Since the first ODI was first played in 1971 there have been literally thousands of international matches, and every team has had days to forget, when the opposition has been simply too strong for them. Of course, there are two ways to win an ODI match. By bowling the other side out or restricting them to a score which can then be chased down.
The alternative is to bat first and to set a target that is out of reach for the chasing team. These are the occasions when the winning margin, measured in runs, was its greatest.
Ireland’s darkest day
Ireland hold the unwanted record for the heaviest defeat in an ODI in terms of runs. In July 2008 they were playing New Zealand in a tri-nation series that also involved Scotland in Aberdeen.
The Irish had actually won the toss and invited their opponents to bat first. It was a decision that quickly back-fired on them, though, as James Marshall and Brendon McCullum (now England’s test head coach) put on 274 for the first wicket. McCullum departed for 166, made off 135 balls, including 10 sixes and 12 fours, but Marshall and Ross Taylor added 114 more together. Marshall was eventually out for 161, but his side still posted 402/2 from their 50 overs.
In reply Ireland were bowled out for just 112 inside 29 overs with both Tim Southee and Michael Mason claiming three wickets each.
New Zealand had won by 290 runs.
Afghanistan suffer in Perth
Afghanistan were left to lick their wounds after suffering a humiliating defeat of their own against Australia in Perth in March 2015 in the World Cup of that year.
Again they had made the mistake of asking the home side to bat first
David Warner took full advantage of the opportunity, going on to make 178 off 133 balls including 5 sixes and 19 fours. He put on 260 for the second wicket with Steve Smith, and, after he was dismissed, Smith was joined in the middle by Glenn Maxwell who blasted 88 off just 39 balls, including 7 sixes.
Australia eventually finished their innings on 417/6 and proceeded to dismiss the Afghans for just 142, with Mitchell Johnson claiming 4 – 22. Australia had won by a margin of 275 runs.
Not so friendly Southern neighbours
Zimbabwe’s own nadir came against their neighbours South Africa in Benoni five years earlier.
This time it was the home team who won the toss and chose to bat first. And they took full advantage of the opportunity as both Jean Paul Duminy and AB de Villiers made centuries as the runs flowed off the bat, with South Africa finally totalling 399/6 from their allotted overs.
Zimbabwe could not cope with the South African bowlers and were all out for 127 at the end of the 29th over of their innings. Rusty Theron took 3 – 18, whilst Albie Morkel, Wayne Parnell and Johan Botha each claimed two victims, South Africa had won by 272 runs.
Sri Lanka put to the sword in Paarl
Two years later, South Africa inflicted another heavy defeat, with Sri Lanka the victims this time, whilst the venue had shifted to Paarl.
Again South Africa had batted first after winning the toss, but despite a century from Hashim Amla, and 72 from Jacques Kallis, their final total of 301/8 did not seem unattainable.
That was, however, without taking into account the Sri Lankan batting collapse that ensued, as they slumped to 6 – 13. Kosala Kulasekara was the only man to make it in to double figures, as his side were bowled out for just 43 at the start of the 21st over. Morne Morkel took 4 – 10 and Lonwabo Tsotsobe 3 – 19, as the home side won by the small margin of 258 runs.
India crush the minnows
India’s biggest ODI win – measured in this way – came against the minnows of Bermuda in the 2007 World Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Put into bat by the minnows after losing the toss, India had racked up 413/5 in their 50 overs, led by Virender Sehwag, who had made 114, ably supported by Sourav Ganguly (prior to his BCCI days) who made 89, whilst Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar both made significant contributions.
Despite David Hemp making 76, the islanders were bowled out for 156, with Sehwag taking three wickets with the ball as well, whilst Ajit Agrakar also finished with three scalps to his name.
India won the match by 257 runs.
South Africa humble the West Indies
The same margin of victory was enjoyed by South Africa playing against the West Indies in the 2015 World Cup in Sydney.
AB de Villiers had starred with the bat for the Proteas side, making 162, whilst Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw had all made in excess of 60.
They enabled their team to reach 408 in their innings.
The West Indies never recovered from a middle order batting collapse, and had not Jason Holder, batting at number 9, not made 56, their final total of 151 all out would have been considerably lower.
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