Best of the best: Edge of the seat thrillers (ODIs)

 

Ever since ODI (One Day International) cricket came into existence, the world has seen thousands of ODI matches being played between some of the top cricketing sides in the world. While there have been some ordinary matches, there have been many which have been no less than extra-ordinary. Let us take a look at 5 of the top ODI matches ever played.

 

  1. 1997-98 Coca-Cola cup final (India vs Australia)

 

  • India had made it to the final of the tri-series courtesy of a superior net run-rate than New Zealand. The Indians clashed against a formidable Aussie bowling line-up. The Indians had made it to the final of the tournament riding on batting star Sachin Tendulkar’s spectacular form. The Aussies had piled on 272/9 in their allotted quota of 50 overs in the final of the tournament. What followed the Aussie innings was a swashbuckling display of batting master-class by Sachin Tendulkar on his 25th The tournament is remembered for Sachin Tendulkar’s back-to-back centuries against Australia. The first one helped India to qualify for the final and the second hundred, scored in the all-important final, helped India to get their hands onto the trophy. Sachin ended up scoring 435 runs in the tournament and was crowned the man of the tournament.
  1. Australia vs South Africa (World cup 1999, Semi-Final)

  • It was the pre-final war and South Africa had been great so far in the tournament. The cricket ground Birmingham (Edgbaston) was to witness a cracker-jack of a contest. Batting first after losing the toss, the Aussies didn’t get off to the best of starts and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Then Michael Bevan stitched a vital partnership with Captain Steve Waugh. Both the batsmen scored vital half centuries to get their team to a somewhat respectable total of 213. Star seamers Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald ripped through the Aussie batting order and ended up sharing nine wickets between them. In reply, South Africa too, kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and were soon seen reeling at 61/4, before Jacques Kallis and Jhonty Rhodes came together to stir the side out of troubled waters. South Africa Needed nine runs off the final over and with Lance Klusener on strike, they would have certainly fancied their chances. Damien Fleming conceded two boundaries off the first two balls of the final over, but he ended up mishitting the third ball straight to Darren Lehmann at mid-on. Klusener stirred the next ball down to mid-off and scampered through towards the non-striker’s end but Donald couldn’t hear the cries of his partner as he had his eyes glued to the ball. Donald was run-out of a diamond duck at the match ended in a tie. Australia went through to the final because they had finished higher in the Super 6s stage.

 

3.England vs Ireland, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011:

 England batted first on a good looking batting strip and Jonathan Trott scored 92 vital runs of as many deliveries. England reached 327/8 in their allotted quota of 50 overs courtesy of some late hitting by Eoin Morgan. Ireland got off to a disastrous start and lost skipper William Porterfield off the very first delivery of the innings. The Irishmen were tottering at 147/5 at one stage before Kevin O’Brien and Alex Cusack came together to add vital runs for the team. Cusack made 47 vital runs and O’Brien scored a blistering century off just 50 deliveries, the fastest in World Cup history. Ireland marched home to victory with three wickets in hand. It was the highest successful run-chase in world cup history.

  1. Australia vs Bangladesh, Natwest tri-series, 2005:

  • Australia took on minnows Bangladesh at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff in the second match of the Natwest Tri-Series during the English summer of 2005. Opting to bat after winning the toss, Australia lost Adam Gilchrist on the second ball of the innings. Ricky Ponting followed him leaving Australia reeling at 9 for 2 in the sixth over. Damien Martyn and Michael Clarke lifted Australia after a precarious start and took the team to 165. Katich and Hussey played useful cameos and got their team close to the 250 run mark (249/5). Bangladesh, in reply, kept losing wickets at regular intervals and was soon reduced to 72 for 3. Skipper Habibul Bashar and youngster Mohammad Ashraful then stitched a 130 run stand to lift the team up. Ashraful scored a massive 100 of just 101 deliveries and Bashar scored a useful 47 off 71. Some big hits towards the end by Rafique and Aftab Ahmed got them over the line.

 

  1. England vs India, Natwest series, 2002, The Final

World-Cup-Squad-300x200

  • The final at Lord’s in London is regarded as one of the finest one-day international matches ever played by the Indians outside the sub-continent. Having made it to the final, India faced an upbeat English side. England won the toss and opener Marcus Trescothick started going after the Indian seamers. Nasser Hussain, the England skipper, joined him as both the batsmen piled on the misery over the Indian side. Both the played reached their respective hundreds. Indians required 326 to pull off an unlikely victory. The Indians got off to a flying start with Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly and Verinder Sehwag smashing the English bowlers to all parts of the ground. Indians reached the 100 run mark inside 15 overs without losing a wicket, but what followed a 106 run opening stand was a heap of wickets and the Indians were soon seen struggling at 146/5. Hope seemed bleak, but just then, two young men got a partnership together. Yuvraj Singh (69 from 63) and Mohammad Kaif (87 no from 75) scored 121 runs for the sixth wicket along with some useful contributions from the tailenders to pull off an emphatic and an unlikely victory at Lord’s.

 

 

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