On 25 April 2004, the Zimbabwe cricket team recorded the lowest score in ODI history.

During the third one-day international of Sri Lanka’s tour of Zimbabwe, the hosts were bowled out for 35 at Harare Sports Club in 2004.

Electing to field first, Sri Lanka left-arm fast bowler Chaminda Vaas picked four wickets and pacer Farveez Maharoof bagged three to bowl out Zimbabwe for the lowest score in the 50-over format.

Interestingly, none of the Zimbabwe batters failed to reach the double figures with Dion Ebrahim top-scoring with seven runs.

In reply, Saman Jayantha (28) and Mahela Jayawardene (3) helped Sri Lanka chase down the total in 9.2 overs. Sri Lanka won the match by nine wickets.

The United States national cricket team equalled the record for the lowest score in ODI as they were bundled out for 35 against hosts Nepal at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground in February, 2020.

Put into bat, USA batters failed to put up any resistance as they were bowled out for an embarrassing total. Opener Xavier Marshall was the top-scorer for the USA team as he scored 16 off 22 balls. For Nepal, leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane was the wrecker-in-chief as he picked six wickets for 16 runs in his six overs.

In response, Nepal chased down the total in 5.2 overs and eight wickets in hand.

USA’s neighbours Canada used to hold the unwanted record before Zimbabwe took over in 2004. 

During a group match in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, Sri Lanka, again, bundled out the Canadian cricket team for a measly 36 in Paarl.

After Sri Lanka elected to field first, an all-round bowling display helped them bowl out Canada for a low total. Prabath Nissanka claimed four wickets while Chaminda Vaas scalped three wickets for Sri Lanka. None of the Canada batters reached the double figures with opener Desmond Chumney top scoring with nine runs.

In reply, Marvan Attapatu (24) and Kumar Sangakkara (4) powered Sri Lanka to a nine-wicket win.

Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka complete the top five for the lowest score in ODIs. While Zimbabwe were skittled out for 38 against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2001, Sri Lanka were bundled out for 43 against South Africa in Paarl in 2012.

India’s lowest score in ODI came against Sri Lanka at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in 2000. 

The Men in Blue were bowled out for 54 against the Lankas during the Coca-Cola Champions Trophy final.

After Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat, captain Sanath Jayasuriya smashed 189 off 161 balls and Russell Arnold’s 52 off 62 balls helped them post 299/5 in their allotted 50 overs.

In reply, India lost wickets at regular intervals as they were bundled out for 54. Chaminda Vaas was the standout bowler for Sri Lanka as he claimed a five-wicket haul.

For India, middle-order batter Robin Singh was the highest scorer with 11 runs.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands women’s cricket team holds the record for the lowest score in women's ODI. The Lionesses were bundled out for 22 against West Indies women at the Salland Cricket Club Ground in Deventer in 2008.

Lowest scores in ODI cricket

Team Score Opposition  Ground Match Date
Zimbabwe  35 Sri Lanka  Harare 25 April 2004
USA 35 Nepal Kirtipur 12 February 2020
Canada 36 Sri Lanka Paarl  13 February 2003
Zimbabwe 38 Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) 8 December 2001
Sri Lanka 43 South Africa Paarl  11 January 2012
Pakistan 43 West Indies Cape Town 25 February 1993
Zimbabwe 44 Bangladesh Chattogram 3 November 2009
Canada 45 England Manchester 13 June 1979
Namibia 45 Australia Potchefstroom 27 February 2003
India 54 Sri Lanka Sharjah 29 October 2000

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Featured photo: NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP