One-Day International (ODI) format in cricket has given birth to so many gifted batsmen over the years. The first ODI took place between Australia and England in 1971 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). It was a 40-over match, which the hosts won by five wickets. Since then, the cricketing world has seen one of the best breath-taking talents.
Some batsmen have outstripped the rest when it comes to run-scoring ability. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, and Kumar Sangakkara are a few standout names who have been pre-eminent with their performances. Tendulkar has even scored the maximum number of centuries (49) in ODI cricket.
Speaking about hundreds, then the first ODI ton came in 1972 during a game played between England and Australia where English batter Denis Amiss scored 103 off 134 balls with the help of nine fours. However, there have been few occasions when even a fantastic hundred or at some cases a 150+ couldn’t prevent the loss for the concerned team.
The first such instance happened in the year 1993 when again a British batsman Robin Smith scored 167, yet he ended up on the losing side. It happened during the second ODI between England and Australia at Edgbaston. Smith walked at No.3 after the hosts lost Alec Stewart for a duck and the team’s score was 3. Smith then held his end and kept on making runs and remained not out on 167 off 163 balls. Though Aussies managed to win the contest, Smith became the first player to score over 150 runs in an ODI on the losing side. He was honoured as the ‘Player of the Match’ award as well.
Since then, there have been other instances when a player has scored 150 or more runs in an ODI, but his team lost the game. The list includes batsmen like Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan who all have experienced the loss even after posting a 150-plus ODI score. But who are the highest scorers on the losing cause? Well, let us have a look at the five highest individual scores in ODIs which came in a losing cause:
5.) David Warner (173 against South Africa)
One of the best all-format openers in the world, David Warner is an absolute phenomenon of modern-day cricket. His aggressive approach, enthusiastic attitude and a livewire personality on the field make him one of the unique talents of the fascinating game. In fact, Warner is one of the rare players who debuted in international cricket without having played a single First-Class match – and smashed a spectacular 89 off 43 balls knock in a T20l against South Africa.
Warner has so far played 123 ODIs in his career and accumulated 5267 runs with 18 hundreds and 21 half-centuries. In 2016, Warner played a fantastic knock of 173 against South Africa, but Australia lost the contest by 31 runs.
It was the 5th ODI match at Cape Town when South Africa batted first and posted a massive 327/8 on the scoreboard. Rilee Rossouw played an outstanding inning of 122 for the Proteas. In response, the visitors had a good start, but as soon as Aussies reached 72, opener Aaron Finch lost his wicket. Soon after, Steve Smith and George Bailey too followed Finch and Aussies were reduced to 75/3.
However, at the other end, Warner kept the scoreboard going until he reached 173 off 136 deliveries, comprising 24 boundaries. But his magnificent knock ended by a run-out, and Australia were soon bowled out for 296 to witness their first-ever whitewash in a five-game ODI series.
4.) Sachin Tendulkar (175 against Australia)
It was November 5, 2009 – a date which will always be a poignant day for any Indian cricket fans. On this day, Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar smashed one of his brilliant performances in an ODI against Australia in Hyderabad. Despite his incredible performance, India couldn’t save itself from a defeat.
The MS Dhoni-led side got a chase of 351 runs, and Indian openers in the form of Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar started pretty well adding a 66-run stand in the first nine overs. But, the tragedy happened when Sehwag got out, and soon after, the Indian top-order collapsed.
However, consistent wickets falling from the other end didn’t break Tendulkar’s concentration as the Master Blaster stood and played a remarkable 140-ball 175 run innings, hitting 19 fours and four sixes. India were at 332 for 7 when Tendulkar was dismissed. The hosts just needed 19 runs off 17 balls with three wickets in hand, a completely gettable total in all sense, but the tail fell like a pack of cards and India lost the contest by three runs.
3.) Evin Lewis (176* against England)
Another talented batsmen in the unfortunate list is West Indies opener, Evin Lewis. Coming from a T20 circuit, Lewis is a clean hitter of the ball. In fact, he was Trinidad & Tobago’s top-scorer in the Champions League in 2013 with a strike-rate of 141.61. In 51 ODIs so far, Lewis has amassed 1610 runs with three tons and eight fifties.
In 2017, when West Indies was on a tour of England, Lewis reached his highest ODI score, but the Caribbeans lost the game. During the fourth ODI against England at the Oval in London, Lewis smashed 176 off just 129 deliveries and helped his side to post 376/5.
However, in reply, the hosts managed to score runs at a good run-rate and stayed ahead on the D/L score after 35.1 overs of play. The rain eventually wound up the game, and England won the contest by six runs.
2.) Matthew Hayden (181* against New Zealand)
The Australian opener Matthew Hayden has played in the era when the Australian team dominated and wholly-owned the rest nations. The staggering career of Hayden itself shows how phenomenal he was as the top-order batsman for the Aussie squad.
The left-handed batsman accumulated 6133 runs in 161 ODIs with 10 hundreds and 36 half-centuries. His best innings came against New Zealand in the third ODI of the 2007 Chappell-Hadlee trophy.
The southpaw slammed an unbeaten knock of 181 including 11 fours and ten sixes. His dazzling inning took his side to a total of 346-5. However, the Kiwis ended up winning the contest by one wicket which went to the last over finish. Craig McMillan scored a fantastic century who was well assisted by Brendon McCullum’s 86 off 91 balls. Hayden’s fantabulous innings got him the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
1.) Charles Coventry (194* against Bangladesh)
The top player on this list is Zimbabwe’s wicketkeeper-batsman Charles Coventry who will be remembered as the most unlucky player as his best score which crossed 190 couldn’t take his side over the line. It all happened in the fourth ODI against Bangladesh in Bulawayo in 2009.
After electing to bat first, Zimbabwe posted a colossal score of 312/8 with Coventry adding the maximum. He walked out to the middle in the second over and made an unbeaten 194, sparkled with 16 fours and seven sixes.
But unfortunately for the then 26-year-old player, his outstanding effort could not prevent the loss as the visitors successfully chased down the massive total, with two overs to spare. Bangladesh’s opener Tamim Iqbal was the anchor of the chase after he smashed 154 off just 138 balls.