World Cup

Ranking the Greatest 10 ODI World Cup Matches

The ICC Cricket World Cup, which features the top international teams vying for the sport’s top honour, is the pinnacle of one-day international (ODI) cricket. Over the years, this elite competition has produced some of the most exciting and memorable matches in cricket history.

Let’s rank the top 10 ODI World Cup games in this article based on their intrigue, importance, and effect on the competition.

10. South Africa vs. New Zealand, 2015 Semi-Final

For the majority of the game, New Zealand was in trouble as South Africa led 281-5 with Faf du Plessis and AB De Villiers at the crease. The Kiwis were out in force when it came time for the run-chase.

Brendon McCullum, one of the hard-hitting batsmen, also put on a show in the run chase, smashing 59 while advancing to mid-wicket as the Proteas confronted the utter strength of a nation. Grant Elliott’s unbeaten 84 rescued the inning.

This is one of the best World Cup matches because of the excitement of the game. Nonetheless, when watching the Proteas, Black Caps fans couldn’t help but feel a tug at their heartstrings.

9. Pakistan vs. England, 1992 Final

The 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup final was held on March 25, 1992, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne. Imran Khan, one of the best fast bowlers in cricket history, led Pakistan to its first World Cup victory by defeating England by 22 runs.

Imran Khan removed Richard Illingworth with 23 runs needed from the final 4 balls. Pakistan’s Aaquib Javed and Mushtaq Ahmed took two and three wickets, respectively. Wasim Akram was voted Man of the Match after scoring 3/49 and making 33 of 18 shots.

8. India vs. Australia, 1987 Group Stage

On October 9, 1987, the Australians scored and won a thrilling game against India thanks to a great display of sportsmanship. Arunabha Sengupta recalls how two runs added before the end of an inning proved pivotal in one game.

When Dean Jones batted, he liked to play against spinners. He had displayed his traits in spades during the previous year’s tie between the same two teams. Maninder Singh took the shot at long-on in the third match of the 1987 Reliance World Cup.

Kiran More, one of the most effective wicketkeepers, was positioned behind the stumps and afterwards stated that it did not appear to be a six. This unusual win, though, elevates this game to one of the best cricket World Cup matchups.

7. India vs. Zimbabwe, 1983 Group Stage

On June 18, 1983, Kapil Dev, one of the greatest all-rounders in cricket history, played the best ODI innings in history. Kapil was on nine runs when India collapsed to 17 for five and then 78 for seven. He chose to counterattack and struck 175 not out, helping India reach 266 for eight.

Individually, it was one of the best performances ever. As a result, his team was victorious in the game.

When India was batting, both of the openers failed to score. And when Kapil was batting on the other end, the fall of wickets display showed 0, 6, 6, 9, 17, and then 77 and 78.

Despite losing eight wickets at 140, India had no hope of reaching 200, let alone 266. Kapil, on the other hand, believed and scored 175, not out after 138 balls.

6. India vs. Sri Lanka, 2011 Final

On April 2, 2011, India and Sri Lanka played the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. The tenth World Cup finished with the first final-stage meeting between these two teams in tournament history.

Kumar Sangakkara, one of the greatest left-handed batters of all time, won the toss for Sri Lanka and elected to bat first. They scored slowly in their first 17 overs until they both lost their openers. Sangakkara (48) and Mahela Jayawardene (103*) put on a performance to help Sri Lanka reach 274 for 6.

In India, around 135 million people watched the game on television, with approximately 42,000 spectators in attendance. For the second time in history and for the first time on home soil, a host nation won the World Cup final. The stunning win by India on home soil elevates this game to one of the top cricket World Cup final matchups of all time.

5. England vs. Australia, 2003 Group Stage

Andy Bichel made a spectacular performance to rank among the best and doom England to four more years of instability in one of the most exciting cricket matches in World Cup history. Thanks to Bichel’s 7-20, Australia restricted England to 205 runs.

Australia was in peril without Jacob’s. As Bichel began the battle, England was preparing to deliver the final rites, leaving Michael Bevan, one of the greatest finishers in cricket history, at the other end.

Bichel hit 34 valuable runs, including two boundaries, in the half-hour that followed his bowling performance to win the match. Captain Nasser’s expression will be remembered as Bevan hits the decisive boundary in the final over.

England’s moral rectitude was responsible for their elimination from the group stage. As a result of their refusal to visit Zimbabwe, they lost points, while Australia won the event twice in a row after playing in Harare.

4. Sri Lanka vs. Australia, 1996 Final

The 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup Final was the sixth since the event began in England in 1975. For the first time, the contest was played on March 17, 1996, in the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, which had a capacity of 62,645 people.

The match pitted Australia against the underdog, Sri Lanka. It was Australia’s third World Cup final participation, following the 1987 ICC Cricket World Cup victory and the 1975 defeat to the West Indies. 

Mark Taylor and one of cricket’s best captains, Ricky Ponting, got the team off to a flying start, but Australia plummeted from 1-137 to 5-170 as Sri Lanka’s four-pronged spin attack took its toll. While Australia struggled to 7-241 in their 50-over quota, Sri Lanka overcame a tense start to win by 7 wickets in 46.2 overs.

Captain Ranatunga (47*) and veteran Asanka Gurusingha (65) contributed to Aravinda De Silva’s match-winning 107-run effort. Earlier in the Australian innings, De Silva collected three for 42 in ten overs. Sanath Jayasuriya was chosen man of the series after taking three for 42 in ten overs during Australia’s innings.

3. Ireland vs. England, 2011 Group Stage

Kevin O’Brien of Ireland hit the fastest century ever at a World Cup in Bangalore, smashing the century off 50 balls. This magnificent century propelled Ireland to victory, making this game one of the best in World Cup history.

When England made 327-8 off 50 overs, it appeared like they would win, but a spectacular hit from O’Brien helped them to victory.

O’Brien’s (113) innings began disastrously for his team, which was 111 for five after losing two wickets in the first ten overs. He hit six sixes and 13 fours in 50 balls after making the first 48 runs, and then partnered with Alex Cusack (47) for 162 runs in 17 overs.

2. New Zealand vs. England, 2019 Final

The 2019 Cricket World Cup Final was held on July 14, 2019, at Lord’s in London, England, to determine the 2019 Cricket World Cup winner. 

At the conclusion of the game, both sides had scored 241 runs, necessitating the use of a Super Over to break the tie. In New Zealand’s Super Over, Martin Guptill tried to score the winning run, but Jason Roy and Jos Buttler ran him out, and the Super Over likewise ended in a tie.

England won the first Cricket World Cup on a boundary count-back method, hitting 26 boundaries to New Zealand’s 17. As a result, it was the first time a One Day International final required a Super Over, and the victor was determined by a boundary count.

This game has been described as the most notable, dramatic, and finest match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. According to some analysts, it was the best one-day cricket match in history.

1. Australia vs. South Africa, 1999 Semi-Final

England’s Edgbaston Cricket Ground held the second semi-final of the 1999 Cricket World Cup on June 17, 1999. Australia and South Africa both challenged it.

Australia put 213 runs on the scoreboard in 49.2 overs after losing 10 wickets. In reply, South Africa struggled while chasing 214 runs.

Allan Donald and Lance Klusener were batting when South Africa needed 1 run to win the match. However, Donald almost lost his wicket on the fourth delivery of the final over, and nerves took over. Klusener singled in the fourth to round the bases, and thus Allan Donald remained at the non-striker’s end.

Damien Fleming’s underarm toss had already reached Adam Gilchrist’s gloves when Donald began sprinting. The run-out was certainly cricket’s most renowned, and it helped to make this semi-final one of the best cricket World Cup matches in history.

The match ended in a tie, making it the first-ever tied game in the history of the ODI World Cup. However, Australia had finished higher in the Super Six, so Australia was given a spot in the final, where they defeated Pakistan. 

Read Next: Top 5: Captains with Most Wins in ODI World Cup

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