In the recent past, cricket has become, more of a batsmen's game than bowlers. It is fairly evident from the fact that, so many high scores are being made now-a-days. Batsmen absolutely bludgeon the bowlers over boundary ropes, without much effort. Keeping the boundaries shorter now-a-days, does not help the bowlers in any way. However, it does increase the entertainment factor for the crowd watching the match. Balls flying over the ropes, does get the crowd going.
Since the emergence of the T20 cricket, no score is considered to be safe. Any score which is posted by the team batting first, can be achieved by the team batting second. Hefty run rates are easily managed now-a-days.
So, let’s look at 4 of such best carnages that have happened in the ODIs:-
#4 New Zealand vs. Australia (2007):-
New Zealand: 350/9
It was one of those series that Mike Hussey would want to forget. He was made captain of the Australian team for the all important Chappell-Hadlee series. To everyone’s surprise, the series was a whitewash for the Australians. New Zealand won the series 3-0.
It was the third match of the series and the Kiwi’s had unassailable lead on the Aussies. Playing for the pride, Aussies notched up a humongous score of 346. It was the big-man who came to the party for the Aussies. Matthew Hayden’s scored a staggering 181 off 166 balls, to help Australia reach the target of 346. The total seemed enough to win against most of the oppositions, but not against New Zealand.
What transpired in the second innings was absolutely stunning. Craig McMillan and Brendon McCullum blasted the bowlers all over the park and stitched a mighty 165 run partnership. McMillan scored 117 off 96 balls, while McCullum scored 86 runs off 91 balls. The match went mighty close, but was eventually won by the Kiwis by 1 wicket. With this win, they certainly proved that they are a force to be reckoned with.
#3 India vs. Australia (2009):-
This match was one of the little heartbreak that the Indian fans have had in the last decade. It was a thrilling contest with Australia clinching the victory in the end.
Australia batting first looked extremely comfortable against the Indian bowlers. Indian Bowlers had no answers to Aussie Batsmen. Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh put together a brilliant partnership for the first wicket. They knitted together 145 runs. In the end, it was Cameron White’s quick fire 50 that helped Aussies to reach to a target of 350.
India on the other hand had a shaky start. However, after few overs, the little master, came into his own. He took the responsibility on himself and started sending the bowlers, into the stands. He held the fort on one end, while others kept departing on the other end. Raina played a sensible run a ball knock of 59, which stabilized the innings for a while. Sachin got out after scoring clinical 175 and left 19 runs off 17 balls for others. As it is often the scenario, India’s tail-enders faltered and they fell short by 3 runs. The magical innings of master went in vain. Albeit, India lost the match, Sachin received man of the match of his heroics.
#2 India vs. Sri Lanka (2009):-
Sri Lanka: 411/8
Most of the Indian wickets are a paradise for the batsmen. This match being played on the pitch of Rajkot was no different. It was an absolute belter of a wicket.
Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first. Sehwag gave a blazing start to India and scored 146 off 102 balls. Dhoni did the work of putting icing on the cake and helped India notch up a score of 414. Dhoni scored 72 off 53 balls. After plundering such a huge score, the match looked in favour of India.
However, Dilshan and Sangakkara had different plans. They took on the Indian bowling, from the start and scored 128 in 13 overs. Sri Lanka was racing towards the target and win looked certain for them. But, India got back in the match with two run-outs. After that, it was flurry of Sri Lankan wickets and Indians somehow sneaked to the victory. Albeit, Sri Lanka fell 3 runs short off the target, it was a commendable effort from them.
#1 Australia vs. South Africa (2006):-
South Africa: 438/9
This was the decider match for the series, which was 2-2 level, between the Aussies and the Proteas. It was a flat-tracker in the Wanderers that would scare any bowler. Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first.
Ponting and co took apart the South African bowling attack. Ponting took the onus on himself and scored 164. It was then, the turn of Mike Hussey, who scored a clinical 81 off 51 balls. Australia became the first team in the history of cricket to cross the 400 run mark. They ended up scoring 434, which by no means looked achievable.
South Africans came onto bat to rewrite the history books. The captain leading from the front along with Gibbs forged a partnership of 187 in 22 overs. Smith scored a muscular 90 off 55 balls and Gibbs smoked the bowlers all around the park. He scored 175 off 111 balls. The stage was set for a historic chase. Albeit, Gibbs got out at a crucial juncture of the match, it was the South African wicket-keeper, who got the team home. Mark Butcher held his nerves and chipped Brett Lee over the mid-on fielder to win the historic match for his country.
This match certainly goes down as the best match in the history of ODI cricket. 872 runs were scored in this match, which remains the highest runs scored in a match in ODI cricket.