The Top 10 Most Brutal ODI Innings in History
There is no time for crease occupation, patient defensive play or brave match-saving knocks on this list.
Quite simply, it is the top 10 most brutal ODI innings in history.
In this era of Twenty20 cricket, big-hitting has become the norm. Spectators turn up to grounds expecting to see the ball flying into the stands on a regular basis as bowlers get flayed around the park and huge targets are chased down.
And with bats getting bigger, more inventive strokes being developed and the players becoming physically stronger, scoring rates seem set to rise and rise.
So this list is a celebration of some of the most destructive batting ever seen.
The innings have been ranked in terms of strike rate and power, which overruled the importance of the match situation in terms of a selection criteria.
10: Sir Viv Richards
Total: 189 Not out
Strike Rate: 111.17
The West Indies' Sir Vivian Richards played a masterful ODI innings against England in a 55-overs-per-side clash in 1984.
Batting first, the Caribbean Islanders totalled 272, but that hardly tells the story of a scorecard that includes just four scores over 10.
Eldine Baptiste contributed 26, last man Michael Holding 12 while the extras column added 10.
The only other double-figure score was a stunning 189 off 170 balls from Sir Viv.
So many batsman get out just after scoring a century, but the Antiguan went on and on, almost single-handedly guiding his side to a total that was too good for England who could only muster 168.
9: Kapil Dev
Strike Rate: 126.81
In the 1983 World Cup, India came face-to-face with Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells. The cricketing superpowers were, of course, expected to blow away their lowly opposition.
However, a few overs into the match and the sub-continent side were 17/5.
Kapil Dev strode to the wicket and proceeded to blast 175 runs off 138 balls in a display that—according to Ian Chappell on espncricinfo.com—was the main factor in giving his country the belief to go on and win the whole tournament.
Due to a BBC television strike at the time, no footage of the knock exists.
8: Saeed Anwar
Strike Rate: 132.87
With 118 runs coming in boundaries, the stylish southpaw made 194 out of an unassailable total of 327.
The 146-ball knock was, for a time, the highest individual ODI score before Sachin Tendulkar broke the record against South Africa in 2010.
Anwar went on to score more than 8,000 runs at an average of 39.21 in a successful career.
7: Virender Sehwag
Strike Rate: 146.97
No list of sloggers is complete with an appearance by Virender Sehwag.
In March 2012, the Indian opener smashed a staggering 219 from just 149 balls to lead his team to a monumental score of 418 that unsurprisingly proved too much for the West Indies.
To this day, the innings stands as the highest-ever individual ODI score and contained an incredible 32 boundaries.
6: Herschelle Gibbs
Strike Rate: 157.65
It is safe to say at the halfway stage in Jo'burg, Australian skipper Ricky Ponting would have been pleased with his side's huge total of 434.
However, Gibbs, coming in at No. 3, proceeded to blast the ball to all parts, registering 175 off 111 balls.
Aided by rapid knocks from Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher, the South Africans chased down the runs with one ball to spare.
5: Kevin O'Brien
Strike Rate: 179.36
England were supposed to steamroller minnows Ireland when they met in the group stages of the 2011 World Cup.
And indeed, when they scored 327—thanks to 92 from Jonathan Trott—it looked as if they would do exactly that.
But big-hitting Kevin O'Brien thought differently.
The burly Irishman rendered an English attack that included Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann helpless, and played the innings of a lifetime to smash 113 off 63 balls and guide his country to a stunning upset.
4: Shane Watson
Strike Rate: 192.70
Chasing a par score of 229 to win, the Queenslander smashed 185 out of his team's 232 to accelerate his side to victory.
The next highest score was a relatively-pedestrian 37 from Ricky Ponting.
With 150 runs coming in boundaries, including 15 rope-clearing heaves, Watson broke the record for the highest number of sixes in a single innings.
3: Sanath Jayasuriya
Strike Rate: 206.15
The first half-century of this innings was the fastest recorded in ODI history and took only 17 balls or one delivery short of three overs.
Going on to make a ton, Jayasuriya's final score of 134 came off just 65 balls and included 11 sixes as Sri Lanka ran out comfortable winners.
2: Mark Boucher
Strike Rate: 216.17
Mark Boucher rained sixes down on the Potchefstroom crowd during an ODI clash against Zimbabwe in September 2006.
The South African turned an already one-sided contest into a massacre by smashing 147 runs off 68 balls.
With 10 maximums and eight fours coming off his blade, there were just five dot balls throughout his whole innings.
Boucher sadly had to retire prematurely in 2012 after a freak eye injury sustained in a match—but not before he had claimed 555 dismissals in 147 matches.
1: Shahid Afridi
Strike Rate: 255.00
In 1996, a precocious 16-year-old called Shahid Afridi walked out to bat for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in only his second international appearance.
Just 37 balls later, the all-rounder had smashed the fastest century in the history of ODI cricket.
The teenager put the opposition bowlers to the sword with a bludgeoning 94 runs in boundaries until his innings came to an end on 102.
The legend of Boom Boom was born and his side went on to win easily by 82 runs.
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