It has been 50 years since the first one-day international match was played between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 5th January 1971. Generally, we expect a game to end when the team chasing the target achieves it with overs to spare and wickets in hand; or the team that batted first defended its total by getting the other team all out or restricting it short of the target in stipulated overs; or there could be a tie also when the scores are evenly matched after the completion of the game.
However, at times, there have been a few instances in the history of ODI cricket where the winner of the match was chosen under extraordinary circumstances considering the position of the game in progress. Here is a collection of ODI matches that had unusual winners:

3rd ODI, Sahiwal, Nov 3 1978 India tour of Pakistan

Result : Pakistan awarded the match (opposition conceded)

  • Bishen Bedi conceded the match in protest against the short-pitched bowling tactics of Pakistan. Sarfraz Nawaz’s last 4 deliveries were all out of reach of the batsmen, and not called wide by the umpire.

3rd ODI, Hyderabad, Mar 20 1987, Pakistan tour of India

Result :India won (lost fewer wickets) 20 Mar 1987 

  • Pakistan was 2 runs away from victory in the last ball. Qadir tried an impossible 2nd run and was run out thus making India the winner. Unfortunately, the umpires had failed to notice a fielding infringement – as Kapil ran into bowl the last ball to Manzoor Elahi, only three Indian fielders were stationed in the inner ring.

3rd ODI Lahore, Oct 14 1988, Australia tour of Pakistan

Result : Pakistan won (lost fewer wickets)

  • Earlier Match abandoned due to rioting 14 Oct 1988 Karachi 2nd ODI. Match originally scheduled to be played at Hyderabad on October 15, but rescheduled because of rioting

5th Match, Colombo, Feb 17 1996, Wills World Cup

Result : Sri Lanka won (walkover without a ball bowled

  • Australia forfeited the match due to safety concerns, and were in Bombay at the time of the match.

15th Match, Colombo, Feb 25 1996, Wills World Cup

Result : Sri Lanka won (walkover without a ball bowled)

  • West Indies forfeited the match due to safety concerns.

7th Match, Leeds, Jun 17 2001, NatWest Series

Result : Pakistan awarded the match (opposition conceded)

Waqar Younis achieved his best innings bowling analysis in ODI matches when he dismissed Cork in the England innings (previous best was 6-26) England conceded the match following a pitch invasion which occurred when Pakistan needed only 4 runs to win with more than 10 overs remaining

8th Match, Harare, Feb 13 2003, ICC World Cup

Result : Zimbabwe won (walkover without a ball bowled)

  • England forfeited the match due to safety concerns

21st Match, Nairobi, Feb 21 2003, ICC World Cup

Result : Kenya won (walkover without a ball bowled)

  • New Zealand forfeited the match due to safety concerns

3rd Match, Mombasa, Jan 20 2007, Associates Tri-Series (in Kenya)

Result : Kenya won (walkover without a ball bowled)

  • Canada forfeited the match due to player illness.

1st SF (D/N), Kolkata, Mar 13 1996, Wills World Cup

13 Mar 1996: Sachin Tendulkar of India is stumped by Kaluwitharana of Sri Lanka for 65 during the semi-final in the Cricket World Cup between India and Sri Lanka played at Eden Gardens in Calcutta, India. Credit: Ross Kinnaird/ALLSPORT

Result : Sri Lanka won by default

  • At the fall of the 8th Indian wicket, sections of the crowd vented their disgust with the state of the match by setting fire to some areas of the stands and throwing fruit and water bottles onto the field. The match was briefly stopped and when play was about to resume, the crowd again threw bottles at the deep fielders. The match referee stopped the game and the game was awarded to Sri Lanka by default.

Final, London, Jul 14 2019, ICC Cricket World Cup

Result : England won the match on the boundary count back rule.

Ben Stokes of England apologises after he dives to make his ground but the ball deflects off his bat for four overthrows during the England v New Zealand ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019 at Lords Cricket Ground on July 14th 2019 in London (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images)

By Staff

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