5 most exhilarating high-scoring games in ODI cricket
There have been quite a few thrilling high-scoring affairs that set new precedents and norms in cricket. South Africa and Australia entertained fans royally in the memorable 2005-06 series as we saw 400-run mark breached twice in that memorable series and then after the advent of T20 cricket, many more records were broken. Fair warning though: bowlers involved in these forgettable fixtures should look away.
England 481/6 against Australia at Nottingham 2018
At a time when Eoin Morgan's led-side was gearing for the ICC 2019 ODI World Cup and the preparations were in full swing, England made no secret of their go get them attitude and thumped the highest score in the history of ODI cricket (481/6) - that took the wind out of their frenemies' sails - handing them biggest defeat drubbing. Trent Bridge was lit up with 21 maximums and 41 fours and England emerged as the first side to breach the 450-mark which was unthinkable for a long time.
Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales spellbinding centuries laid the foundation for the impregnable total and later on, Eoin Morgan's cameo completely decimated Australia's bowling attack. It was a kind of a day that bowlers would like to forget by using one of those memory-erasers sticks from the Men in Black movie. Australia rued leaving out their frontline bowlers and England made full use of the small boundaries on that day that saw raining boundaries and sixes.
England 444/3 against Pakistan at Nottingham 2016
With the series loss on the cards, Pakistan were under pressure and England were in a merciless mood. Alex Hales and Jason Roy were given a few let-offs and they made sure to make Pakistan pay as countries do with the IMF. Hales broke Robin Smith's 167 with his 171 - an innings laced with 22 fours and four huge sixes.
In reply, Sharjeel Khan got Pakistan off to a sizzling start and created a glimmer of hope for Pakistan fans but he got dismissed after making a quickfire half-century and the game kept slipping away from there. England won that game emphatically by 169 runs. That match dented Azhar Ali's ODI career and put his captaincy in jeopardy as well.
South Africa 439/2 against West Indies at Johannesburg 2015
This was another high-scoring affair as AB de Villers tore apart the fastest century record with his blistering 31-ball ton that made Corey Anderson and Shahid Afridi grimace. The Proteas broke their own record at the Wanderers and piled up 439. De Villers coruscating strokeplay was relentless. He clubbed 16 sixes in his 149-run carnage.
Hashim Amla innings was poised with the usual class and celestial timing. He delivered his record 153* run knock and forged a mammoth 192-run partnership with De Villiers. Everything came off the meat of the bat and the ball seldom remained inside the boundary rope.
West Indies hoped the self-claimed universe boss -Chris Gayle - could match the likes of De Villers, but it wasn't to be as South Africa's bowling attack proved far more superior than West Indies. Dale Steyn kept things very tight and Morne Morkel's didn't let the batsmen get off the hook.
South Africa 438/9 against Australia at Johannesburg 2006
On March 12, 2006, new precedents were set as two top-notch sides engaged in a run-fest. While chasing, Proteas batsmen used their bat like a boundary hitting magic wand and Herschelle Gibbs slugged the highest score of his career (175). His 187-run stand with Graeme Smith glued the fans to television sets.
Batting first, Ricky Ponting led the charge and slammed 164 and he may have thought he did enough to seal the game but South Africa had other sinister plans. The hosts' held their nerve and chased down the massive total and shocked the cricketing world. Not many thought that after posting the gigantic total, South Africa would take the match right down to the wire. This series was really unforgettable because it was the first time that 400-mark was breached twice.
South Africa 438/4 against India at Wankhede 2015
South Africa made a mockery of India's bowling attack in their backyard and bludgeoned the highest ever score against India at the Wankhede. On a placid wicket, Proteas batsmen gyrated to 438 and left MS Dhoni stunned. AB de Villers, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis were the architects in thrashing the colossal total.
In response, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma lost their wickets early in the piece and from there on India was playing a catching-up game as the hosts could never recover from the hammering they received from crazy and ruthless visitors.