With 48 matches between 10 teams across 10 different venues, the ODI World Cup 2023 concluded with Australia clinching their sixth ODI World Cup title and maintaining their tag as the most successful team in the history of the tournament. The just-concluded edition of the prestigious cricket quadrennial witnessed a lot of historic moments throughout the entire tournament.
With said that, here we’ll have a look at the top 10 major highlights of the tournament which will be remembered for the years to come and which made this tournament a World Cup for ages.
Aiden Markram’s heroics and South Africa hitting new batting excellence
It was just the third day of the tournament when Sri Lanka and South Africa locked horns in a group-stage match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on October 7, 2023. The Proteas displayed an iconic batting performance against the Islanders, riding on Aiden Markram’s fastest century in the history of the ODI World Cup. They posted a massive total of 428 runs, having Markram’s 49-ball blistering century.
Pakistan’s historic chase against Sri Lanka
Babar Azam-led Pakistan were taking on Sri Lanka in their second league-stage match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. Batting first, Sri Lanka managed to post a big total of 344 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in the allotted 50 overs, which was looking very hard one to chase for Pakistan. But history was rewritten that day by Pakistan as they chased down the target, to register the highest successful run-chase in the 48-year-long history of the ODI World Cup.
Impressive outings of Afghanistan and the Netherlands
Two of the big highlights of the ODI World Cup 2023 were two teams, Afghanistan and the Netherlands, which were considered minnows by most cricket experts. But both teams proved everyone wrong with their excellent performances throughout the tournament. Afghanistan registered four wins in the tournament, including wins against three former World Cup champions, England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. On the other hand, the Netherlands also shook the cricketing world after defeating South Africa, alongside a win against Bangladesh.
The ‘Maxwell’ show in Delhi – First
Aiden Markram’s record of the fastest ODI World Cup century could last only for 18 days as Glenn Maxwell came up with some explosive plans against the Netherlands in Delhi; he smashed a century off just 40 balls to register the fastest century in the history of the ODI World Cup. On the back of his knock, Australia posted a massive total of 399 runs for the loss of 8 wickets to win the match by 309 runs.
The run-fest in Dharamsala between New Zealand and Australia
The cricket fans also witnessed an iconic thriller during a group-stage match between Australia and New Zealand, which was played at Dharamsala. Australia posted a big total of 388 runs in the first innings, which was looking quite easily defendable at first sight but New Zealand didn’t leave it too early. The Blackcaps took the match till the last match and fell only 6 runs short of the glorious win. A total of 771 runs were scored on that day, which ended up as the highest run-scoring game in tournament history.
India outmuscled Sri Lanka
The 2011 ODI World Cup finalists, India and Sri Lanka took on each other at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, where the men in blue posted a big total of 357 runs in the first innings. While defending the target, Indian bowlers left everyone in utter shock by bundling out Sri Lanka just at the score of 55 runs in the second innings and winning the match by a mammoth margin of 302 runs.
Angelo Mathews Timed-Out incident
During the Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka clash in Delhi, the fans and cricketing fraternity witnessed what had never happened in the 146-year-long cricketing history. Bangladesh skipper appealed for a ‘timed-out’ against Sri Lanka’s veteran all-rounder and former skipper, Angelo Mathews as the latter’s helmet got broken and it took time for him to take the guard.
Later Mathews called Shakib a ‘disgraceful’ during the post-match press conference while answering the journalists.
The historic ‘Maxwell’ run-chase for Australia – Second
Australia were in deep trouble after losing 7 wickets just at the score of 91 runs while chasing the target of 292 runs against Afghanistan. But then came the ‘Glenn Maxwell’ carnage at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The man stood with his one injured leg to take Australia with a historic win by 3 wickets and played ‘the greatest ODI innings in the history of cricket’ as Australian skipper Pat Cummins said.
Virat Kohli becoming The Great ‘Kohli’
The stage was all set in the first semi-final of the tournament between India and New Zealand, where everyone was waiting for former Indian skipper and batting star, Virat Kohli’s 50th ODI century. Fortunately, the wait ended that day as Virat Kohli scored his record-extending 50th ODI century to break Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of 49 ODI centuries at the latter’s home ground, Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
1.4 billion Heartbreaks in Ahmedabad
The night of the final will always be a scar and agony for the Indian fans, alongside the skipper of the team, Rohit Sharma. Australian opener Travis Head’s 137-run knock took the ODI World Cup title away from India as Australia clinched their sixth title in the history of the tournament.