Australia and England played the first-ever One Day match way back in 1971 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
49 years passed and now ODI cricket and its fast-paced cricketing action, massive sixes, insane catches are a part of our life
Yes, T20s have somewhat reduced its excitement, but it remains a popular format of the game of cricket.
I want to admit that it has been quite a lot of battle with my inner self about what to leave and what to include
I had to leave many of my favorite ODI matches and let me tell you that in this little battle between my heart and mind
Anyway please share your thoughts whether you agree with me or not in the comment box given below
So, with that said, let us get down with the list of the ‘Best ODI matches ever played’ you just can’t miss and would want you to watch right now
Best ODI Matches You Just Can’t Miss
15) India vs. Australia 4th Match, CB Series, Adelaide (12th February 2012)
It was the 4th match of the Commonwealth Bank Series, and India was up against Australia at Adelaide
India was really struggling in this tour and they were desperate for a win. This match can seem like an odd pick for this list
But if you consider India’s horrible Australian tour in 2012, and this match’s close finish, then you can get the idea why I am putting this match in the ‘Best ODI matches’ list
After winning the toss, Australia chose to bat but lost both their openers cheaply inside the first ten overs
But Michael Clarke (38 off 43), David Hussey (72 off 76) and Peter Forrest (66 off 83) batted brilliantly to help Australia reach 269-8 in 50 overs
India started well and crossed the 50 run mark inside ten overs but lost Sehwag(20) and Kohli(18) in quick succession
Things changed as Rohit Sharma who weaved a 76 run partnership before getting dismissed to Ryan Harris in the 33rd over
Gambhir got out after a few overs playing a great knock of 92 runs, and that’s when captain cool Dhoni joined in
MS Dhoni started slowly, but a quick Raina (38 off 30) gave him excellent support on the other end before getting out to Doherty
Ravindra Jadeja scored 12 quick runs, which meant that India needed 13 runs from the final over with Ashwin on strike
Ashwin took a single in the second ball and Dhoni (44 off 58) scored the remaining 12 runs with two balls to spare
14) Sri Lanka vs. Australia, 1st ODI, Melbourne (3rd November 2010)
Just before the 2010/11 Ashes series, Australia played a three-match ODI series against Sri Lankans
Though Sri Lanka had Kumar Sangakarra, Mahela Jayawardena, and Lasith Malinga in their line-up, but given their past performances on Australian soil, nobody was giving them any chance against the mighty Aussies
In the 1st match at the MCG, Australia won the toss and chose to bat first on a relatively good batting deck but could only manage 239 runs in 50 overs
Sri Lankans while chasing 240 suffered some significant setbacks as they lost both their openers while putting only 19 runs on board
But, Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene steadied the Lankan innings while adding 54 runs for the third wicket before the latter got out LBW while facing Xavier Doherty
In a span of ten overs, Sri Lanka had already lost eight wickets while managing only 107 runs on board and everyone got particular about their defeat
But, Lasith Malinga had other plans as he scored a match-defining 56 runs off 48 balls while adding 132 runs with Angelo Mathews (77 off 84 balls) for the 9th wicket
Unfortunately, Malinga got run out, and the score read 239-9. But, Muttiah Muralitharan, the last man hit a boundary to secure a 1-wicket victory for the Lankans
Angelo Mathews, for his calm and composed knock, deservedly received the ‘Man of the Match’ award
13) India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Rajkot (15th December 2009)
It was December of 2009 when Sri Lanka came for a five-match tour in India.
In the 1st ODI, when Sri Lanka win the toss, they chose to field first on a brand new Rajkot wicket to take advantage of the new ball.
The visitors had good swing bowlers in the form of Nuwan Kulasekara and Chamara Welegedara to back that decision, but unfortunately, that didn’t go in their favor.
Once the new ball got old Indian mixtures, especially Virender Sehwag just destroyed the Sri Lankan bowling by scoring 146 runs off only 102 balls.
The Men in Blue made their highest ODI total at that time as they put on a mammoth total of 414 in 50 overs
415 was the target, and no experts on TV was giving Lankans any chance against an experienced Indian attack
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But unfortunately for Indian bowlers, Lankans started their innings very positively, and we suddenly got glued to our seats to witness the result.
Tilakaratne Dilshan’s 160 runs off 124 balls, Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga quick fifties made sure that they need only 89 runs in the last 13 overs
316 for the loss of two wickets, with Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya in the middle and it looked Sri Lanka’s game from there
But, in the next four overs, situations changed as Lankans lost Dilshan, Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene.
Suddenly, Indians sensed victory, but Angelo Mathews and Thilina Kandamby steadied the Lankan innings by putting on a partnership of 56 runs for the 6th wicket.
Only 15 to defend in two overs, Indian bowlers now had to pull off a magic spell to win it for their team.
Zaheer Khan bowled the second last over and gave way only four runs while some brilliant run-outs made sure Kandamby and Thilan Samaraweera were back in the pavilion.
Final over was to be bowled by Ashish Nehra, and he didn’t disappoint and conceded only seven runs to win it for India.
12) New Zealand vs. Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup, Auckland (28th February 2015)
Nowadays, it’s a rare sight to see bowlers dominating in matches and winning the game for their sides.
But in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, fortunately, we had the opportunity to witness that kind of a match.
In a pool match in Auckland, two co-host Australia and New Zealand were up against one another.
Australia opted to bat and got bowled out for 151 with Trent Boult picking 5/27
Kiwis were always good in their home, but nobody expected them to be this dominant against Australia.
Kiwis came with all guns blazing and raced to 78/1 in only 7.3 overs with Brendon McCullum scoring 50 off 24 balls.
Australia was the hot favorite to win that year’s world cup but seeing them give up without was tough to see
Getting back to the match, New Zealand needed only 73 runs from 42 overs after Mccullum got out to Pat Cummins.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor were in the crease, and it looked a cakewalk for the Kiwis to get past the Aussie total.
In the ninth over, came Mitchell Starc and dismissed both Taylor and Grant Elliott in the same over to give a ray of hope for the Aussie supporters.
But, then again, Williamson and Corey Anderson added 52 runs for the fifth wicket, nearly ending the match for the Kiwis.
Maxwell dismissed Corey Anderson, but New Zealand only needed only 15 runs in the last 30 overs.
But in the next three overs, Cummins and Starc took four more wickets as they went on dismiss Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori, Adam Milne, and Tim Southee.
When Trent Boult, the last batsman came, he had to survive last two balls from Starc for Williamson on the other end to end the game in the next over
Boult successfully survived the last two balls, and Williamson hit a six off the very first ball to win the match for the Kiwis.
11) India vs. England, NatWest Series Final, Lords (13th July 2002)
The NatWest Series was a big deal in the early part of the 21st-century, not only for broadcasters but also for the fans in general.
But if you want to point out one single match that made this series so meaningful, then it should always be the 2002 Natwest Series Final at Lords.
India and the host England were up against one another in the Final at Lords, where England chose to bat after winning the toss.
Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain scored brilliant centuries and ended their innings at 325-5 in the 50 overs.
Yes, that day’s Lord’s pitch was no less than a batting paradise, but 326 was a massive total to chase given it was the Final.
India had a blistering start as they reached 106 in no time, but things changed when Sehwag got out to Ashley Giles in the 15th over
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly scored a quick 60 while Sehwag got out to Ashley Giles after scoring 45 runs.
In a period of ten overs, India got reduced from 106/0 to 146/5 when Mohammad Kaif joined a young Yuvraj Singh in the middle.
Both of them looked impressive in their short stint with the team, but it was the day for each of them to prove their real mettle, and they didn’t disappoint.
The duo went added 121 runs for the sixth wicket before Yuvraj got dismissed by Paul Collingwood in the 42nd over
India still needed 59 runs in 8.2 overs with four wickets in hand when Harbhajan Singh joined and gave a good supporting hand to Kaif before getting out to Flintoff.
Kaif and Harbhajan added an invaluable 47 runs off 35 balls for the 7th wicket, which meant 12 runs were needed out of 15 balls to get India past England total.
Zaheer Khan was on strike for the penultimate over and scored those two runs in the third ball to give India a memorable victory.
Indian captain Sourav celebrated this emphatic win by taking off his shirt and waving it off from the Lord’s balcony.
10) England vs. West Indies, ICC Champions Trophy Final, Oval (25th September 2004)
West Indies and the tournament host England played superb cricket to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy final
Both of them were undefeated, and it was exciting for everyone to see who will have the last laugh in that final
West Indies captain Brian Lara won the toss and opted to bowl on a sticky oval wicket that promised a lot for seam bowlers
England had a bad start with wickets falling in regular intervals, but Marcus Trescothick stood firmly on the other hand and scored a fabulous century (104 off 124 balls)
England ended on 217 with Wavell Hinds and Ian Bradshaw taking five wickets between each other.
West Indies lost Hinds and Sarwan early, and Chris Gayle (23) showed promise but got out to Harmison while playing a pull shot.
They kept on losing Brian Lara, Dwayne Bravo, on the other end, and when Shivnarine Chanderpaul (47), it seemed all over for them.
West Indies needed 71 to win with just two wickets in hands, and it seemed all settled for the English to win its first significant ICC tournament.
But Courtney Browne (35 not out) and Ian Bradshaw (34 not out) had other plans as they shared an unbeaten 71 run stand for the 9th wicket and helped their team win by two wickets.
Bradshaw (2-54 and 34 not out) was given the “Man of the Match” award for his all-round performance.
9) New Zealand vs. Australia, 3rd ODI, Hamilton (20th February 2007)
Before the 2007 ODI World Cup, Australia faced its neighbor New Zealand in a 3-ODI tournament for the Chappell-Hadlee trophy.
Many big names like Ricky Ponting, Glenn Mcgrath, and Gilchrist were missing, and Mike Hussey was given the responsibility of the captaining the side for this away tour.
New Zealand seized this opportunity and played good all-round cricket to win the first two matches of the series, which made the 3rd ODI a dead rubber.
But on the other hand, it presented an opportunity for Kiwis to get a clean sweep over the Australians
Australian captain Mike Hussey won the toss, and Matthew Hayden scored an unbeaten 181 off only 166 balls to help Australia reach 346 in 50 overs.
New Zealand needed a solid start, but they only managed to reach 41 runs at the loss of 4 wickets after 9.1 overs.
But things changed when Craig McMillan was joined by Brendon McCullum in the middle in the 17th over when the score read 116/5
McMillan and Mccullum added 165 for the 6th wicket while Mcmillan went on to score 117 runs (off 96 balls ) before getting out to Shane Watson.
When he was dismissed, the hosts still needed 66 runs off 52 balls with four wickets left, and Australia seized the moment with two quick wickets of Franklin and Tuffey.
But, Mark Gillespie scored a quick 28 runs from 15 balls while McCullum hit a six and four in the penultimate over to win it for the Kiwis.
8) Australia vs. West Indies, 5th Match, World Series, Sydney (1st January 1996)
It was the 1st day of the new year (1st Jan 1996) with Australia and New Zealand up against one another in the 5th match of the Benson and Hedges World Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
West Indies, winning the toss, chose to bat first in a rain-affected 43 overs match and ended their first innings at a score of 172 runs with Carl Hooper scoring an unbeaten 93 off only 96 balls.
The visitors had bowlers like Walsh and Ambrose in their line-up, and Australians also had batters like Ponting and Mark Waugh, which meant for an interesting second half and frankly speaking, it didn’t disappoint.
Australia had a horrendous start, and suddenly they were down to 38 at the loss of 6 wickets. It is the point when Michael Bevan gets joined by Ian Healy in the middle to get Australia back on track.
Healy and Bevan added 36 runs for the 7th wicket before getting out to Roger Harper, and the score read 74-7, and Bevan got joined by Paul Reifel.
Reifel scored a quick 34 off 48 balls while he and Bevan joined 83 runs before getting out to Phil Simmons with Australia needing only 16 runs for a memorable victory
The next man Shane Warne got out cheaply in the very last over from Harper, which meant that Bevan had to score four runs off the last ball to get the win for his team.
Michael Bevan held his nerve and scored that crucial boundary off that last ball of that innings to secure a memorable victory.
Bevan scored an unbeaten 78 off only 88 balls in that process, which secured his place permanently in the Australian team.
Paul Reifel, for his all-round performances ( 4-29 and 34 runs ), was awarded the Man-of-the-match award in that match.
7) India vs. England, ICC World Cup, Bangalore (27th February 2011)
It was the 11th match of the 2011 World Cup, and England was up against India in Bangalore’s Chinnaswami stadium.
As always, Bangalore offered a complete batting paradise, and Indian captain MS Dhoni was more than happy to bat first after winning the toss.
Sachin and Sehwag opened the batting and put on a 46 run partnership for the 1st wicket before the latter got out to Bresnan.
Sachin scored his 5th World Cup century (120 off 115), and half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh helped India finish on 338.
The wicked got even better at night with dew coming in, and England pounced on that opportunity right away in the second innings.
England captain Andrew Strauss scored a sensational 158, and 69 from Ian Bell made sure that only 67 runs were needed from the last ten overs.
In the first over of the third powerplay, Zaheer Khan dismissed Bell, and Strauss was out LBW in the next ball of that over.
Veterans like Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior also got out cheaply, and suddenly England needed 30 runs off two overs for a win.
Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan scored 16 runs in the 49th over, before getting out to Piyush Chawla in the last ball.
England needed 14 runs from the final over, and Ajmal Shahzad deposited the third ball for six taking the score to 334-8
Five runs were required from the last three balls, but England could manage only four, and the match ended in a tie.
India saved an inevitable defeat against the English and went on to become the champions in that edition of the World Cup.
Strauss’s outstanding knock could not help his team in winning the match, but he was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
6) Pakistan vs. India, Austral-Asia Cup Final, Sharjah (18th April 1986)
The inaugural edition of the Austral-Asia Cup (1986) held in Sharjah, where arch-rivals India and Pakistan faced off in the final and regarded as one of the best ODI matches ever played.
Pakistan captain Imran Khan won the toss and elected to bowl first, and India put on a score of 245 runs with the loss of 9 wickets.
Kris Srikkanth (75 off 80), Sunil Gavaskar (92 off 134 balls), Dilip Vengsarkar (50 off 64 balls) all got half-centuries while Wasim Akram picked three wickets for Pakistan.
Pakistan started badly losing three wickets with only 61 runs on the board when Javed Miandad came and, with support from Salim Malik and Abdul Qadir, took Pakistan closer to the Indian total.
But the penultimate moment in the match came when Pakistan needed four runs to win off the last ball with Miandad on strike for that last ball.
Miandad assumed that the bowler Chetan Sharma will try a yorker and stood outside the crease. He did exactly that, but Miandad turned into a low full toss and scored a six to win the match for his team.
Miandad, for his unbeaten knock of 116 runs off 114 balls, was deservedly awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ for his team.
5) England vs. Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Nottingham (21st June 2016)
It was the first match of the Royal London One Day Cup, and England was up against Sri Lanka.
Winning the toss, England elected to bowl first on a good batting deck in the Trent Bridge wicket in Nottingham.
David Willey dismissed both the openers and Woakes dismissed Kusal Mendis, and Sri Lanka’s score read 56-3 at the end of 9 overs.
But, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal built a partnership of 64 runs before the latter got dismissed by Moeen Ali in the 26th over
Then some handy cameos from Seekkuge Prasanna and Maharoof with support from Angelo helped Sri Lanka reach 286 runs at the loss of 9 wickets
287 was a reasonable total, and England had a disastrous start as they lost five wickets while putting only 72 onboard
Moeen Ali also got out early, but Woakes and Buttler added 138 runs for the 7th wicket before the latter got out, thanks to a great catch on the long-on
Buttler got out at 93, and it was all on Woakes to end the match, and he did just that by staying there till the very end
England needed 12 in the final overs, with Woakes still around and Liam Plunkett on the other end
Nuwan Pradeep bowled five excellent deliveries, but in the last ball Plunkett managed to get under the ball and hit a six to end the match in a tie
Chris Woakes for his impressive all-round performance (2-56 and 95 not out) was awarded the Man of the Match award
4) India vs. New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Auckland (25th January 2014)
India already lost the first two matches of the 5-match ODI series before the 3rd match took place in Auckland
It was a do-or-die match for the Men in Blues to keep their hope of winning alive for that series
Indian captain Dhoni won the toss and chose to field fast on the small ground in Auckland that promised many runs
Guptill (111 off 129) and Kane Williamson (65 off 74) batted superbly helped the Kiwis to reach a total of 314 in 50 overs
India went off to a flying start scoring 64 runs for the 1st wicket but lost wickets of Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Rahane in a quick interval
Dhoni and Raina steadied the innings, but again with losing both of them in quick time meant nothing but trouble for the Indian team.
The score read 184-6, and another series loss seemed inevitable, but then came Ravindra Jadeja and played the best innings of his life.
Jadeja and Ashwin added 85 runs off 55 balls, and Jadeja’s unique ability to bat with the tail meant 18 was needed off the final over with only one wicket in hand.
Jadeja 51 not out in that stage smashed two fours and a six to leave India needing two runs from the last ball.
The last ball was full, Jadeja could manage only a single of it, and the match ended only in a tie.
Jadeja finished with unbeaten on 66 and was awarded the Man of the Match for his all-round performance.
3) Australia vs. South Africa, ICC Cricket World Cup Semi-Final, Edgbaston (17th June 1999)
It was 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup, and Australia was up against South Africa in the second semi-final at Edgbaston
It was a cloudy morning, and South Africa had Shaun Pollock, Allan Donald, and Klusener in their team and therefore it was a no-brainer for them to bowl first after winning the toss
Australia lost Mark Waugh in the very first over, and South Africa keep picking wickets at regular intervals to make things tough for the Aussies
But, Steve Waugh (56 off 76 balls) and Michael Bevan(65 off 101 balls) steadied the Australian innings with a 90 run partnership for the 5th wicket and took Australia to a decent total of 213
Shaun Pollock (5-36) and Allan Donald (4-32) shared nine wickets between them while Kallis got only 1-wicket in the form of Adam Gilchrist
South Africa had a poor start as they lost four wickets in quick time while putting only 61 runs on the board because of some great bowling from Warne
But, Jacques Kallis (53 off 92 balls) and Jonty Rhodes (43 off 55 balls) and a quick 20 runs from Pollock made sure that only 31 was left in the last four overs
Though the Proteas lost Boucher, Pollock in quick time but Lance Klusener’s quick 31 runs ensured that they needed only nine runs off the last over
Klusener scored two consecutive boundaries in the first two balls which meant only one run was needed in the last four balls for them to qualify for the finals
Now, Proteas could smell the victory and when it came to the fourth ball when Klusener called for a run
Now, unfortunately, Donald responded late to his partner’s call, Steve Waugh held on his nerve, and the result was an easy run-out
It was a tied match, but Australia qualified for final as they beat South Africa in the Super Six stage
2) South Africa vs. Australia, 5th ODI, Johannesburg (12th March 2006)
It was 2006, and back then, it was quite a task to beat Australia both in their home and away.
The Proteas were the first team that challenged their might in the test matches, and now they wanted to repeat the same process in ODIs as well.
It was the final match of the five-match ODI series between Australia and South Africa, and the series was leveled at 2-2
South Africans played tough cricket in the test series but came out as losers, and so they were desperate about winning the series.
Winning the toss, Australia chose to bat first on a wicket that promised many runs, and yes the ground delivered
Australia went off to a flying start scoring 97 runs in no time with only losing the wicket of Gilchrist in the 16th over
Ricky Ponting scored 164 runs off 105 balls, and Mike Hussey (81 off 51 balls) gave him excellent support as Australia ended their innings with a mammoth 434 runs.
South Africa lost Dippenaar early, but a 187-run partnership (off 127 balls) between Smith and Gibbs for the 2nd wicket gave the initial boost needed to chase down such a big total.
Gibbs continued the destruction, and with support from AB De Villiers and Kallis he went on to score 175 runs in 111 balls, before getting dismissed by Symonds in the 33rd over
But when Kemp and Kallis got dismissed in a quick interval suddenly, it looked like Australia will have the last laugh.
South Africa now had to get 80 runs in 8 overs with only four wickets in hand, and now the proteas were hoping for a miracle.
Johan van der Wath, playing his 7th game, scored a match-defining knock of 35 (off 18 balls) to set the match for a tight last over finish.
Brett Lee had to defend only seven runs in the final over, but Boucher scored a boundary off the 5th ball to win it for South Africa.
1) England vs. New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup Final, Lords (14th July 2019)
First of all, This match is one of the dissatisfying cricket matches I have seen in my life.
I want to take some liberty from and say that ICC has some of the most illogical rules that make me question their honesty.
This match remains one of such prime examples. Though its the best ODI match in my view, still it will stay one of the most controversial in years to come
England played their last World Cup Final in 1992 and after 27 long years, were again in the Finals playing against the Kiwis at Lords.
Kane Williamson chose to bat first in the overcast conditions of Lords so that his bowlers could repeat what they did against India in the semi-finals.
The openers scored 29 runs in 6 overs before Guptil getting dismissed to Woakes in the 7th over
But, Williamson and Henry Nicholls added 74 runs for the 2nd wicket and consolidated the Kiwi innings.
Liam Plunkett dismissed both Kane and Nicholls, but Tom Latham (47 off 56) with support from Neesham and Grandhomme helped the team reach 241 runs.
In the second innings, England started poorly and added only 86 runs on the board with losing Joe Root, Jason Roy just in the 24th over
Then Jos Butler(59 off 60) and Ben Stokes (84 off 98) added a 110-run partnership for the fifth wicket to shift the tide in England’s favor.
England needed 46 runs to win in the last five overs, and both Butler and Stokes were in the wicket.
But, Ferguson picked both Butler and Woakes in quick succession, and again it now Stokes had to finish the match.
England with only two wickets in hand needed 15 in the final over, and Stokes could not score a run in the first two balls.
In the third ball, he hit a six, and the score moved to 233/8. The fourth ball and Stokes again went for a six, but Guptill’s throw from the boundary deflected off Stokes bat who was coming for the second run and went for four runs.
As a result, six runs got added to the total. In the next two deliveries, England could manage two runs and ended their innings at 241
Scores were tied, and for the first time in the history of the World Cup, we were in for a Super over.
Both England and New Zealand scored 15 runs in the super over and but as England scored more boundaries in that match were declared winners.
So as I was saying, rules of ICC are hard to understand, and small teams at times pay the price for it.
Simon Taufel noted that awarding six runs to England for the overthrow off Stokes’ bat was a mistake.
But anyway, it’s safe to say that it was undoubtedly the best ODI match of all time, and as a result, it deservedly takes the No.1 spot