Three lowest ODI totals by Australia
Australia are one of the most successful teams in the history of ODI cricket. They have won the World Cup a total of five times and have been pretty consistent across other editions of the tournament as well. The major reason behind their success is their strong pool of players over the years. In fact, they have kept producing classy batsmen year after year. However, like everyone, even the best have bad days on the field. That said, we shall take a look at three of Australia's lowest totals in ODI cricket.
70 vs England & New Zealand (Birmingham | Jun 1977, Adelaide | January 1986)
70 is the lowest team total Australia have ever recorded in ODIs. But that hasn't been once but twice in the span of nine years since 1977. The first one was against England at Birmingham in 1977. The hosts had been bowled out for 171 as both Greg Chappell and Gary Cosier registered five-wicket hauls for Australia. However, that turned out to be a pretty tough ask for the Australian batsmen as they were bowled out for just 70 runs. None of the batsmen except Greg Chappell, Richie Robinson and Ray Bright could reach double-digit scores and that sums up why they struggled.
The second instance was against New Zealand at home nine years later, and this was a far more humiliating defeat. The Kiwi batsmen smashed the Australian bowlers all around the park to post a daunting target of 277. Australia, on the other hand, totally succumbed under pressure as only David Boon (10) and Wayne Phillips (22) were the batsmen who could reach double-digit scores.
74 vs Sri Lanka (Brisbane | Jan 2013)
This one came in a more recent encounter and, unlike the previous two instances, Australia fought pretty hard in this match as well. This was the third ODI of the five-match series during Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in 2013 and the series was level at 1-1 before this match. Australia won the toss and opted to bat first on the Brisbane track but anyone would have hardly expected what followed afterwards.
Nuwan Kulasekara (5/22) and Lasith Malinga (3/14) ran through Australia's batting line-up to bundle them up for just 74 runs. Australia's highest contributions came from the bottom half of their lineup with Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty scoring 22 and 15 respectively. The Australian bowlers in response fought hard. Mitchell Johnson (3/11) and Starc (2/25) bowled inspiring spells but the total was too low as Sri Lanka won the match by four wickets.
91 vs West Indies (Perth | Jan 1987)
This was the fifth match of the Benson and Hedges World Challenge at Perth, the same edition during which Australia won their maiden World title. A classy century from Gordon Greenidge and a fiery fifty down the order from Michael Holding helped West Indies to post a total of 255/8. So the target for Australia was 256 and it used to be a pretty daunting one during those days. But this Australian side was known for not giving up and hence, they were expected to put up a fight. However, fiery spells from Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Tony Gray meant Australia were bowled out for 91 runs. None of the batsmen except Steve Waugh (29 off 47 deliveries) could survive at the crease for long. It is still one of the biggest defeats for Australia in world events.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Adrian Dennis