The sport as a whole becomes far more intense and fascinating when the game goes down to the wire and till the very end. Notably, the ODI’s are one such format which consistently needs close games to keep on enriching and engulfing the viewers. Boring one-sided ODI’s which turn out to be utterly dull are far from anyone’s liking and end up making the game far grimmer.
In 2017 though, fans were fortunate to witness some absolute thrillers which kept everyone on the edge of their seats until the very end. In some cases, it was the application of exceptional death bowling which took the game to the end, while in others, the pure muscle from the willow made things livelier.
In the article below, we have a look at the five closest ODI’s of 2017, based upon the margin of victory in runs.
- New Zealand Vs South Africa – 6 runs
South Africa’s ODI assignment in Oceania turned out to be a thrilling affair as the Proteas took the hosts head-on in the five-match series. The second game of the series was a nail-biter as the two champion sides churned out a delightful game. Needing 290 to win the game, after a fine ton from Ross Taylor, South Africa found themselves in a tricky spot with the middle order not building upon their starts. Eventually needing 15 off the last over, the visitors fell short by six runs, giving Kane Williamson’s men a well-deserved win.
- New Zealand Vs Australia – 6 runs:
Barely three weeks before the game against South Africa, New Zealand were involved in yet another edge of the seat encounter. The game though easily resulted in what can be termed as the biggest heartbreak of 2017. Having put up a bulky 286 on board, the Kiwis had Australia on the mat and nowhere at 67-6. However, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was set to play one of the most resilient knocks in the format in the next few years as along with the lower order; he instilled life in a game which seemed dead long ago. Stoinis’ unbeaten knock of 146 off just 117 deliveries could have won the day for Australia, had Josh Hazlewood not been run out by an extremely acrobatic effort from Kane Williamson.
- England Vs India – 5 runs:
The three-match series between the two sides in January was an absolute run fest. The third game at Kolkata was England’s best chance of saving some grace and avoiding a whitewash. Defending 322, the game seemed more or less done when India lost MS Dhoni with the score reading 173-5. The sixth-wicket stand between Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav, however, turned the game on its head as the two added 104 in just 13.5 overs. Eventually, Jadhav fell short of partners and was dismissed for a heroic 90 off 75 deliveries. Needing six off the final delivery, a wild heave from Bhuvneshwar Kumar wasn’t enough to save the day for the men in blue.
- Zimbabwe Vs Afghanistan – 3 runs:
There is seriously something extraordinary about low scoring thrillers. Zimbabwe and Afghanistan put on a show of absolute grit and stealth at Harare as the bowlers made merry in assisting conditions. Putting up a mere 129 on board, not many would have backed Zimbabwe off pulling an unlikely heist. More so, with Afghanistan almost home at 107-4, it was just a matter of time. A quick couple of wickets from Sean Williams though opened up the game, and later an impressive spell from pacer Chris Mpofu won the day for the hosts.
- England Vs South Africa – 2 runs:
The three-match series was played just before the ICC Champions Trophy and Southampton witnessed an absolute thriller in the second game of the series. Having won the first game, all England needed was a win to grab the series. Riding on a superlative ton from Ben Stokes, England put up 330 on board and in response, Quinton De Kock responded with a solid knock of 98. With De Kock gone, the Proteas needed 120 off 14 overs, and David Miller stood up to the task. However, his heroics were not enough as Mark Wood bowled a superb final over to seal the game for England by two runs.
Below, is the list of the ten closest ODI’s of 2017:
|New Zealand||South Africa||6||Christchurch|
|England||West Indies||6||The Oval|
|West Indies||India||11||North Sound|