One Day Internationals (ODIs) represent a limited-overs format in cricket, involving two teams that play a predetermined number of overs, currently set at 50, in a single innings. This format, although originating in the 20th century, has gained significant global interest due to its unpredictable and exciting nature.
While the majority of ODIs are closely contested, there have been numerous instances where one team has displayed their dominance over the other. The Indian national cricket team, along with New Zealand and Australia, boasts the most significant victory margins in terms of runs in ODI matches.
Following an impressive performance at the Greenfield International Stadium against Sri Lanka in January 2023, India holds the record for the largest margin of victory in terms of runs in ODI cricket. The Australian team came really close to inking their name on the record books for registering the biggest win by a run margin in ODIs. Let us look at the top five biggest wins by run margin in ODIs;
1. India defeated Sri Lanka by 317 runs
In Thiruvananthapuram, Rohit Sharma, leading India, won the toss and opted to bat against Sri Lanka. Following Rohit's dismissal at 42 runs, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli accelerated the innings, propelling India to an imposing total of 390/5. Kohli notched up his 10th century against Sri Lanka, while Gill recorded his second century.
In the Sri Lankan run chase, Mohammed Siraj disrupted their early progress, preventing the tourists from establishing significant partnerships. Siraj shone with a four-wicket haul, while Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav also contributed with two wickets each. Sri Lanka was restricted to a mere 73 runs, securing a dominant victory for India.
2. Australia defeated the Netherlands by 309 runs
Australia's captain Pat Cummins chose to bat after winning the toss on a pitch favorable to batting. The innings had a shaky start with opener Mitchell Marsh departing early. David Warner and Steven Smith cautiously built a strong partnership, which later became aggressive, resulting in a remarkable 132-run partnership for the second wicket before Smith was dismissed.
Marnus Labuschagne added 62 runs to the total, and Warner achieved a splendid century with 104 runs. Glenn Maxwell's explosive century in just 40 balls, with 106 runs, propelled Australia to an imposing 399 – the second-highest in the 2023 ODI World Cup. Despite recent struggles, Maxwell's dazzling performance thrilled fans.
Australia's quest for a daunting target began with Mitchell Starc's early dismissal of Max ODowd and a crucial run-out of Vikramjit Singh. The match quickly tilted in Australia's favor. Despite limited recent bowling, Mitchell Marsh took two important wickets. Adam Zampa's fourth consecutive four-wicket performance played a crucial role in Australia's resounding 309-run victory.
3. Zimbabwe defeated USA by 304 runs
Zimbabwe secured a dominant 304-run victory against the United States of America in their ODI World Cup Qualifiers match at Harare Sports Club. Zimbabwe, having already qualified for the Super Sixes stage, set a new ODI record with a colossal total of 408 for six.
Captain Sean Williams led the charge with a breathtaking century, scoring 174 from 101 balls, featuring 21 fours and five sixes. He received support from wicketkeeper Joylord Gumble, who contributed 78 runs, and Ryan Burl's explosive 47 off just 16 balls. The Zimbabwean performance was overwhelming, and they bowled out the USA for 104, underscoring their dominance.
4. New Zealand defeated Ireland by 290 runs
New Zealand also known as the Black Caps, held the record for the largest margin of victory in ODIs for nearly 15 years. In July 2008, in a match against Ireland in Aberdeen, New Zealand batted first and amassed a massive total of 402/2, with James Marshall scoring 161 off 141 balls and Brendon McCullum stunning with 166 runs off 135 balls.
The Kiwi pace attack, led by Tim Southee and Michael Mason, swiftly dismantled Ireland in the run chase. Ireland was bowled out for 112 in 28.4 overs, securing New Zealand's colossal 290-run victory, a record they held until recently.
5. Australia defeated Afghanistan by 275 runs
In the 2015 ODI Cricket World Cup, Australia, the formidable record-holders, showcased their championship potential with a resounding performance against Afghanistan during the group stage. David Warner's explosive 178 off 133 balls, adorned with 24 boundaries, catapulted Australia to a commanding total of 417/6 at WACA in Perth.
Afghanistan, relatively inexperienced at the highest level, struggled in the run chase. Mitchell Johnson's menacing pace tore through their top and middle order, claiming four wickets, while both Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc secured two wickets each, resulting in Afghanistan's dismissal for a mere 142. This comprehensive all-around display sealed a commanding 275-run victory for the eventual World Cup champions, affirming their supremacy.