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Remembering the 10 highest team totals in men’s ODI cricket

by Josef Rindl 6 minute read

From England’s brutal innings against Australia at Trent Bridge, to South Africa’s incredible run chase in Johannesburg back in March 2006, Josef Rindl talks you through the 10 highest team scores in men’s ODIs.

England 418-6 v West Indies

Grenada, February 27th, 2019

With the series tied at 1-1 Jos Buttler smashed a brutal 150 off just 77 balls to propel England to a towering 418-6. Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow both made 50s before Buttler shared a 204-run partnership with Eoin Morgan (103) to push the tourists beyond the 400 mark.

When Buttler finally did fall, with two balls remaining in the innings, West Indies knew they’d have to pull off the second-highest successful chase in ODI history to prevent England taking a series lead. They came mightily close with Chris Gayle striking a superb 162, but England swept through the tail in the closing stages leaving the hosts all out 29 runs behind on 389.

India 418-5 v West Indies

Indore, December 8th, 2011

Eight years earlier the West Indies were hit round the park in Indore, with India setting a daunting 418-5. Virender Sehwag was the star performer, blasting 219 runs from 149 balls, at the time, the highest ever individual men’s ODI score.

Sehwag’s struck 25 fours and seven sixes, scoring 142 runs in boundaries alone. In reply, Denesh Ramdin hit a run-a-ball 96 as the visitors fell well short, losing by 153 runs.

South Africa 418-5 v Zimbabwe at Potchefstroom

September 20th, 2006

South Africa stacked up more than 400 runs for the second time in four matches as they comfortably raced to a 3-0 series win over Zimbabwe. Mark Boucher was the star of the show, scoring 147 not out to claim his maiden ODI century in his 220th match.

Incredibly, Boucher was dropped on 7, 59, 105, 123, 140 and 144. Zimbabwe were never in the run chase, finishing on 247-4 from their 50 overs.

Australia 434-4 v South Africa at Johannesburg

March 12th, 2006

What can we say about arguably the greatest ODI of all time that hasn’t been said already? Ricky Ponting’s 164 from 105 deliveries helped Australia to a then record 434-4 back in March 2006.

With the series tied at 2-2 Australia were surely heading for a 3-2 series win. No team had ever racked up more than 400 runs in a single game before, let alone chased it down in the second innings.

South Africa 438-9 v Australia at Johannesburg

March 12th, 2006

Australia’s record lasted just 49.5 overs as South Africa reached 438 to win the match with the last pair at the crease and just one ball to spare.

The Proteas’ run chase got off to a horror start as Boeta Dippenaar chopped on a Nathan Bracken delivery in its second over. But, Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs launched a stunning counter-attack as they put on 187 for the second wicket.

Gibbs would top score with 175, while Boucher’s 50 not out would see the hosts over the line. A crazy end to a crazy game.

South Africa 438-4 v India in Mumbai

October 25th, 2015

Nine years later and South Africa again came into the final game of another tense series tied at 2-2. This time it was India who were the victims as Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers all made centuries for the visitors in Mumbai.

India imploded trying to chase down their mammoth total, eventually notching up just 224 from 36 overs as South Africa won by 214 runs.

South Africa 439-2 v West Indies in Johannesburg

January 18th, 2015

A 31-ball century, a 16-ball 50, 16 sixes in an Innings –  AB de Villiers’ record-breaking innings against the West Indies was incredibly impressive. The South Africa skipper came into the crease with less than 12 overs remaining after Rilee Rossouw fell for 128 yet still managed to pile on 149.

Alongside Hashim Amla (153), de Villiers took just 40 minutes to reach his ton. He helped propel the hosts from 247-1 to 439-2, eventually falling one run short of his 150 after being caught in the deep.

The West Indies were unable to reproduce South Africa’s run-chasing heroics at the same ground the Proteas stunned Australia in 2006, finishing on 291-7, 148 runs short.

Sri Lanka 443-9 v Netherlands in Amstelveen

July 4th, 2006

Sri Lanka set a new world record in the final over of their match against the Netherlands in Amstelveen, four months after Australia and South Africa both went past 400 at the Wanderers.

Sanath Jayasuriya led the way with a sensational 157 off 104 balls while Tillakaratne Dilshan blatted up an equally impressive 117 off 79. With eight wickets down, the visitors still needed 30 to break the world record, but Dilhara Fernando managed to stay in with Dilshan to push Sri Lanka beyond the 440 mark.

England 444-3 v Pakistan at Trent Bridge

August 30th, 2016

10 years later, England broke Sri Lanka’s record as Jos Buttler’s four from the final delivery of the innings helped Eoin Morgan’s side to 444-3.

Records tumbled as England smashed 59 boundaries, including 16 sixes, against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. Alex Hales led the way with 171 from 122 balls, collecting the accolade for the highest individual score for an Englishman in ODI cricket along the way. Jos Buttler saw the hosts over the line with his brutal 90 from 51 before England’s attack briskly cleaned up Pakistan’s batsman to win by 169 runs.

England 481-6 v Australia at Trent Bridge

June 19th, 2018

It wasn’t long before England smashed their own record at the very same venue. A year before they’d win the World Cup final in dramatic fashion, they notched up an incredible 481-6 against Australia. Again, Hales led the way with 147 while Jonny Bairstow hit a destructive 139 from No. 3.

For most of the innings England looked like threatening the 500-run barrier, but Hales and Morgan fell in consecutive deliveries to check the hosts’ progress. England would win by 242 runs with their innings confirming what so many already believed – 500-plus in a single innings, it’s not an if, it’s a when.

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