Australia and England played the first-ever One Day International (ODI) in Melbourne in 1971. Since then, more history has been created by the two sides including the time when Robin Smith of England became the first player to score over 150 runs in an ODI only to end up on the losing side.
On a damp day in Edgbaston, Australian captain Allan Border had no qualms in sending the opposition in to bat. Following a sedate start, Robin Smith walked out to the middle after Alec Stewart was castled by Craig McDermott. Despite a dearth of support at the other end, the right-hander scored an unbeaten 167 which propelled the hosts to a decent total of 277-5 in their allotted 55 overs. Unfortunately for Smith, it wasn't enough as Australia pulled off a successful chase.
Fast forward two and a half decades, there have been 16 other instances when a player has scored 150 or more runs in an ODI only to see his team come up second-best on the day. The likes of Chris Gayle (West Indies), Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka), and Rohit Sharma (India) have scored 150-plus ODI scores on multiple losing occasions (twice apiece). On that note, let us have a look at the five highest individual scores in ODIs that came in a losing cause.
#5 David Warner - 173 (Australia vs South Africa in Cape Town, 2016)
Having taken an unassailable 4-0 lead in their 5-match ODI series against Australia in 2016, South Africa bolstered their push for a whitewash after putting up 327 runs on the board.
Despite wickets tumbling at the other end, David Warner kept Australia afloat with a stunning innings of 173 off 136 deliveries, laced with 24 boundaries. The elegant left-handed opener brought down the equation to 40 runs required off the last three overs.
However, Warner's magnificent knock was brought to a close by a run-out and Australia were soon bowled out for 296 to suffer their first-ever whitewash in a five-game ODI series.
#4 Sachin Tendulkar - 175 (India vs Australia in Hyderabad, 2016)
It was the fifth game of a 7-match ODI series between India and Australia in Hyderabad in 2009. The hosts looked to take a 3-2 lead after failing to chase down 250 in the fourth game.
Batting first, Australia piled up a tall score of 350-4 but the Men in Blue looked good for the chase. Sachin Tendulkar had renewed his acquaintance with his favourite opposition, turning back the years with a mesmerising innings of 175, glittered with 19 fours and 4 sixes.
With Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni failing to make substantial contributions, Tendulkar found an able ally in Suresh Raina as the duo took the team to 299 for 4 by the 43rd over. Despite the fall of Raina, the chase was on as Tendulkar was batting like a dream and the hosts required what looked like a manageable 19 runs off 18 balls.
However, the game turned when Tendulkar was fooled by a slower ball from Clint McKay. It was Chennai 1999 all over again as the legend brought the team to the cusp of a fine win, only for the rest of the players to fold up meekly after the fall of the centurion.
#3 Evin Lewis - 176* (West Indies vs England in London, 2017)
It was a blistering display of attacking batsmanship from West Indian opener Evin Lewis in the fourth ODI against England at the Oval in London. The then 25-year-old stole the limelight from his illustrious fellow left-handed compatriot Chris Gayle, blazing his way to 176 off just 129 deliveries.
The magnificent innings was however cut short in the 47th over when a yorker off Jake Ball ricocheted off Lewis' bat into his right ankle, forcing the left-hander to retire hurt.
West Indies looked set for their first win in the series as England were reeling at 181 for 5 after 27.1 overs while chasing 357. However, the hosts did not lose another wicket and scored 77 runs in the next eight overs to edge ahead on the D/L score following 35.1 overs of play. Rain eventually brought a close to the game and England escaped with a win.
#2 Matthew Hayden - 181* (Australia vs New Zealand in Hamilton, 2007)
During the third ODI of the 2007 Chappell-Hadlee ODI series between Trans-Tasmanian rivals Australia and New Zealand in Hamilton, Matthew Hayden brought up the highest-ever ODI score by an Australian.
Haydos stroked his way to an unbeaten innings of 181 which was laced with 11 fours and 10 sixes. His scintillating knock took the visitors to a healthy total of 346-5 batting first as they looked to end the series on a winning note.
The New Zealand chase looked in tatters at 41-4 but a century from Craig McMillan took the visitors to 281-5 in the 42nd over with the Kiwis on course for a stunning turnaround. There were more twists to the tale though as the wicket of the centurion brought Australia roaring back into the contest, reducing the hosts to 303-8 in the 45th over.
Hopes of an unlikely win were kept alive by Brendon McCullum but it was advantage Australia when the Kiwis lost their ninth wicket at 339. However, a six and a four by McCullum in the final over helped New Zealand cross the finish line in an exhilarating finish. This made Hayden the first player to score over 180 in an ODI only to end up on the losing side.
#1 Charles Coventry - 194* (Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh in Bulawayo, 2009)
Zimbabwe's wicketkeeper Charles Coventry produced an innings to remember in the fourth ODI between the African nation and Bangladesh in Bulawayo in 2009.
With the hosts down 1-2 in the 5-game series, Coventry walked out to the middle in the second over and ended up with the joint-best score by any player in ODIs at the time. The bespectacled batsman racked up an unbeaten 194, courtesy of 16 fours and 7 sixes as Zimbabwe put up a respectable 312-8 in their allotted 50 overs.
Alas, the then 26-year-old's effort could not effect what would have been a series-tying win for Zimbabwe as the visitors successfully chased down the lofty total, with two overs to spare. Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal was the wrecker-in-chief as he amassed 154 off just 138 balls.