Over the years, a lot has changed in the game of cricket. With so many rules helping the batters, it is very difficult to contain them. Adding to that, the T20 format has helped to score quickly and register big totals for a batting side, which is why big totals are scored and chased down regularly in ODIs.
This article will have a discussion on the biggest ODI totals that came in a losing cause. A team scores 300 or more to assure a comfortable position in the game, but it happens that even the biggest ODI totals have come in a losing cause. So let’s check out this elite list.
Highest Team Score in ODI in Losing Cause
|Australia||434/4||South Africa||Wanderers Stadium||12/03/2006||South Africa won by 1 wicket|
|West Indies||374/6||Netherlands||Takashinga Sports Club||26/06/2023||Netherlands won in super over|
|Australia||371/6||South Africa||Kingsmead||05/10/2016||South Africa won by 4 wickets|
|West Indies||360/8||England||Kensington Oval||20/02/2019||England won by 6 wickets|
|Australia||359/5||India||Sawai Mansingh Stadium||16/10/2013||India won by 9 wickets|
|India||358/9||Australia||PCA Stadium||10/03/2019||Australia won by 4 wickets|
|Pakistan||358/9||England||County Ground (Bristol)||14/05/2019||England won by 6 wickets|
|England||350/7||India||Maharashtra Cricket Stadium||15/01/2017||India won by 3 wickets|
|Australia||350/6||India||Vidarbha Cricket Stadium||30/10/2013||India won by 6 wickets|
|New Zealand||349/7||England||Trent Bridge||17/06/2015||England won by 7 wickets|
3. Australia (371/6) vs South Africa in 2016
Australia has a history of losing despite scoring big totals, which is why they are featured twice in the top three. The third-biggest ODI total in a losing cause came at Durban in a game between Australia and South Africa in October 2016. It was the fifth and final match of the series. Australia won the toss and chose to bat first. They had a pretty good start with a 110-run opening stand between Aaron Finch (53) and David Warner. Warner then added 124 runs with skipper Steve Smith for the second wicket.
Warner made 117 off 107, and Smith scored 108. Australia went on to score a massive total of 371/6. It looked massive to chase, but Quinton de Kock provided his team a flying start with a 49-ball 70. Hashim Amla (45 off 30) and Faf du Plessis (33) also did well. But then came an unbeaten 107-run stand for the 7th wicket. David Miller scored 118 off 79, and Andile Phehlukwayo made a 39-ball 42. South Africa scored 372/6 in 49.2 overs and won the game.
2. West Indies (374/6) vs Netherlands in 2023
The second-highest ODI total in a losing cause came in the World Cup 2023 qualifiers in Zimbabwe. It was the game between Netherlands and West Indies in Harare. Batting first, West Indies had a 101-run opening stand. Brandon King (76) and Johnson Charles (54) batted well at the top. Nicholas Pooran went berserk and smashed a brilliant hundred. He made 104* off 65 balls. Keemo Paul also played a cameo of 46 off 25.
West Indies finished with 374/6 in the first inning. It looked like an easy win for them. But Netherlands has some other plans. Some quick 30s and 20s from the top four kept them in the game. Anil Nidamanuru then smashed a 76-ball 111, and skipper Scott Edwards made 67 off 47. In the end, Netherlands finished with an exact score of 374/9, and the game was tied. Later, Netherlands won the Super Over, and that huge total from West Indies came in a losing cause.
1. Australia (434/4) vs South Africa in 2006
The biggest ODI total and the first time a team crossed 400 runs in ODIs also came in a losing cause. It was a series-decider game in Johannesburg between South Africa and Australia. After winning the toss, Australia batted first and had a brilliant performance. Adam Gilchrist (55 off 44) and Simon Katich (79) provided an opening stand of 97 runs. Then, skipper Ricky Ponting smashed a brilliant 164 off 105.
Mike Hussey also scored 81 off 51. Australia finished with a huge 434/4 (highest ODI total back then). It was the first time that a team crossed 400, which is why not many gave South Africa a chance. But what happened next was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Graeme Smith (90 off 55) and Herschelle Gibbs took the game away. Gibbs went on to score his highest ODI score of 175 off 111 balls. In the end, Mark Boucher scored an unbeaten 50 and hit the winning runs. South Africa made 438/9 in 49.5 overs, and Australia’s highest ODI total came in a losing cause.