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What is the Lowest Score in ODI Cricket?

One Day International matches are an intriguing phenomenon of the game of cricket. It not includes the fortitude and endurance of Test cricket but also has the adrenaline and excitement of a T20 match. No wonder why legends of the game refer to as the epitome of all formats. But it has seen many ups and downs as well as the highest and lowest score in ODI.

Despite being a format that hasn’t changed much over the years, apart from the reduction in over-limit from 60 overs in the 1970s –’80s to the current 50-over format, ODI cricket has seen its quota of changes as there has been a number of cases when the match witnessed some of the lowest score in ODI.

It has most certainly gotten faster and has of late become more of a batsman’s game. Runs are free to come, and the day is not far when a team breaches the 500-run mark in One Day cricket.

However, with all the changes in rules that more often than not favour the batsman, it is the bowlers who have time and again proven their worth by dismissing opposition teams for paltry scores. Here, we take a look at some of the lowest score in ODI history.

Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka, Harare 2004 (Zimbabwe – 35 runs)

Zimbabwe lost the toss and were put into bat by Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu. It was, however, the fast bowlers, especially Chaminda Vaas and debutant Farveez Maharoof, who ran havoc at the Zimbabwean batsmen. Zimbabwe were bundled out for a paltry 35 runs —the lowest ODI total, with Vaas taking four wickets and Maharoof grabbing three. The other two wickets went to medium-pacer Dilhara Fernando.

While none of the batsmen from Zimbabwe managed to reach double digits, Sri Lanka won the match at a canter having lost just one wicket to reach the target in nine overs.

This match was amongst the lowest score in ODI.

USA vs Nepal, Kirtipur 2020 (USA- 35 runs)

USA matched the lowest score in the history of ODI cricket, an unfortunate record that had previously belonged to Zimbabwe. Put to bat first, USA struggled massively in subcontinent conditions. Opener Xavier Marshall was the only batter from the side who was able to show some kind of form and scored 16 off 22. Nobody else from the side managed to get to double digits and three batters were dismissed for ducks.

Having bowled them out for 35, the hosts ended up chasing the target in just 5.2 overs and with eight wickets in hand.

Canada vs Sri Lanka, Paarl 2003 (Canada – 36 runs)

The 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup group stage match between Sri Lanka and Canada was a truncated affair, not because of the elements but because Canada were bowled out for 36 runs, after being asked to bat by Sanath Jayasuriya.

Fast bowlers Chaminda Vaas was again on song as he took three wickets, with Prabath Nissanka bagging four scalps. None of the Canadian batsman reached double digits with captain Joe Harris being the top scorer with nine runs.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, galloped towards the target and won the match with around 35 overs to spare, with Marvan Atapattu scoring a brisk 24 runs.

Canada registered their lowest score in ODI

Zimbabwe Vs Sri Lanka, Colombo 2001 (Zimbabwe – 38 runs)

Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka feature on the list again, this time the venue was the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo in 2001. After winning the toss, Sri Lanka sent Zimbabwe in to bat and the team was bundled out for 38 runs. While captain Stuart Carlsile was the highest scorer with 16 runs, it was Chaminda Vaas who was the wrecker-in-chief as he took a career-best eight wickets for just 19 runs. The other two wickets were taken by spin wizard Muralitharan.

Zimbabwe could bat only for 15 overs, and Sri Lanka reached the target in just four overs at a loss of one wicket. Captain Jayasuriya and Atapattu remained not out with scores of 13 and 23, respectively.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa, Paarl 2012 (Sri Lanka – 43 runs)

South Africa won the toss on a batting surface and chose to give a target to the Sri Lankans. Hashim Amla scored a ton, while Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers’s vital half-centuries took South Africa to a respectable 301 runs for the loss of eight wickets.

Chasing a run-a-ball score, Sri Lanka never got off their mark and lost both openers for a duck. Wickets continued at regular intervals and only one batsman managed to reach double digit score. Sri Lanka were bundled out for a palsy 43 as Morne Morkel took four wickets for just 10 runs.

Pakistan vs West Indies, Cape Town 1993 (Pakistan – 43 runs)

South Africa had just come out of the Apartheid era and had been welcomed back in international cricket. West Indies and Pakistan were the invitees to a triangular series at the African nation.

It was the ninth match of the tournament, with West Indies winning the toss and electing to field first. Pakistan soon lost the plot and were dismissed for a mere 43 runs. It was on Zahid Fazal who managed to score some runs with the bat. Courtney Walsh being the danger man for West Indies as he took four wickets for just 16 runs.

West Indies later managed to chase the target with seven wickets in hand, Brian Lara top scoring with 26 runs.

Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh, Chittagong 2009 (Zimbabwe – 44 runs)

It was the third ODI match in the bilateral series, and Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first. Bangladesh bowlers, however, had other plans in mind. They dismissed the opposition for 44 runs with all four bowlers performing well and picking wickets.

Bangladesh chased the target in a canter, losing four wickets before winning the match. Nazmul Hassan won the man of the match for his disciplined two wickets for 10 runs in six overs, which included two maidens.

Australia vs Namibia, Potchefstroom 2003 (Namibia – 45 runs)

It was the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup, and Australia were on song to win the title. They faced lowly-ranked Namibia in Potchefstroom and having won the toss, elected to bat first on a batting wicket.

Matthew Hayden top-scored with 88 and hard-hitting lower down the order from Andrew Symonds and Darren Lehmann took Australia’s score to 301 runs.

Asked to chase a steep target, Namibia were bundled out for 45 runs, with Man of the Match Glenn McGrath picking up seven wickets for 15 runs.

Sri Lanka vs India, Asia Cup 2023 (Sri Lanka – 50 runs)

A pulsating encounter was expected when India took on then-defending champions Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 on Sri Lankan soil. However, what turned out next was a completely one-sided encounter.

Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals and their batters had no answers to the questions asked by Mohammed Siraj who was bowling fireballs. Siraj picked up four wickets in a single over and finished the match with six wickets in his bag. Hardik Pandya also picked up three wickets while Jasprit Bumrah was the first to strike.

Ashish Pant
A fantasy gaming enthusiast, gaming writer and an out and out cricket nerd. I am an engineer by education who found his solace in writing.


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