. However, it all started going horribly wrong in the second innings for the West Indies as their intimidating batting line up had no clue against the swing and seam of the Indian bowlers. The turning point came when Viv Richards’ skier was caught by Kapil Dev running 20 yards backwards. Wickets kept tumbling as the West Indies were finally dismissed for 140 runs. This massive upset and that too in a World Cup final makes it one of the greatest ODIs of all time.

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3. Australia v South Africa, Wanderers, 2006

At number 3 is another gladiatorial encounter between Australia and South Africa, which those of you who have been fortunate enough to witness will never forget. It was the decider of the five match one day series with teams locked at 2 all. Australia seemed to have wrapped up the series after they scored a mammoth 434- then a world record- on the back of captain Ricky Ponting’s stupendous 164. However, South Africa and Herschelle Gibbs had other ideas as they launched an astonishing counterattack to raise hopes of an unlikely victory. Gibbs scored a famous 175 including 21 fours and 7 massive sixes and with vital contributions from Johan van Der Vaart and Mark Boucher, South Africa scampered home with a wicket and one delivery to spare.

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2. India v Pakistan, Austral-Asia Cup Final, Sharjah, 1986

This match between the two bitter rivals unfolded in the desert city of Sharjah like an epic. After India posted a competitive 245 in 50 overs thanks to an excellent batting performance from the openers Sunil Gavaskar (92) and Kris Srikanth (75), they had Pakistan on the mat at 61/3. However, what they had not realised was that Pakistan’s best batsman Javed Miandad was still at the crease. He played a masterful innings by pushing the field back in the initial part of the innings through singles and then launched into a counter attack in the latter stages. With 4 required off the last delivery, Miandad smashed it for a six over mid-wicket to win it by a wicket for Pakistan and take his personal score to 116 not out. You can watch the video of the last ball six on YouTube and relive the shot that was heard across the subcontinent.

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1. Australia v South Africa World Cup Semi-Final, Edgbaston 1999 (Match tied)

This match features as the top ranked ODI of all time because it had everything you would demand from a one dayer – exciting finish, great batting, outstanding bowling, desperate fielding and of course the high stakes. After Australia had posted a rather modest 213 with major contributions from Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan, it looked like it was going to be a cakewalk for South Africa as their in-form openers Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs started to knock off the target with admirable ease. However a 3 wicket burst from Shane Warne in 2 overs and a direct hit by Bevan left South Africa at a precarious 61/4. Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes rebuilt the innings but in the end it came down to 9 runs off one over with Lance Klusener at the crease with number 11 Allan Donald for company. After Klusener hit 2 boundaries of the first 2 balls and tied the match, the 2 batsmen at the crease had a horrible mix up which led to Donald being run out. Australia famously went through owing to the fact that they had beaten South Africa in the preceding stage of the tournament.

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CONCLUSION

Hopefully you have enjoyed a sneak peek into the matches which are going to remain in your and every cricket lover’s consciousness forever. However if you feel there have been certain exclusions then feel free to get vocal in the comments section below.

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