10. March 25th, 1992, MCG- It was the final of the World Cup of 1992. England batting 2nd was in the driver’s seat and it looked like after a long tiring journey for the English, they could finally win the World Cup after previously loosing it in the finals twice before. The scorecard showed that England was 141 for 4 with Alan Lamb and Neil Fairbrother on the crease carrying on a very crucial partnership. Imran Khan, the Pakistani Captain gave the ball to his frontline pacer Wasim Akram. Akram came round the wicket and bowled one of the greatest deliveries of all time to Alan Lamb. The ball pitched in the line of the middle stump and it swung away from the batsman to take his offstump out of the ground. This changed the matched totally, next ball was a ripper again cleaning off Chris Lewis who played on an inswinger onto the stumps. England went on to lose the match.
9. July 13th, 2002, Lords- It was the final of the Natwest Series. England batting first posted a massive total and the Indians were left to score 326 runs to win. Despite of having an explosive start, the Indian middle order failed and it was 146 for 5 in 24 overs. From there Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh played a tremendous innings to give the Indians a chance to win. It was 3rd ball of the 49th over bowled by Andrew Flintoff to Zaheer Khan. India requiring 2 runs to win Zaheer played the ball to cover and scampered for a single while the fielder trying to run Kaif out in the strikers end threw the ball for overthrows and the Indians took the 2nd run to win the match. Sourav Ganguly, the Indian Captain took off his shirt and swung it wildly in the prestigious Lords Pavilion to celebrate the best ever comeback victory for India in ODI History.
8. March 8th, 1992, Gabba, Brisbane- It was during the 1992 World Cup match between Pakistan and South Africa when Jonty Rhodes showed his ability to completely change the nature of a game in seconds. Chasing a rain revised total of 194, Pakistan were cruising with Inzamam-ul-Haq and Imran Khan smashing 61 off the first nine overs of resumed play. South Africa needed a breakthrough. With a miscommunication between the batsmen, Rhodes pounced, grabbing the ball and diving to destroy the stumps after a fierce sprint from point. “I saw him going for the run and hit the gas,” Rhodes recalls. “I don’t know why I just didn’t peg the thing. It was just instinctive to pick it up and run towards the stumps. When I got closer I realized that Inzy was probably going to make it, so I decided diving would be my best option.” With the wicket sparking a Pakistan capitulation, Rhodes’ Matrix style run out was credited to the victory and his famous snapshot was plastered across newspapers around the world.
7. March 12th, 2006, The Wanderers-It was the greatest ODI ever played, the final match of the series between Australia and South Africa. Australia batting first posted the then highest total in ODIs i.e. 434 for 4 with a magical innings from Ricky Ponting. South Africa on their turn fought back like heroes and Herschelle Gibbs’ 175 along with Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher took the match to the last over. It was the 5th ball of the 50th over that made history. Mark Boucher was taking guard to Brett Lee who bowled an over-pitched delivery which was dispatched by Boucher by an excellent ondrive. The scoreboard displayed that South Africa were the winners (438 for 9). It was the perfect end to the greatest ODI ever.
6. June 25th, 1983, Lords- It was the final of the 1983 World Cup. India batting 1st failed to make a mark and scored only 183. The two times world champions and also the defending champions West Indies came onto bat but due to some tremendous bowling by the Indians their batting order fell down like a pack of cards. The last ball of the 52nd over bowled by Mohinder Amarnath to Michael Holding made history. Holding was trapped in front of the stumps and the umpire had no problems in giving Holding out and the West Indians were all out for 140. This win ended the era of the West Indian domination in world cricket.
5. November 8th, 1987, Eden Gardens- It was the final of the 1987 World Cup. David Boon helped the Aussies to put a reasonable total batting first. Batting 2nd, the English were coasting along quite nicely and their Captain Mike Gatting was batting in his usual pugnacious way, cutting anything remotely short and using the sweep shot sparingly. With none of his bowlers working, Allan Border thought that he would have a bowl. His first ball to Gatting was a loosener that he tossed it around Gatting’s offstump. Gatting tried to reverse sweep the ball which got the top edge of the bat and a simple catch to the wicket-keeper. This changed the game totally and England saw a repetition of the 1979 Final. After so many years still nobody can understand why Gatting tried to play such a shot at that position when the runs were coming easily and they were not in a hurry.
4. March 22nd, 1992, SCG- The semi-final of the 1992 World Cup between England and South Africa is still remembered because of the newly introduced Rain-rule. It was such that 22 runs were required from 13 balls after the score was revised several times due to rain. Then rain came to scene again resulting in the loss of vital 12 minutes of play, these 12 minutes were the most important 12 minutes in the history of South African Cricket History because then the huge SCG scoreboard showed that 22 runs were required from 7 balls, in a flash it changed to 22 runs from 1 ball. The whole world was simply stunned. Chris Lewis bowled the last ball with slow medium pace and Brian McMillan took a single with a push to midwicket. It was shameful event. The scheduled finish time was 10.10 pm. The scoreboard clock was displaying 10.08pm. What's more, the competition rules had allowed for a reserve day but the host broadcaster, Channel Nine, had insisted the match be finished on the scheduled day.
3. April 18th, 1986, Sharjah- It was a match played between two of the greatest rivals in cricket- India and Pakistan. India batting first set a target of 246 runs from their 50 overs. Javed Miandad kept in with the required rate throughout the innings and the match went down right to the last delivery. Pakistan required 4 runs to win from the last ball which was to be bowled by Chetan Sharma. Even before the ball had pitched Javed backed himself from the crease cleared his front leg out of the way and what seemed to be a good Yorker, Javed turned it into a half-volley and dispatched over the mid-wicket boundary for a six to bring up a tremendous victory for the Pakistanis. This delivery had an everlasting effect on the Indian bowlers, the Indian bowlers use to have nightmares in which they were been hit for sixes by Javed Miandad and this did not end till the famous run out in the Chinnaswami Stadium, Bangalore, the quarter final of the 1996 World Cup between India and Pakistan, when Javed Miandad retired from world cricket.
2. February 1st, 1981, MCG- Australia was taking on the Kiwis in the 3rd match of a 5-match series. With the help of their Captain Greg Chappell’s knock of 90 runs Australia posted a reasonable total for the Kiwis. Bruce Edgar struck a superb century to keep the Kiwis in track. From the last ball, New Zealand needed 6 runs to tie the game, and Brian McKechnie was on strike and ready to face the ball which was to be bowled by Trevor Chappell. Greg Chappell went to his brother and instructed him to bowl underarm, rolling the ball to the batsman. Trevor did as instructed and the batsman defended the ball from the hitting the stumps, and in frustration and anger threw his bat away. This meant the Aussie had won the match. At the time it was within the laws of cricket, but perceived as unsportsmanlike. This triggered immense protests over the world and the Prime Ministers of both the countries along with cricketers over the world condemned the event and the rule was changed.
1. June 17th, 1999, Edgbaston- It was the semi-final of the 1999 World Cup played between Australia and South Africa. This match is considered by some to be one of the greatest ODIs of all time. Batting first Australia was bundled out for 213 in 49.2 overs. Batting 2nd South Africa start nicely but their middle order failed. Jacques Kallis although scored a half century but took more than enough time. This was not good for the Proteas. The required rate was going higher when Lance Klusener stepped into the field. From a situation when victory seemed impossible for South Africa, Klusener made his way playing blistering shots, ragging the kangaroos out in the field. When Paul Reiffel dropped Klusener in long-on it seemed to be Klusener’s day. From the last over which was bowled by Damien Fleming, 9 runs were required, while the main factor was that South Africa was 9 down, although Allan Donald was at the non-striker’s end. The first two balls of the over yielded boundaries both in the exactly similar fashion through the extra cover region. The next ball Klusener played it straight into the hands of Darren Lehmann who was at Mid-on, tried to go for the single but he changed his mind and sent back Donald. Lehmann had a shy at the stumps but missed it by a very narrow margin. At that moment it seemed that the Aussies had let off their chance to go to the final. The next delivery is the most famous delivery of ODI History. Klusener again tried to hit the ball hard, but could only manage it to send it Mark Waugh standing at mid-off. Being in the front foot, Klusener decided to go for the single, while Donald was busy looking at the ball and did not listen to Klusener’s call. This resulted in a mix-up and way before Donald could reach the striker’s end the stumps had been uprooted by Adam Gilchrist. This meant that the match ended in a tie. Australia went through to the finals on the fact that they had beaten South Africa previously in the tournament. The South Africans were heart-broken. For some of their teammates it was a repeat of the 1992 Semi-final, which was disappointing too.