The involvement of women in the sport of cricket has been gaining momentum as the years go by, with many advancements in the sport as well as support from their respective cricket associations. While more member states are opening up to the idea of developing their women’s teams, a lot more is yet to be done. Meanwhile, the setting up of different T20 leagues is a step in the right direction for the development of the sport for women.

Meanwhile, many records are regularly either set, broken or both, on an individual and team basis. Here, on the two-year anniversary of New Zealand breaking their own record, we look at the top five highest scores by a team.

New Zealand 455/5 vs Pakistan (January 1997)

New Zealand etched a small place in ODI history when they registered themselves as the first team in women’s ODI history during the Pakistan tour of New Zealand in 1997. The Kiwi Women completed this feat courtesy of some powerful hitting by skipper Maia Ann Mereana Lewis, who hit a 72-ball 105.

Having won the first ODI of the series equally fashionably, New Zealand went on a rampage, hitting 455 against Pakistan. Batting first, Debbie Hockley and Maia Lewis put up a 120-run stand, with Hockley hitting 88 off 68 balls as well. Their middle order were as adept as their top order, with Trudy Anderson and Clare Nicholson hitting 85 and 70 runs respectively. Meanwhile, the Pakistan batswomen were bundled for 47 runs.

The Kiwis still hold the record for their 408-run victory over Pakistan.

Australia 412/3 vs Denmark (December 1997)

Over the 11 Women’s World Cups that have been held, New Zealand has won one, England have won three and ODI No. 1 team Australia have won a record six titles. On the way to their record fourth title, Australia recorded what is now the highest score in women’s world cricket, which has then been beaten thrice.

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Belinda Clark was on fire yet again, with the skipper notching up the highest-ever ODI score for a batswoman in international cricket, which stood at an unbeaten 229, which was later broken by Amelia Kerr 21 years later. This time, she set up a 168-run partnership with Lisa Keightley, who herself scored 60 runs on the way to this mammoth score against Denmark. In reply, the Danish women only managed to score 29 runs, with Australia registering the third-highest ODI victory of 363 runs en route to their fourth ICC title in six World Cups.

New Zealand 491/4 vs Ireland (June 2018)

The Aussies might have been a force to reckon with in the 1990s, but many other top women’s teams had taken flight, especially the New Zealand team. Led up front by skipper Suzie Bates, New Zealand went on to record the highest score ever in ODIs, a record still unbroken at 491. This was the first of three ODIs where New Zealand ended up scoring 400+ scores during their tour of England and Ireland.

After an opening partnership of 172 runs with Jess Watkins, she put on a 116-run stand with Maddy Green, scoring 151 off 94 runs. The onslaught continued even after the dismissal of the skipper, who went to complete her century before losing her wicket for 122 runs.

Meanwhile, middle-order specialist Amelia Kerr led the team to 491 while scoring an unbeaten 81 herself. Cara Murray’s 119 for two stands as the most runs conceded in 10 overs in Women’s cricket, while in response the hosts could only muster up 144 runs.

New Zealand 418 vs Ireland (June 2018)

The Irish bowlers came back strong in the second ODI for the series, but could not stop the Kiwi women from scoring another 400 runs, losing all their wickets in 49.5 balls. Led by Sophie Devine, who opened the batting and scored 108 off 61 balls, New Zealand were all-out at a score of 418 runs.

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Maddy Green, Amy Satterthwaite, Bernadine Bezuidenhout and Anna Peterson all scored quick runs after the departure of Devine. Playing hard knocks, Green scored a half-century, while the other three scored 48, 43 and 46 respectively. Cara Murray conceded the most runs yet again, this time giving away 92 runs for two wickets. The hosts fumbled under the weight of their target and folded at 112 runs.

New Zealand 440/3 vs Ireland (June 2018)

Although New Zealand had wrapped up the series in the previous game, they were in the mood for more explosive batting orchestrated by Amelia Kerr. Promoted to opener in the final match of the series, Amelia Kerr broke Belinda Clark’s 21-year-old record when she smashed a world record with an unbeaten 232 to lead her team to the mammoth score of 440.

She achieved the feat facing 10 lesser balls than the former Aussie skipper, putting up a 291-run partnership with Leigh Kasperek, who scored 113 herself before departing. In response to another brilliant performance by the Kiwi Women, the Irish lasses managed 135 runs while chasing the 440, with Kerr showing off his bowling skill with five wickets and conceding 17 runs. New Zealand ended up breaking this series by registering three of the highest scores in Women’s ODI history.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / William West