India sealed a 3-0 series win with an emphatic 317-run victory over Sri Lanka in the third ODI at the Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. The Men in Blue outclassed the visitors in all aspects, with Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill scoring centuries and Mohammed Siraj ripping apart Sri Lanka’s top order.
Rohit Sharma’s men also set a new record for the biggest victory in the history of One-Day Internationals, breaking the record held by New Zealand for the past fifteen years. Here are the five biggest victories in ODIs by run margin:
#5: South Africa vs Sri Lanka
South Africa registered a comprehensive victory over Sri Lanks in 2012 at home, with the hosts clinching the five-match series 3-2. The first ODI at Paarl came amidst a season of outlandish results for the Proteas. Hashim Amla scored his ninth century in One Day Internationals, providing a stable platform alongside Jacques Kallis for the hosts. But it was skipper AB de Villers who scored a fluent half-century to take the hosts to 301/8.
In reply, the Sri Lankan top order crumbled to the pace of Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Within the first eight overs, the visitors lost six wickets with just 13 runs on the board – and they might have registered the lowest score ever in an ODI if not for Kosala Kulasekhara’s lone battle in the middle. Dale Steyn and Robin Peterson quickly got rid of the lower order, giving the hosts a comprehensive 290-run victory.
#4: South Africa vs Zimbabwe
South Africa’s 272-run victory over their northern neighbours Zimbabwe makes them the only team in this list to feature twice on the winning side. Zimbabwe’s tour of South Africa in 2010 was a thoroughly one-sided affair, with the hosts sweeping both the ODI and T20 series.
With the series victory already sealed, South Africa’s batsmen played in the third ODI at Benoni with confidence, scoring 399/6 in the first innings. JP Duminy and AB de Villiers both scored centuries, while Colin Ingram and David Miller scored runs at a lightning pace to put the total on the board in the death overs.
Zimbabwe’s chase fell apart very quickly, with both openers falling in the powerplay overs. While the middle-order batsman showed some fluency on the pitch, they could not last long enough to establish any major partnerships. Wickets fell at regular intervals, and the visitors were all-out for 127 runs in 29 overs – giving the Proteas a 272-run victory.
#3: Australia vs Afghanistan
Australia hold the record for the biggest victory by run margin in ODIs at ICC tournaments, defeating Afghanistan by 275 runs in the group stages of the 2015 ICC World Cup. Australia batted first, with the duo of David Warner and Steven Smith putting together a 260-run partnership for the second wicket. While David Warner increased his strike rate once he reached the century mark, it was Glenn Maxwell who scored runs at a truly incredible rate, scoring 88 runs off just 39 balls, with six 4s and seven 6s in his innings.
Afghanistan had to chase down the highest-ever total at the ODI World Cup, and the associate member could not muster up enough confidence to do so in the chase. All the top order batsmen focussed on preserving their wicket, with the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson taking wickets at regular intervals. Afghanistan were bowled out for 142, giving Australia a record victory margin at Perth.
Australia would go on to reclaim the World Cup in 2015.
#2: New Zealand vs Ireland
The highest victory margin in ODIs until this week was set by New Zealand in 2008 when they toured Scotland for a tri-series with Ireland and the hosts. The difference in the skill level between New Zealand and the other two teams was evident on the opening night itself. Batting first, the duo of James Marshall and Brendon McCullum put together a 266-run partnership for the opening wicket. Both batsmen scored their maiden ODI centuries, with Ross Taylor accelerating the innings in the final overs with a half-century.
Ireland had a target of 403 runs before them, but the associate nation never stood a chance against the Kiwis. Once Michael Mason broke the opening partnership of Reinhardt Strydom and Gary Wilson, Ireland’s batting line-up crumbled. Ireland could only manage to score 112 runs in 28.4 overs, giving the Kiwis a 290-run victory margin. New Zealand broke countless records during the game, including the highest number of sixes (18) by any team at the time.
#1: India vs Sri Lanka
Virat Kohli scored a magnificent century as India completed a whitewash of their ODI series against Sri Lanka last week. Opting to bat first on a lifeless track, India’s skipper Rohit Sharma partnered with Shubman Gill to give India a solid platform. But after the fall of Rohit Sharma’s wicket, Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill looked comfortable throughout their innings in the crease, with both players reaching centuries with a strike rate ranging above 100.
Virat Kohli’s innings in particular showed why he is considered one of the best batsmen in the world. For most of his innings, India’s ex-captain was content to score by taking swift singles and twos – in the first 40 overs of the match, Virat Kohli had zero 6s to his name. But once in the powerplay, he exploded – scoring eight sixes, the most in his career.
In reply, Sri Lanka were exhausted and dull. Just three of their batsmen reached the double-digit mark as Mohammed Siraj tore through the top order in the powerplay. Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav picked up two wickets each to contain Sri Lanka to just 73 runs in 22 overs, giving India the biggest-ever victory in ODIs by run margin.
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