Greatest one-day matches of all time

Scott Bailey
(Australian Associated Press)




Sunday’s final between England and New Zealand is now the finest one-day match of all time. It had everything from a super over, a trophy being decided by boundaries scored and four overthrows off the bat in the last over. England ended up claiming the title, but only after scores were tied on 241 from the regulation 50 overs plus 15-all in the super over.


World Cups bring out the best in players and the 1999 event was no different. Shane Warne brought the match to life with a stint of 3-0 while South Africa were 0-48 chasing Australia’s 213. The game ebbed and flowed until the Proteas needed nine from the final over. Lance Klusener hit two boundaries off Damien Fleming’s first two balls, before Allan Donald survived a mix up. The next ball the tail ender wasn’t so lucky though, as Australia qualified for a the final via a run out and the resulting tie.


Michael Bevan confirmed his status as the ultimate one-day finisher when he took Australia to a last-ball victory over the West Indies at the SCG in 1986. Chasing 173 for victory the Aussies were at all sorts at 6-38 and 7-74 before Bevan took charge. He timed his run perfectly, whittling the task down to seven off the final over and four off the last ball. The left-hander famously hit Roger Harper for four down the ground to give Australia victory in what is widely regarded as one of the finest one-day performances of all time.


The game that changed one-day cricket. With the series tied at 2-2 Australia looked to have it in the bag when they hit a world-record score of 434 in Johannesburg. But with nothing to lose, South Africa responded in kind. Herschelle Gibbs hit 175 off 111 balls in an absolute slogfest to put the Proteas in a position to cause a massive upset. South Africa needed just seven from Brett Lee’s last over, and they got there with one wicket and one ball to spare when Mark Boucher hit the quick through mid on for four.


Another high-scoring thriller. In a match that set the tone for the next decade of one-day cricket, India looked safe after Virender Sehwag hit 146 from 102 balls to take them to 7-414 at Rajkot. But he was to be outdone by the power of Tillakaratne Dilshan. The Sri Lankan opener hit 160 and Kumar Sangakkara 90 off 43 to give India a serious scare as the margin narrowed to 11 off the final over. In the end though India hung on, with Ashish Nehra not conceding a boundary in the final six balls to hold on for a four-run win.



England’s hard-hitting one-day revolution has gifted them their maiden World Cup crown over New Zealand after the final was decided by a boundary countback.

In what will go down as the greatest one-day game ever played, it was tied not once but twice in both the regular 50-over match and super over.

Chasing 16 to win in the extra over after Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes clubbed 15 for England, Jimmy Neesham and Martin Guptill took 14 from Jofra Archer’s first five balls to set up two required from the last.

But Guptill could only squeeze the ball to Jason Roy on the legside boundary, who ran him out by around a metre as he returned for a second to spark wild celebrations at Lord’s.

It meant England won the game after scoring 26 boundaries to New Zealand’s 17 – the first men’s international in any format to be decided in such a fashion.

“I still can’t quite believe it,” England captain Eoin Morgan said.

“I can’t believe we have got over the line. It has been an extraordinary day … like the most incredible game of cricket with nothing between the sides.

“Sport sometimes is very, very fine margins. I think it was the finest of margins today and it could have gone either way, but I’m thankful it went ours.”

However, even the end of the regular match was filled with drama as Stokes hit 84 not out and both teams finished on 241.

With 15 required off four balls, Stokes launched Trent Boult over the mid-wicket boundary for six.

From the following delivery he again hit Boult into the deep, and as New Zealand attempted to run him out on the second run, the ball hit Stokes’ bat and deflected to the boundary.

Stokes immediately apologised, but the umpires were left with no choice but to award four overthrows and six runs in total.

Adil Rashid and Mark Wood were then both run out at the bowlers’ end on the final two balls of the innings, as Stokes kept the strike but fell one run short of victory.

“I apologised to Kane (Williamson),” Stokes said.

“I’m pretty lost for words.

“To do it with such a game, I don’t think there will be another like this in the history of cricket.”

New Zealand had appeared in control of the game with England at 4-86 in the 24th over.

After Henry Nicholls top scored with 55 with the bat, Lockie Ferguson took 3-50, Jimmy Neesham 3-43 and Colin de Grandhomme just 1-25 from his 10 overs.

Nerves had appeared to be setting in for the hosts, with Joe Root getting out in uncharacteristic fashion as he was caught behind flaying wildly on seven from 30 balls.

But from there England recovered with 110-run stand between Buttler and Stokes for the fifth wicket.

Together they got the margin down to 46 off 32 balls before Buttler sliced Ferguson to Tim Southee at deep extra cover on 59 off 60 balls.

Wickets fell at the other end but the drama surrounded Stokes.

He should have been out with the equation at 22 from nine when he found Trent Boult at the long on boundary, only for the New Zealand quick to put a foot on the rope.

But in the end it was England’s power that got them home, symbolic given they spent four years building their game around high scores and boundary hitting.

“We were laughing about that in the dressing room. Four years came down to on ball, two needed off one,” Buttler said.

“We didn’t get that. And then four years came down to basically can we get a run out?

“It justifies everything we’ve done for four years.”


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