In modern-day cricket, competing nations send forth their finest players to conquer the coveted trophy, the ODI World Cup. It serves as a bastion of dreams where legends forge their paths, often rewriting record books and etching humbling moments in the collective memory of the sport.
On occasion, the pursuit of cricketing glory at the grandest stage has led teams to experience unthinkable failures, especially in their batting. Every once in a while, batting line-ups falter with astonishing fragility, earning a spot among the lowest-scoring performances in the competition's history.
Let's uncover the stories behind the five lowest team totals recorded in ODI World Cup history, exposing moments of fragility amid the grandeur.
1. 2003 World Cup Match: Canada 36 all out vs SL
In a grand mismatch, the rampaging Sri Lankan team dismissed 2003 World Cup associates Canada for only 36 runs within 19 overs. Chaminda Vaas, a familiar face in such situations, initiated Canada's decline with a rapid three-wicket burst in his opening spell, and he found valuable support from fellow pacers Prabath Nissanka and Dilhara Fernando.
As expected, Canada's batting lineup displayed a sorry state, with none of their batters surpassing the nine runs achieved by opener Desmond Chumney and captain Joe Harris. The duo's combined total of 18 runs, along with five extras, played a significant role in their dismal batting performance.
Sri Lanka, living up to their reputation, effortlessly chased down the lowest total in World Cup history in less than five overs, securing vital Group B points at Paarl's Boland Park.
2. 1979 World Cup Match: Canada 45 all out vs England
Before the Canadians were dismissed for 36 runs in 2003, they had been bundled out for 45 in their 1979 World Cup match against hosts England. The English speedsters Bob Willis and Chris Old each claimed four wickets, while Mike Hendrick and Ian Botham also contributed with one wicket each, dismantling Canada's batting lineup.
Notable is that the team, despite their limited batting prowess, successfully batted for over 40 overs in the match. A significant portion of the runs, nearly 50 percent, came from number three batsman Franklyn Dennis, who contributed 21 runs on his own. The next highest run-scorers were opener Christopher Chappell, with a meager five runs and five extras conceded by the English bowlers. This innings held the record for the lowest World Cup score for 24 years until Canada surpassed their record against Sri Lanka in Boland.
“Stay in the game with Fast Live Line, your one-stop destination for real-time live cricket scores and updates!”
3. 2003 World Cup Match: Namibia 45 all out vs Australia
Almost a week after Canada's collapse for 36 runs in Paarl, another associate team, Namibia, faced a similar fate as they were bowled out for 45 runs in Potchefstroom. Their dismal batting performance was understandable, given that they met a formidable Australian team led by the ever-charismatic Ricky Ponting.
With a pace attack featuring Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, and Andy Bichel, this trio collectively took all 10 Namibian wickets in just 14 overs. The match saw ODI legend McGrath achieving his career-best figures (7-15), and as a result, Australia secured a commanding 256-run victory.
Surprisingly, Namibia's batting performance included 15 runs as extras, with six wides and five no-balls being the most significant contributors to their total. Captain Deon Kotze's blade added ten separate runs to the innings.
4. 2023 World Cup Match: Sri Lanka 55 all out vs India
The fourth-lowest World Cup total ever recorded is also the lowest ever by a Test-playing nation. An injury-ravaged Sri Lankan team, in pursuit of 358 runs against the 2023 World Cup hosts India at a packed Wankhede Stadium, faced difficulties right from the beginning, losing their in-form opener Pathum Nissanka to the very first ball of the innings.
Indian pacers Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah wrapped up Sri Lanka's run-chase in less than 20 overs, leading to a remarkable 302-run victory, a record margin over a Test-playing nation in World Cups.
Remarkably, the Sri Lankan innings included four double-digit scores, with three coming from lower-order batters and an additional ten runs contributed by extras.
5. 2011 World Cup Match: Bangladesh 58 all out vs West Indies
Bangladesh, with the support of a passionate home crowd in Mirpur, suffered a significant collapse, managing just 58 runs against West Indies in a crucial World Cup 2011 Group B match. Zunaed Siddique, batting at number three, scored a nearly run-a-ball 25 before becoming one of Kemar Roach's three victims in the innings. Mohammad Ashraful was the only other batsman to reach double digits as West Indies dismantled the entire Bangladeshi batting order in just 18.5 overs.
Furthermore, the three West Indies bowlers used in the innings, namely Roach, Sulieman Benn, and Darren Sammy, only allowed two extras in their display of thorough professionalism during their nine-wicket victory against the tournament co-hosts.
In the world of cricket, the history of ODI World Cups is adorned with moments of astounding performances, both high and low. We've delved into the remarkable instances of record-breaking low team scores in ODI World Cup history. These historic moments remind us of the unpredictable nature of the sport, making every match an exciting spectacle. For all cricket enthusiasts seeking real-time updates, look no further than the Fast Live Line app and website. With cricket live line updates and expert insights from Live Line Guru, you can be on the pulse of every match, experiencing the highs and lows of the sport in real-time.