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The biggest differences between a team's successive ODI totals


Biggest_differences_successive_ODI_totals_CricketTop-ranked England had to settle for a 2-2 draw in their recently-concluded five-match series in the West Indies, after they were bowled out for just 113 en route to a seven-wicket defeat in the final ODI at Gros Islet. In the previous match at St. George’s, they had amassed a gargantuan 418/6 before winning by 29 runs. This meant that the difference between England’s two successive totals was a whopping 305 – the second-biggest such difference in men’s ODI cricket.

In that respect, here is a look at the five biggest differences between a team’s totals in two successive ODIs (It is to be noted that only completed innings, i.e. innings that either lasted the entire quota of overs or ended with all wickets lost, have been considered for this purpose).

310 by South Africa, 2006-07

Though South Africa had already won the three-match series, they showed no mercy to Zimbabwe in the final ODI at Potchefstroom. Openers Loots Bosman (88) and Alviro Petersen (80) galloped to a 160-run stand inside 21 overs, but the most telling blow came from the bat of Mark Boucher, who hit 147* in 68 balls to swell the total to 418/5. Boucher’s hundred took just 44 balls – then the second-quickest in ODIs. The Zimbabweans were restricted to 247/7 in reply.

Less than two months later, the Proteas began their 2006 Champions Trophy campaign by facing off against New Zealand on a dry surface at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium. The Black Caps totalled 195 after being put in to bat, with captain Stephen Fleming scoring 89. South Africa struggled to chase down the modest target under lights, and were bundled out for 108 in the 35th over. Pacers Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram and off-spinner Jeetan Patel netted three wickets apiece.

305 by England, 2018-19

With the five-match series locked at 1-1 after three matches, England and the West Indies indulged in a run-scoring fest at the National Cricket Stadium in the Grenadian capital of St. George’s. England were given the ideal launchpad through an opening partnership of 100 between Jonny Bairstow (56) and Alex Hales, before captain Eoin Morgan and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler took the innings into overdrive by building a third-wicket stand of 204 in just 20.2 overs.

While Morgan fell for 103, Buttler went on to cream an incredible 150 off 77 balls, featuring 13 fours and 12 sixes. England hammered 154 in the last ten overs to pile up 418/6 – the highest ODI total in the Caribbean. The swashbuckling Chris Gayle smashed 162 in 97 balls, with 11 fours and 14 sixes, to keep the hosts alive. However, key strikes from pacer Mark Wood (4/60) and leg-spinner Adil Rashid (5/85) ensured that the West Indies were all out for 389 in 48 overs.

England’s fortunes reversed three days later on a bouncy track at Gros Islet, where they were rolled over for 113 by the West Indian pace quartet spearheaded by Oshane Thomas (5/21). The last five wickets fell for just two runs in the space of 20 balls. The annihilation was complete when Gayle went on the rampage again, this time striking a mind-boggling 77 in 27 balls. The West Indies coasted to a series-levelling win by seven wickets, with as many as 37.5 overs left.

284 by India, 2008-09

India won a bilateral ODI series in Sri Lanka for the first time in 2008, by virtue of three victories from the first four matches. Sri Lanka pulled off a consolation win in the fifth encounter at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to limit the margin to 3-2. A stand of 94* between Jehan Mubarak (47*) and Thilan Thushara (54*) carried the islanders to 227/6, before seamer Nuwan Kulasekara (4/40) and ‘mystery spinner’ Ajantha Mendis (4/10) condemned India to 103.

India’s next ODI series was at home against England, with Rajkot hosting the first game. Gautam Gambhir (51) and Virender Sehwag put on 127 for the first wicket, but it was Yuvraj Singh who stole the show with a dazzling 138* from 78 balls The southpaw’s effort powered India to 387/5, their second-highest total at the time. England were never in the hunt after sliding to 38/4 against the left-arm pace of Zaheer Khan (3/26), and duly folded for 229 in the 38th over.

280 by India, 2017-18

Sri Lanka’s pace bowlers, led by Suranga Lakmal (4/13), exploited the favourable conditions at Dharamsala to the fullest by reducing India, who were under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, to a disastrous 29/7 in the 17th over. It was only due to MS Dhoni that the total was dragged to 112 in 38.2 overs. Coming in at 16/4, Dhoni scored 65 to give India an outside chance. But Sri Lanka took only 20.4 overs to register a seven-wicket win and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

India’s much-vaunted batsmen were back to their best in the second ODI at Mohali, and it was Rohit who led from the front with his third double-century in ODIs – no other batsman has scored more than one. Rohit carted 13 fours and 12 sixes on the way to an unbeaten 208 from 153 balls, which propelled India to 392/4. Shikhar Dhawan (68) and Shreyas Iyer (88) gave valuable support to their captain. Despite Angelo Mathews’ 111*, Sri Lanka were kept to 251/8.

266 by Australia, 2014-15

Australia and New Zealand, co-hosts of the 2015 World Cup, produced one of the best matches of the tournament at Eden Park in Auckland. Australia were placed at a formidable 80/1 in the 13th over after electing to bat, when the left-arm spin of Daniel Vettori consumed Shane Watson. Left-arm pacer Trent Boult took over thereafter, and in a wonderful exhibition of swing bowling, he scythed through the Australian batting line-up to send the score crashing from 95/4 to 106/9.

Boult finished with 5/27, while Australia’s innings terminated at 151 in 32.2 overs. New Zealand’s captain Brendon McCullum biffed a 24-ball 50, but Australia fought back thanks to a career-best 6/28 from their own left-arm speedster, Mitchell Starc. When the ninth wicket fell, New Zealand still needed six to win. It was left to Kane Williamson (45*) to see the Black Caps through, and he responded by calmly tonking the winning six off Pat Cummins in the 23rd over.

The Australians bounced back from the one-wicket defeat to New Zealand by recording a massive win over Afghanistan in their following game at Perth. David Warner (178), supported by Steven Smith (95) and Glenn Maxwell (88), steered Australia to 417/4, which went past India’s 413/5 (against Bermuda in the 2007 edition) as the highest World Cup total. Afghanistan could only manage 142, thus giving Australia victory by 275 runs – another World Cup record.

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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