ODI is one of the most viewed and entertaining genres in cricket. We have seen a lot of games which kept cricket fans on the edge of their seats. Although T20Is have radicalized the game further, ODIs are still popular among the cricket lovers.
In this segment, let us take a look at the best ODI's of the 21st century. These ten matches have been selected based on criteria such as the importance of the match, fortuitous results, rivalries between the teams and close finishes.
#10 India vs Bangladesh (28th September 2018, Dubai)
The final of the 2018 Asia Cup was perhaps the most heart-breaking moment ever for Bangladesh and Liton Das.
Batting first after losing the toss, Bangladesh got off to a great start with the opening pair of Liton Das and Mehidy Hasan added 120 runs for the first wicket. Backing batsmen could not heap the opportunity and Bangladesh restricted to 222 runs. Liton Das scored a sumptuous 121 for Bangladesh.
In reply, India lost their top-order batsman within the first 17 overs with the score at 83. However, Dhoni and Karthik added 54 runs for the 4th wicket taking Men in Blue to a reasonable score of 137 for 4 wickets in 30 overs. India required just 86 of the last 20 overs with 6 wickets in hand. However, things changed in the next few overs. India's run rate collapsed in dramatic fashion thanks to the economical spells by Mustafizur Rahman, Mushraffe Mortaza, and Rubel Hossain. But 2 digit knocks from Jadeja and B Kumar helped India to resurrect from the adverse situation.
It came down to 6 in the last over and Mahmudullah was given the ball. He bowled brilliantly to Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav. However, team India secured the victory in the final ball of the match.
Bangladesh 222(48.3 OVERS)
INDIA 223/7(50 OVERS)
India won by 3 wickets (with 0 balls remaining)
Result: India won by 3 runs
#9 India vs Sri Lanka (15th December 2009, Rajkot)
Ask any Sri Lankan fan, this bout will be at the peak of the table in terms of sorrow.
Virender Sehwag was dazzling and provided the early shove and along with Sachin Tendulkar put together a partnership of 153 for the first wicket. Ravindra Jadeja provided the final knock with a 17 ball 30 and India ended at 414. In reply, Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan got Sri Lanka off to a scorching start and raced away to a partnership of 188 in less than 25 overs. Dilshan had been the pillar of the batting among the wobbling middle order of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, and Sanath Jayasuriya. When Dilshan dismissed for 160, Sri Lanka needed 72 runs off the last 11 overs.
Mathews hung around to fortify the innings, building a partnership of 56 with Kandamby. With just 5 runs required off the last 3 balls, Mathews played an aggressive shot to Nehra and got caught by Sachin, in the process effectively ending Sri Lanka's hopes. Sri Lanka eventually ended their innings at 411, falling two runs short of India's total.
INDIA 414/7(50 OVERS)
SRI LANKA 411/8(50 OVERS)
Result: India won by 3 runs
#8 Australia vs Sri Lanka (3rd November 2010, Melbourne)
Sri Lanka came up against Australia in the 1st match of CB Series wherein they had to chase down a target of 239 in 50 overs. Sri Lanka crumpled after a steady start and was 84 for 4 in the 18th over when Angelo Mathews came into the crease. The visitors lost four more wickets by the 26th over with the score at 107 when Lasith Malinga joined Mathews.
Mathews stayed true to his status as one of the best finishers in limited overs cricket and put on a crucial 132 run partnership of 110 balls with Malinga. When the pacer fell Sri Lanka was just one run short of the target. A four from Muralidharan through the covers of the 45th over took Sri Lanka to an unbelievable victory and expectedly Mathews was declared the Man of the Match.
This match will forever be cherished for the blazing fire that Angelo Mathews ejected from his bat.
AUSTRALIA 239/8(50 OVERS)
SRI LANKA 243/9(44.2 OVERS)
Sri Lanka won by 1 wicket (with 34 balls remaining)
#7 New Zealand vs Australia (20th February 2007, Hamilton)
Arch rivals Australia and New Zealand scheduled an ODI series one month prior to the 2007 World Cup tournament to set up a feel-good factor among the camps. But Blackcaps dominated in the series over the Kangaroos by winning the first 2 ODI matches with 2-0 stat.
For both the teams, the final ODI was crucial as a victory would add confidence to their journey in the grand stage. Electing to bat, Australia posted a more than defendable 346 for 5 in 50 overs with Matthew Hayden scoring a majestic 181 not out. In reply, New Zealand batting line-up collapsed with 4/41 stat in the scoreboard. But McMillan's 117 staging helped Kiwi's to recover from the adverse situation. Although Australia fought back with consecutive dismissals, McCullum's unbeaten 86 helped BlackCaps to succeed in the match with 3 balls and 1 wicket in hand.
AUSTRALIA 346/5(50 OVERS)
NEW ZEALAND 350/9(49.3 OVERS)
New Zealand won by 1 wicket (with 3 balls remaining)
#6 India vs Australia (5th November 2009, Hyderabad)
India played against Australia in a high-scoring match that tested the nerves of the bowlers of both the teams. The match was a perfect synonym of thriller and was best among India - Australia contest.
Batting first, Australia scored 350 runs, courtesy 112 staging from Shaun Marsh and half-century knocks from Watson, Cameron White. After a decent start, team India lost their first wicket at 66. Although India lost their wickets at regular intervals, Sachin Tendulkar did not lose his nerve and produced such a marvellous showing of cricketing shots. When Sachin caught by Hauritz at 175, team India was at 7/332 with 17 balls remaining. But fate had other ideas, India lost all their wickets at 347 with 2 balls remaining.
AUSTRALIA 350/4(50 OVERS)
INDIA 347(49.4 OVERS)
Australia won by 3 runs
#5 India vs England(13th July 2002, Lords)
The 2002 Natwest series final would be one of the best matches played in the England pitches by India after the 1983 World Cup triumph.
After winning the toss, England elected to bat first. Marcus Trescothick and captain Nasser Hussain justified the decision with their tremendous tons, built a mammoth total of 325 runs. Chasing the 326 run target in England was a herculean task for the Men in Blue as team India had to maintain a run rate above 6 in an over. Team India got an excellent start with 100 came in the 15th over. But as both the openers departed, team India witnessed quick downfall in their scorecard. But young Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif staged a never before chasing in the history of ODI cricket. Dada boys defeated the English squad for 2 wickets.
ENGLAND 325/5(50 OVERS)
INDIA 326/8(49.3 OVERS)
India won by 2 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)
#4 England Vs India (27th Feb 2011, Bangalore)
It will be boring if both teams scored 600+ runs and the match virtually became a boundary hitting game with the bowlers becoming scapegoats, but the 2011 Bangalore ODI was an exception in the genre.
India would have won the 2011 ICC World Cup, but their group stage encounter against England was one of the toughest challenges in the tournament. Batting first, Team India raised a mammoth 339 runs target for England with the courtesy of half-century knocks from Yuvraj and Gambhir along with a marvellous ton from the great Sachin Tendulkar. In reply, with the efforts of captain Andrew Strauss(158) and Ian Bell England reached the total and the match was ended up in a draw. Although both teams shared points equally, this match will bag the No.4 slot as draws are so rare in ICC World Cup tournaments.
INDIA 338(49.5 OVERS)
ENGLAND 338/8(50 OVERS)
#3 Australia vs England (2nd March 2003, Port Elizabeth)
The 2003 World Cup match between England and Australia had all the ingredients of a Hollywood thriller.
Andy Bichel was superb in the match and clasped a crucial role in the success of Australia. With the efforts of his 7-wickets staging, Australia managed to settle England for a chasable target of 205. In reply, Australian in-form batters failed to display their best. But 9th wicket partnership between Bevan - Bichel helped the Invincibles to win the match by two wickets. Bevan displayed a 74 run batting performance and Bichel made a 34 run cameo in the match. For his brilliant all-round performance, Andy Bichel awarded Man of the Match title. This match is still one of Australia's greatest victories in the ICC World Cup tournaments.
ENGLAND 204/8 (50 OVERS)
AUSTRALIA 208/8 (49.4 OVERS)
Australia won by 2 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
#2 South Africa vs Australia (12th March 2006, Johannesburg)
The greatest match ever played between Australia and Protease. The series-deciding ODI between Australia and South Africa will be the best among the ODI's of the 21st century.
Batting first, Australian batters were seen predetermined to slash a mammoth total. Openers, Katich and Gilchrist given a great start were both departed after hitting half centuries. Ponting maintained the run flow and blasted 164 runs from just 105 balls. Hussey's 81 runs contribution and Symmonds's cameo helped Aussies to set up a 435 runs mammoth target. South Africa, with nothing to lose, staged the best chase in the history of ODIs. Gibbs's 175(111) knock alongside half-century performance from Smith and Boucher helped Protease to win the match with one wicket and one ball to spare.
AUSTRALIA 434/4(50 OVERS)
SOUTH AFRICA 438/9(49.5 OVERS)
South Africa won by 1 wicket (with 1 ball remaining)
#1 South Africa vs New Zealand (24th March 2015, Auckland)
The 1st semi-final of the 2015 World Cup between New Zealand and South Africa at Auckland, sensibly, is the best ODI to have ever been played.
There was a bit of history to this semi-final match as New Zealand and South Africa has never reached an ICC event final.
That seemed to matter little when South Africa, after winning the toss and choosing to bat first, got off to a decent start as they had 3/114 stat in the 25th over. du Plessis, however, resurrected the South African innings along with de Villiers, as they scored 82 and 65 respectively. Although rain intervened, David Miller's 49(18) cameo helped Protease to post 281 runs on the scorecard in their 43 overs. (with the target set to 298 from 43 overs).
A sally from Brendon McCullum put New Zealand in total control of the game and when Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson put on a 103 run partnership, it looked like the game was beyond Protease reach. With the Protease seemingly going out of the tournament, they turned to their match-winner in Money Morkel. in the quest for a couple of quick wickets, and he duly answered his captain’s call.
Kiwi's where in a 6/288 situation and Dale Steyn needed to defend 11 in the final over to take the African team to their first World Cup final. But in the battle of pressure, New Zealander Elliott who came out on top, as he smacked a six off the penultimate delivery of the innings to guide the Blackcaps home.
SOUTH AFRICA: 281/5(43 OVERS)
NEW ZEALAND 299/6(42.5 OVERS)
New Zealand won by 4 wickets (with 1 ball remaining) (D/L method)