This content will briefly describe the most exciting and thrilling ODI cricket matches of the 21st century. Cricket’s history began in the 16th century, it became an established sport in England in the 18th century and developed globally in the 19th and 20th centuries. But the game made its biggest revolution in the 21st century and earned huge popularity. The popular sport has produced so many thrilling contests throughout its history across its various formats. But here we will discuss the most exciting One Day International contests of the 21st century. To check Top 10 Richest Cricketers in the World in 2022 (Based on Net Worth).
Most Thrilling ODI Cricket Matches of the 21st Century
#5. Ireland vs England (Bengaluru; 15th Match Group-B, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011)
This match was not only one of the most exciting games of the world cup but also one of the most historical games in the history of cricket. Especially, the Irish people can never erase this match from their memories. In a day-night WC fixture, 2 European neighbor nations took on each other. Ireland had no matching for a star studded English side. English skipper Andrew Strauss won the toss and went for the bat. His lads proved his decision right and managed to score a mammoth 327 for 8. Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell; all celebrated their fifties.
Ireland came to the crease chasing an enormous total and were struggling at 111 for 5. The game was almost done and many spectators left the ground smelling an easy English victory. But Kevin O’Brien had some other ideas. He was there to write history and to put his name in the history books with one of the greatest WC innings of all time. He scored a 50 ball hundred and wrote his name beside the record of the fastest WC century in the history. Totally he managed to made 113 off 63 and almost single handedly gifted Ireland their most famous win in the history out of nowhere. Cusack’s 47 and Mooney’s 30 not out also helped Kevin taking his side home. To know about more thrilling ODI cricket matches of the 21st Century, please keep reading.
#4. India vs England (Bengaluru; 11th Match Group-B, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011)
This century is more than 22 years old and the chart contains 2 games from the very same tournament’s very same group’s game. More interestingly both of those games took place at the Chinnaswamy Stadium of Bengaluru and England featured in both of those game! Well, this was the match before England’s historic defeat against Ireland. Host India and England took part in a Group-B fixture. On a batting paradise, MS Dhoni had no confusion to bat first when he won the coin toss. Master Blaster scored his 47th ODI career ton and also his 5th hundred in the ICC CWC history, the most by any batter. India gathered 338 on the board inspired Sachin’s 115 ball 120 and fifties from Gambhir and Yuvraj. Tim Bresnan got a fifer giving only 48 off his 10 overs on such a belter wicket.
England were chasing a huge total but got a good start. The 68 runs opening partnership was followed by an enormous 170 runs 3rd wicket partnership (after 111 for 2). Andrew Staruss and Ian Bell’s sensation partnership kept the chasing side in a comfortable position. The English skipper scored a superb 158 off just 145 and they were cruising. But Zaheer Khan delivered a brilliant spell to his captain and brought the Indians back in the game. The Poms were 281 for 2 during the 43rd over and soon lost 6 wickets and were 325 for 8! The pendulum kept swinging hard and finally the innings ended at just 338, as same as India. It was the 4th tie in CWC history and was one hell of a game, which will require the spectators ages to forget.
#3. New Zealand vs South Africa (Auckland; Semifinal, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015)
In a cloudy day at the Eden Park, Auckland, tournament co-host New Zealand and chokers South Africa came face to face in a high voltage world cup semifinal. Obstruction from rain was forecasted but winning the toss Protea skipper De Villiers chose to bat first. In a rain affected innings, Du Plessis and the captain, both batted brilliantly and South Africa were having a superb day with the willows in hand despite a number of interruptions from rain. The whole 50 overs couldn’t be played and they managed to gather 281 for 5 from 43 overs.
On D/L method, the target was 299 from 258 deliveries for the Kiwis. New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum started the innings in T20 style and scored a sparkling 59 off just 26 deliveries. The opening stand managed 71 runs off just 6 overs. But the Protea bowlers made a good comeback and the home side were 149 for 4. Then Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott made a 103-run stand and the pendulum kept swinging uninterruptedly. 47 needed off the last 30 and a number of catch and runout misses brought the game to the wire. 6 runs required from the last 2, Steyn came in, fired it hard on the full zone and that historic six from Grant Elliott took the Kiwis to the final and flooded his home nation and Protea boys in salty tears.
#2. Australia vs South Africa (Johannesburg; 5th ODI, Australia Tour of South Africa 2006)
Two in-form side Australia and South Africa gifted the viewers an incredible ODI series to watch when the Kangaroos visited the Proteas. After 4 games, the 5 match series stood at a balanced 2-2 position. The final encounter at the Wanderers was set to be the final. The pitch seemed a belter and Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting chose to bat when he won the toss. Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich made a 97-run opening stand. Then Gilly got out and Punter came into the crease. He went onto make his highest individual ODI score 164. Gilchrist, Katich, Ponting, Hussey all 4 Aussies scored 50+ and Australia scored 434 off their 50 overs.
It was the very first time a team crossed 400 marks and during the break, many of the fans expected a three figure margin win for the visitors. But it was to be one of the greatest ODI matches of all time. Herschelle Gibbs made an extraordinary 175 from just 111 deliveries which is considered as one of the greatest ODI innings while chasing. This sensational masterpiece from Gibbs along with Graeme Smith’s 90 and a Mark Boucher 50 helped the Proteas reach home by making the word record chase. This victory also handed the series trophy. Cricket fans can hardly forget this historic moment and historic game. So, it’s one of the most thrilling ODI cricket matches of the 21st Century outside a CWC tournament.
#1. England vs New Zealand (Lord’s; Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019)
The Lord’s name is inseparably attached to cricket’s history. This venue is the witness of so many greatest moments including the inaugural test match in history as well as the first-ever cricket world cup final. But nobody might have ever thought that it would witness something that much drama. Yes, we’re talking about the ICC CWC 2019 final, the heartbeat accelerating contest between England and New Zealand. After a marathon round-robin stage and semifinals, the two cricket giants came face to face with each other. Neither of the sides had previous experience of winning the ODI WC and the lineup ensured that the world was gonna get a fresh new champion. Well, below we will tell you the story of the one of the most thrilling ODI cricket matches of the 21st Century.
*What was the Story of the Greatest ODI of All Time?
England were the hosts of the competition and featured their strongest ODI side in the history. While the Kiwis were playing their 2nd consecutive WC finals. The Blackcaps’ captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first. In their 50 overs, the men in black managed to post a below-par 241 for 8 thanks to lefty duo Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham for their 55 and 47 respectively. England just thrashed Australia in the semifinal and were the favorites during the break. But it was a massive final and pressure was always on.
The Kiwi pacers made life difficult for the Englishmen and soon the hosts found themselves in a situation of bother at 86 for 4! Then Buttler and Stokes made an invaluable 110 runs partnership and made sure that their side remains in the commanding position. Both the batsmen reached their 50s but the pendulum swung when the wicketkeeper batsman got out. Once again the Kiwis made the game on. At one stage 15 was required off 4. But Boult missed a Stokes catch at the deep and let it go for a six. Then during a runout attempt, a throw kissed the English allrounder’s bat and went for the boundary. Well, after so many dramas their English innings ended on just 241!
The game went onto the super over and guess what both the side’s scored match once again. In reply of England’s 15 off the Trent Boult over, Kiwi duo Guptill and Neesham also managed to score 15 off Archer. But the Kiwis were the victim of the boundary count and the progenitor nation of cricket finally lifted their first every ICC CWC trophy. Ben Stokes who was the culprit for the side’s 2016 T20 WC defeat, left the field as a national hero.
*Is the Final Game Between England and New Zealand Considered as the Greatest ODI of All Time?
Yes, many of the cricket experts, fans and even players consider this game as the greatest One Day International off all time. It is considered as the greatest cricket game in the history because of the intensity of the game, value of the massive final and immense drama produced by this thrilling contest.