You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The greatest ODIs that were ever played

India Today logo India Today 19-06-2016

undefined © AP undefined

Seventeen years ago to the day, the greatest one day-international was played out at Edgbaston between two of the strongest sides of the era. Australia and South Africa faced off in the second semi-final of the 1999 World Cup. After some sizzling bowling spells, heroic innings and high drama, the African nation was left heartbroken.

But is it fair to brand that game the greatest ODI ever played? An overwhelming majority of the cricket-watching world believes it indeed is. However, we have decided to leave that choice to you, once again. We have picked up some of the most dramatic games ever played in the format. Some of them were played much before T20 hit the world with its blistering pace.

You will relieve some breathtaking spells, mind-numbing innings, sensational catches as you read this piece. It really is a tribute to that iconic World Cup semi-final played out to a packed house in 1999.

Judge for yourselves. Which ODI was the greatest ever? We, for a change, refuse to take a stand on this one!

South Africa v/s Australia, World Cup semi-final, Birmingham, 1999

It was the 1999 World Cup, semi-finals at Birmingham. Australia, batting first, put up a modest total of 213, a total that was not fancied by most to carry them through to the finals. However, Shane Warne had other plans. He bowled brilliantly cleaning up the South African top-order quickly and finished with figures of 10 - 4 - 29 - 4. As the Proteas were falling apart, the ever dependable Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes struck a partnership of 84 runs before Rhodes departed for 43. Kallis and Shaun Pollock stuck around there for a while but soon both fell and South Africa's chances were looking dim.

In came Lance Klusener and smashed the bowlers around, taking South Africa to a winning position as they needed one run off four balls. Klusener pulled the third ball off Damien Fleming's last over to short mid-on and there was a huge mix-up between him and the non-striker Allan Donald but Darren Lehman somehow missed the stumps from a close distance and Donald survived. The next ball, Klusener played one straight and set off straight; Donald stuck like glue at the crease and was busy watching the ball. He didn't respond and this time was run-out at the striker's end. Gone. South Africa were eliminated after a brilliant counter-attacking knock by Lance Klusener.

Result: Match tied

Waqar Younis v/s New Zealand, Auckland, 1994

New Zealand required three runs to win in the last over with two wickets in hand. Waqar bowled a brilliant in swinger to the left-handed Matthew Hart and bowled him off the first ball of the over. With three runs to win off five balls, in came RP de Groen. Groen somehow defended one to point and ran hard for a quick single. The Pakistani fielders were careless and gave away one more run in an overthrow. With four balls to go and one run required, the Kiwi's were the favourites to win the match. The next ball was fired in, striking de Groen's pads but neither did the Pakistani's get a wicket nor did the Kiwi's pull off a quick single. Waqar again fired one in straight and de Groen failed to get bat on it again and was given Out LBW. Thus, the match ended in a draw.

Waqar finished with figures of 9.4-1-30-6.

Result: Match tied

Lasith Malinga v/s South Africa, World Cup, West Indies, 2007

© Reuters Photo

Although for a losing cause but that destructive spell by slinga Malinga will be long remembered by cricket lovers.

Chasing a total of 210, South Africa were cruising along with four runs to win off 32 balls with five wickets in hand. Then Malinga took the South African batting line up by storm. He was devastating and unplayable at that moment. He came along and changed the whole complexion of the match taking four wickets in four balls putting South Africa to shame. Malinga completely got the better of Shaun Pollock with a slower ball cleaning him up before bowling a deadly yorker to Andrew Hall who looped a catch to covers. With Jackques Kallis facing the hat-trick ball next over, he bowled one outside off, which took Kallis's edge and Sangakkara took a great catch diving to his right. With Kallis's wicket, Malinga became the fifth ever bowler to take a hat-trick in the history of World Cup cricket. Makhaya Ntini came into bat and the very first ball he faced was a swinging yorker at 144.7kmph uprooting the stumps completely. With South Africa struggling and Sri Lanka on the verge of an extraordinary comeback, the last batsman, Charl Langeveldt somehow survived the Malinga onslaught before the Proteas somehow crawled past the finish line.

Result: South Africa won by one wicket

Javed Miandad v/s India, Final - Austral-Asia Cup, Sharjah, 1986

After India put up a total of 245 in their 50 overs, with fifties from Dilip Vengsarkar, Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Sunil Gavaskar, India were considered to be on the front foot.

Pakistan lost Mudassar Nazar early. Rameez Raza also perished cheap at 10 runs and then walked in Javed Miandad. While Miandad held onto one end, wickets kept on tumbling from the other. Neither of Mohsin Khan, Saleem Khan and Abdul Qadir converted their starts to a winning knock. In the end it was reduced to Miandad and Tauseef Ahmed and then history unfolded. It was the last over, Ahmed had to give Miandad the strike for Pakistan to stand a chance in the game. He did that somehow as Mohammad Azharuddin missed a run-out. In the last ball, Pakistan needed four runs to win and Chetan Sharma was the bowler. Miandad smashed the ball for a six and scripted history scoring a match winning 116 off 114 balls.

Result: Pakistan won by one wicket

England v/s India, Natwest Series Final, 2002, Lord's

© Reuters Photo

Batting first, England put up a huge total of 325 with the help of centuries from Marcus Trescothick and captain, Naseer Hussain. India were off to a flying start with both the openers Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly smashing the bowlers around. But, Ganguly fell for 63 with the score on 103 - 1. Sehwag soon followed and India collapsed losing out five wickets for 43 runs.

In a situation, where Indian fans lost all hopes, up stood Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh. The two struck a partnership of 121 before Yuvraj departed for 69. However, Kaif stood there and took the team past the English total and scripted a historic comeback. He was named the Man of the Match for his knock of 87.

Result: India won by two wickets

Craig McMillan and Brendon McCullum v/s Australia, Hamilton, 2007

© Reuters Photo

Riding on Matthew Hayden's 181 not-out, Australia posted a huge total of 346 - 5. New Zealand came out to bat and it was a nightmare from the word go. They lost four early wickets and were struggling at 41 - 4 in 9.1 over's. Peter Fulton walked in and steadied the innings along with McMillan before perishing for 51 with the score at 116 - 5 off 16.5 over's. With the team needing 231 runs with half the side down, the Kiwi's were staring at a defeat. But, incoming McCullum and a set McMillan had other plans. McCullum and McMIllan bashed the bowlers around and took control of the game completely putting together a partnership of 165 runs before McMillan perished for 117 off 138 balls. Still needing 66 runs to win, the onus was on McCullum to finish the game as wickets kept tumbling from the other side. McCullum however stuck there with the tail and finished the game in the 50th over scoring 86 of 149 balls.

Result: New Zealand won by one wicket

Herschelle Gibbs v/s Australia, Johannesburg, 2006

© Reuters Photo

At a time where 300 was considered a huge total, Australia walked in at Johannesburg and posted an unthinkable total of 434 with Ricky Ponting scoring 164 and fifties each from Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich and Mike Hussey. It was the first ever 400+ total in the history of the game and no-one fancied South Africa's chances in that one.

Coming out to bat, the hosts lost Boeta Dippenaar in the second over and Gibbs walked out in the middle. Everybody knew that Gibbs is an attacking player and likes to take the game to the opposition and that day he was a man on a mission. He took the attack to the Australian's and scored 175 off 111 balls, smashing 21 fours and seven sixes. Gibbs built a partnership of 187 runs with the South African captain, Graeme Smith before Smith perished at 90. Gibbs built another partnership with De Villiers and finally got out when South Africa were at 299, needing 135 runs off 20 over's.

South Africa won that match in the last over and all credits were due to that brilliant counter attacking knock under immense pressure.

Result: South Africa won by one wicket

Sachin Tendulkar v/s South Africa, Hero Cup Semi-final, Eden Gardens, 1993

In 1993, which could be considered one of the greatest decisions ever made in world cricket, Mohammad Azharuddin handed the last over to Tendulkar over his front-line bowlers in Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabhakar and Javagal Srinath. Tendulkar was bowling the first over in the match in wet conditions and had five runs to defend.

With a set Brian McMillan in the crease everybody placed their bets on the Proteas but Tendulkar had other ideas. India got a wicket of the first ball as McMillan was looking for the second and Fannie De Villiers was run-out . Alan Donald, the last man walked in. Sachin bowled three back to back dot balls and with five required of two balls and one wicket in hand, suddenly the pressure was on Donald and the Proteas. Somehow, Donald connected the next ball and gave McMillan the strike, leaving four runs to win in the last ball. Before the last ball, the keeper went back and stood at the edge of the 30 yard circle in case of an inside edge and that's what happened. Sachin fired one in and McMillan only managed to get an edge out of his wild swing, only getting one run in the process.

Result: India won by 2 runs

John Hastings and Kane Richardson v/s India, Manuka Oval , 2016

Australia put up a big total of 348 runs on the board thanks to a Aaron Finch century and fifties from David Warner and Steve Smith.

India were off to a brilliant start with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan scoring 65 runs in eight over's before Sharma departed after a quick fire 41 off 28 balls. Virat Kohli walked in the centre and and struck a brilliant partnership putting together a partnership of 212 before Dhawan perished for 126 of a Hastings delivery. With India needing 72 off 12.3 over's, India were up for an easy victory.

However, it's never over until it's over and Kane Richardson and John Hastings had other plans for the Indians. Dhoni walked out in the middle and was out in the second ball he faced in the same over followed by Kohli who was out the over after and this time it was Richardson, who struck. Suddenly, India were 278 - 4 from 277 - 1. The Australian pacers kept the pressure mounting and India kept losing wickets before they completed a sensational collapse losing nine wickets for 46 runs. Kane Richardson took five wickets in that match sealing a dramatic comeback.

Result: Australia won by 25 runs

James Faulkner v/s England, Brisbane, 2014

© Getty Image

England put up a decent total of 300 on the board and after picking up wickets at regular intervals, Australia were reduced to a hopeless situation of 244 - 9. With 57 runs to win from six over's, it was a matter of minutes before the Englishmen either James Faulkner or the incoming Clint McKay.

With his back against the wall, Faulkner kept taking singles until Australia needed 30 off three over's. He kept his cool and then smashed 25 off seven deliveries from Ben Stokes and Tim Bresnan to seal the game off for Australia. He finished with 69 off 47 balls.

Result: Australia won by one wicket

Slideshow: 25 cricket world records you must know about

Cricket world records you must know about

More from India Today

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon