The era has passed when a 300-plus score in an ODI assured victory. Two decades ago, a total of over 300 runs would have excited fans. Earlier, a score between 270 and 280 was deemed a winning total, even when ODIs featured 60 overs per side. There have been a total of 24 occasions when a team has exceeded the 400-run milestone in ODIs, including England’s impressive 498/4 against the Netherlands in 2022.
Intriguingly, there have also been instances of a team narrowly missing the 400-run mark by just one run. This took place on Sunday, September 24, in the match between India and Australia. Hence, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on these exceptional situations. Here are the four instances where a team fell short of 400 runs by just one run in a single ODI innings.
#4. South Africa scored 399/6 against Zimbabwe in 2010
South Africa has the record for the most 400+ totals in ODIs, achieving this feat seven times. Remarkably, one of these instances occurred during a chase against Australia in 2006. However, during a match against their neighbours, Zimbabwe, in 2010, South Africa set a unique milestone by scoring 399 runs in the ODI format. In the third ODI in Benoni, South African batsmen delivered a stellar performance, thanks to a remarkable 219-run partnership between JP Duminy and AB de Villiers.
Duminy contributed 129 runs from 117 deliveries, while De Villiers produced a stunning 109 from 99 balls. A late cameo from David Miller (33* off 19) helped propel the Proteas to a total of 399/6. Under the leadership of Graeme Smith, South Africa proceeded to dismiss Zimbabwe for just 127 runs, securing their most significant ODI victory with a staggering margin of 272 runs.
#3. England scored 399/9 against South Africa in 2016
Following their disappointing performance at the 2015 ODI World Cup, England implemented some significant changes to their strategy in the 50-over format. They consistently posted scores of 300 or more, and in an ODI against South Africa in 2016, they narrowly missed the 400-run mark by just one run.
The first ODI of a five-match series between England and South Africa in January 2016 saw Eoin Morgan winning the toss and choosing to bat first. Strong contributions, including fifties from Alex Hales (57) and Joe Root (52), provided an excellent foundation for England. Jos Buttler then delivered a remarkable century, achieving the milestone in just 72 balls and scoring 105 off 76.
With 3.4 overs remaining, England had reached 371 runs, but they suffered a quick succession of four wickets, ultimately concluding their innings at 399/9 in 50 overs.
#2. Pakistan achieved a score of 399/1 against Zimbabwe in 2018
Despite Pakistan having produced numerous exceptional batters over the years, they have yet to cross the 400-run mark in an ODI innings. However, they came remarkably close to achieving this milestone when Fakhar Zaman’s extraordinary double century guided his team to a total of 399/1 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2018.
During that series, in which Pakistan achieved a 5-0 whitewash against Zimbabwe away from home, the fourth ODI witnessed a remarkable display of batting by the visitors. Opting to bat first, Pakistan’s opening pair, consisting of Imam ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman, wreaked havoc by amassing 304 runs.
Their opening partnership of 304 runs remains the highest for any wicket for Pakistan in ODIs. Zaman became the first Pakistani to achieve a double century in an ODI, finishing unbeaten with 210 runs off 156 deliveries. Despite a fiery fifty from Asif Ali in just 22 balls during the late stages of the innings, Pakistan fell just short of the 400-run mark, concluding with a total of 399/1.
#1. India reached a score of 399/5 against Australia in 2023
In their most recent second one-day international against Australia at Holkar Stadium in Indore on Sunday, September 24, India achieved a total of 399/5, earning the top position on the list of 400-run near misses. Initially, India was put into bat and faced an early setback with the dismissal of Ruturaj Gaikwad (8). However, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer then combined forces to dominate the Australian team, swiftly accumulating 200 runs for the second wicket.
Both Gill and Iyer capitalized on favourable batting conditions in Indore, with Iyer contributing 105 runs from 90 balls and Gill reaching 104 in 97 balls. However, both of them lost their wickets in quick succession, within a span of 27 runs. In the 41st over, Suryakumar Yadav stepped in and wasted no time showcasing his intentions.
He hammered four consecutive sixes off Cameron Green to reach his fifty in just 24 balls. Captain KL Rahul also played his part with a 38-ball 52, enabling India to post 399/5 in their allotted 50 overs. Subsequently, the hosts clinched a 99-run victory after the match was shortened to 33 overs for Australia due to rain.
Shreyas Iyer was named the Player of the Match for his outstanding batting performance. The third and final ODI of the series is scheduled for September 27 in Rajkot.