10 Best Match-Defining Partnerships in ODI Cricket History

Partnerships in ODI cricket are vital for a team’s success in the most decorated format of the game. Australia in their prime had players who stitched partnership after partnership to keep winning and eventually clinch the World Cup. A significant stand between two players can turn the match around from any position in ODIs. All of us have witnessed that cricket is a game of uncertainties that is because a good partnership can turn the game in an instant.

Here are the 10 best partnerships in ODI cricket history:

1- Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell 201 Runs against England in Manchester in 2020

In the third ODI of Australia’s tour to England in 2020, England posted 302 runs on the board. Jonny Bairstow scored a brilliant hundred to put England in command. Chasing the huge target, Kangaroos suffered massive blows as five of their batters were dismissed for just 73 runs.

Every sane cricketing fan and expert thought that the game was totally in England’s grasp. However, Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell had something different in their minds. They counterattacked the English bowling line-up studded with the likes of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes. Both batters went on to notch up their individual hundred in one of the best ever partnerships in ODI cricket.

Ultimately Australia won the game with 2 balls and 3 wickets to spare as Mitchell Starc took the team home with his impactful 11 off 3. Nevertheless, Carey and Maxwell put Australia in a position to imagine a victory out of nowhere. Carey registered 106, and Maxwell scored 108 runs.

2- Shakib-Al-Hasan and Mahmudullah 224 Runs against New Zealand in ICC Champions Trophy 2017

Shakib-Al-Hasan was in the form of his life at the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, but he did not find cooperation from the other end to take his team to greater heights in the tournament. However, Bangladesh versus New Zealand was a game in which he found able support from Mahmudullah to snatch the victory out of the Kiwi’s jaws in the clash.

New Zealand posted 265 runs on the board, and Bangladesh was reduced to 33/4 in 12 overs while chasing the target. Despite adversity, Shakib and Mahmudullah refused to give up and brought a massive 224 run stand for the fifth wicket to register a shocking victory. Both of them scored individual hundreds, and Mahmudullah remained unbeaten on 102* to take his side home. Shakib departed after contributing 114 runs in the match.

3- Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi 267* Runs against Sri Lanka in Dunedin in 2015

Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi put on a batting masterclass against Sri Lanka in the 5th ODI of Sri Lanka’s tour to New Zealand in 2015. The duo were unstoppable as they smashed every bowler, including Nuwan Kulasekara and Suranga Lakmal. New Zealand was 93-5 when Luke Ronchi entered the field to join Grant Elliott.

Both remained unbeaten till the end and brought up their individual hundreds. They denied Sri Lanka any chance at making a comeback in the series. Luke Ronchi played his best knock ever in the ODIs as he smashed 170* runs in just 99 balls with the help of 9 towering sixes. Elliott was also impressive and scored an unbeaten 104* runs. New Zealand ultimately won the game by 108 runs to gain an unassailable lead in the series.

4- Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni 256 Runs against England in Cuttack in 2017

The famous duo of Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have saved India from a batting collapse in many cricketing games. Their middle-order camaraderie was second to none during their prime. However, this massive partnership came when Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni both were assumed to have passed their peak performance in cricket.

India was 25/3 in about 5 overs when Dhoni walked in to join his partner in crime Yuvraj Singh. At first, both of them looked to consolidate the inning and gathered a few boundaries only when a proper opportunity arose. Slowly they built up the foundation, and Yuvraj took the role of the aggressor. Soon, Dhoni also came to the party with a few successive boundaries. They dominated the English attack and helped India pose a massive total of 381 runs which resulted in the victory by 15 runs.

5- Mahela Jayawardene and MS Dhoni 218 Runs against Africa XI in Chennai in 2007

Nowadays, fans can’t even imagine two players from different cricketing nations playing in the same team under an official tournament organised by ICC. However, back in the day when cricket was at its peak International Cricket Council used to organise star-studded matches which featured teams like World XI, Asia XI, Africa XI and more. MS Dhoni and Mahela Jayawardene got an opportunity to represent Asia XI against Africa XI in a match at Chennai in 2007.

Asia XI was batting first and lost five wickets at a meagre score of 72 in about 17 overs. Dhoni then walked in to join Jayawardene in the middle. The two steadied the inning with a cautious and careful approach. However, once they got familiar with the conditions, they started their assault on African bowlers to form one of the best partnerships in ODI. Both of them went on to score individual centuries. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 139* off just 97 deliveries, while Jayawardene scored 107 off 106. Asia XI finished with a massive total of 331 runs on the scoreboard and eventually won the game by 13 runs.

6- Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav 200 Runs against England in Pune in 2017

When England toured India in 2017, they were playing a fearless brand of cricket which won them many games. In the 1st ODI of the three-match series between the two teams, England posted 350 runs on the board. The mammoth total was big enough to send shivers down the spine of the Indian batting line-up. Chasing a huge total, India was reduced to 63/4 with their prominent batters back into the dugout.

Virat Kohli was struggling alone from one end to keep the chase alive. However, at last, he found a worthy partner in Kedar Jadhav, who stood up to form a counter-attacking alliance with his skipper against the English bowlers. The duo pulled India out of a precarious situation and ultimately secured a victory for their team. Kohli scored 122 while Jadhav played a brilliant knock of 120 in just 76 balls. This match established Kedar Jadhav as one of India’s best finishers in the limited-overs format of the game at that point in time.

7- Faf Du Plessis and David Miller 252 Runs against Australia in Hobart in 2018

Faf Du Plessis, the former skipper of South Africa, combined with David Miller in Hobart in 2018 to form a massive 252 runs partnership for the 4th wicket. South Africa was asked to bat first in the match after losing the toss. The Kangaroos were all over the Proteas until the 16th over of the inning. They sent back the top three of South Africa cheaply and formed a strong grip on the game.

However, the match turned on its head when David Miller entered the crease to join Faf Du Plessis. Both of them went on to score hundreds and powered their team to a massive total of 320 in 50 overs. The likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood failed to make an impact against the determined Proteas duo. Faf scored 125 off 114 while Miller played an exhilarating knock of 139 off 108 balls. South Africa won the game by 40 runs on the back of one of the best partnerships in ODI.

8- M Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja 223 Runs against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 1997

M Azharuddin was a prolific top-order batter who was rated as one of the best of all time in cricketing history. On the other hand, Ajay Jadeja was the perfect finisher for India in ODIs. One can never forget his special knock against Pakistan in which he destroyed Waqar Younis single-handedly. India toured Sri Lanka in 1997, and the first match of the ODI series between the nations was played in Colombo. The match is remembered for Azharuddin and Jadeja’s one of the greatest partnerships in ODI.

Sri Lanka batted first and posted a huge total of 302 runs on the scoreboard. In reply, India stuttered and was reduced to 64/4. No one gave the Indian team any chance to make a comeback in the match. Nevertheless, the duo of Azharuddin and Jadeja believed differently. What followed was an epic partnership that gave a huge scare to the Sri Lankan team. Both Azharuddin and Jadeja reached their individual landmarks of hundred runs. Unfortunately, Jadeja was dismissed on 119, which stopped India from registering an impressive win. Azharuddin stayed till the end, but Sri Lanka came out victorious with a bare margin of 2 runs.

9- Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke 220 Runs against New Zealand in Wellington in 2005

Andrew Symonds recently passed away due to an unfortunate car accident. The legend is gone, but his great deeds live on. One instance of his greatness on the cricketing field was visible in Wellington in 2005. He played a marvellous knock and formed an excellent partnership with Michael Clarke to ensure a victory for Australia. The Kangaroos were batting first in the match but good bowling from the Kiwis saw them struggling at 101/4.

Symonds was then joined by Michael Clarke, who showed his potential and calm to construct a match-defining partnership with his mate. The duo went on to put 220 runs for the 5th wicket. Micheal Clarke remained unbeaten on 82 while Andrew Symonds scored 158 runs off 127 deliveries, which included 8 towering sixes. Australia won the thrilling ODI by 2 runs after one of the greatest partnerships in ODI.

10- Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels 372 Runs against Zimbabwe in Canberra in 2015

Chris Gayle and the controversial cricketer Marlon Samuels have the distinction of being involved in the highest-ever partnership in the history of ODI cricket. West Indies lost Dwayne Smith for a duck, and Marlon Samuels succeeded him in the middle. Gayle and Samuels were in no mood to waste any time. They destroyed the Zimbabwe bowlers to form the most extensive partnership in the 50 over the format of the game.

Chris Gayle reached the personal milestone of 200 runs in this match. He scored 215 off 147 balls, which included 16 monstrous sixes. He was well complemented by Marlon Samuels, who remained unbeaten on 133*. West Indies posted a huge total of 372 runs which was always going to be too much for the Zimbabwe cricket team. Windies won the ODI by 73 runs.

Also Read: Top 11 Partnerships in Test Cricket Which Were Game-Changing

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