When the New Zealand Women’s cricket team scored 455 in 1997, little did they know that it would take almost ten years in Men's cricket to reach the 400-run mark in ODI. However, since that game between South Africa and Australia, only six international teams have managed to score more than 400 runs in a game. 

On the occasion of the second anniversary of England’s 481 against Australia, we look at the five highest scores over the course of Men’s ODI cricket history:

South Africa 438 vs Australia, Johannesburg (March 2006)

On the day when Men’s cricket witnessed their highest ever score in ODI, the record was broken the same day in the second innings. Australia scored 434, courtesy Ricky Ponting’s 164 off 105 balls, while openers Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich and Michael Hussey all managed to score half-centuries on this batting pitch.

Australia thought the match had been sealed with this massive score, but the Proteas had another surprise in the bag for the Aussies. After losing opener Boeta Dippenaar, skipper Graeme Smith who scored 90 off 55 balls, rallied with Herschelle Gibbs, who scored 175 off 111 balls himself. Towards the latter stage of the game, Mark Boucher scored a half-century, while supporting roles from Johan van der Wath, Roger Telemachus and Andrew Hall took their side to a memorable victory. 

South Africa 439 vs West Indies, Johannesburg (January 2015)

South Africa were at it yet again nine years later, this time batting first and squaring off against West Indies. The Proteas completely dominated the Windies through the game, be it their top order, who all scored centuries, or their bowlers, who kept the feisty West Indies batsmen at bay.

This match is famous for AB de Villiers, who went on to hit a 33-ball 100, breaking Corey Anderson’s record of the fastest century in the ODI cricket. However, prior to this, Hashim Alma and Rilee Rossouw set up a 247 runs partnership, with both the players hitting their centuries. AB de Villiers hit a 44-ball 149 at a strike rate of 338.63, including a record 16 sixes, while Amla carried the bat for his side, scoring 153 off 142 balls.

Sri Lanka 443 vs Netherlands, Amstelveen (July 2006)

A few months after the classic thriller between South Africa and the Netherlands, Sri Lanka soon joined the party during the first ODI of their tour of Netherlands. Sri Lanka were in fine form on the day, scoring 443 runs, while dismissing their opponents for 248.

Opener Sanath Jayasuriya led from the front, scoring 157 runs off 104 balls, striking at a rate of 150.96. Tillakaratne Dilshan was the other centurion for Sri Lanka as he scored an unbeaten 117 off 78 balls, at a rate of 150. Although the Lankans found their lower order collapsing under the Dutch bowling, with only Farveez Maharoof reaching the double figures. In response to the massive 443, Netherlands managed to score only 248, with Lanka winning the game by 195 runs. 

England 444 vs Pakistan, Nottingham (August 2016)

England have a penchant of scoring a lot of runs, with the two top scores in Men’s ODIs being scored by the English men. The first of the two was against Pakistan, with England showing signs of recovery following their disastrous World Cup campaign in 2015. 

Alex Hales was at the pinnacle of their first innings score, with the opener managing to score 171 runs off 122 balls, scoring at a rate of 140.16, including 22 fours and 4 sixes. Joe Root, Joss Buttler and skipper Eoin Morgan scored 85, 90 and 57 runs respectively, as England went on to surpass Sri Lanka’s score. In response, Pakistan were all out for 275, with England winning by 169 runs.

England 481 vs Australia, Nottingham (June 2018)

Two years after breaking the record for the highest score in Men’s ODIs, England were at it again while hosting their arch-rivals Australia in Nottingham, the same venue where they had previously set the record. The top order of England was responsible for the mammoth score of 481, with Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy setting up a 159-run partnership. 

Bairstow scored 139 off 92 balls at a rate of 151.08, while Roy scored 82 off 61 runs. Meanwhile, Alex Hales played another Man of the Match performance, scoring 147 off 92 balls at a rate of 159.78, starring for England yet again, while Morgan scored 67 to help England to 481. Australia managed a measly 239 runs before succumbing to the pressure of the big total and losing all their wickets. 

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Lindsey Parnaby