NEW DELHI: Gigantic totals have become extremely common in One-day international cricket in recent times. The key to a big score is a few batsmen firing on all cylinders, taking apart the opposition on that particular day. So, it’s not surprising that a notable feature in these high totals has been a specific partnership between two batsmen, which helped lay a strong platform for the others to pull out their big guns.
Big partnerships often feature two batsmen taking on the opposition bowlers, giving them no window of opportunity and just clobbering everything in their radar to unsettle the bowlers.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the highest partnerships (for any wicket) in ODIs:
Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels (372 runs vs Zimbabwe in 2015)
Jamaican opener Chris Gayle has many international records to his name. The 40-year-old might now be in the twilight of his international career, but at his peak, Gayle was one of the most destructive batsmen to have ever played the game. In a 2015 World Cup match against Zimbabwe Gayle tore apart the opposition bowlers. His partner in crime in that unforgettable match was fellow Jamaican Marlon Samuels, as both blockbuster batsmen helped West Indies score a huge 372/2. The duo hit a record 372-run partnership — highest ever in ODIs, making this World Cup match a memorable experience. After losing his opening partner Dwayne Smith for a second-ball duck, Gayle along with Samuels didn’t look back and stitched an unprecedented second wicket partnership that carried on for next 298 balls. It was in this match that Gayle hit his first ever ODI double ton (215), being dismissed off the last ball of the Windies innings. Samuels meanwhile played second fiddle, scoring an unbeaten 133. Together the duo smacked 21 fours and 19 sixes in the innings to bring Zimbabwe bowlers down to their knees. Riding on the blitz by both the batsmen, West Indies went on to win that match by 73 runs (D/L).
John Campbell and Shai Hope (365 runs vs Ireland in 2019)
West Indian batting prowess has been unpredictable for a long time now but when at their best, there are very few who can match their caliber. John Campbell and Shai Hope on May 5, 2019 proved that, as the duo looked unstoppable in the match against Ireland in Dublin. First match of the Ireland-Bangladesh-West Indies tri-series and Campbell and Hope just perfectly set the tone, tonking the Irish bowlers all-around the park in their own backyard. The opening pair was just unmatchable that day, as both Campbell and Hope added 365 runs for the first wicket. Campbell and Hope both looked equally destructive, as Ireland faced the wrath of the West Indies openers. While Campbell hit 179 off 137 balls in that partnership, Hope ended up scoring 170. The partnership between the two lasted 47.2 overs before Campbell walked back to the pavilion after a stupendous knock. The duo hit 36 fours and 8 sixes collectively during their super-human effort in the middle. Riding on the sheer brilliance from both the openers West Indies in that match scored 381/3 and went on to win the match by 196 runs.
Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid (331 runs vs New Zealand in 1999)
Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and the legendary Rahul Dravid gave India innumerable moments to cherish during their respective international careers. While Sachin was the undisputed master in ODIs, Dravid too was a gem for India in the 50-over format. And in one such match against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1999, the two batting greats joined hands to give India an unforgettable batting masterclass. The Sachin-Dravid duo added 331 runs for the second wicket to register the highest batting partnership for India in ODIs and the third highest in the world. While Sachin scored a majestic unbeaten 186 off just 150 balls in that match, Dravid, played out of his skin to notch up a run-a-ball 153 — his highest ever ODI score — sending the Kiwi fielders on a leather hint all day .The marathon partnership between the two batsmen lasted over 46 overs where both struck 35 fours and 5 sixes together. Riding on the stupendous effort by the duo, India reached a gigantic 376/2 and went on to win the match comfortably by 174 runs.
Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid (318 runs vs Sri Lanka in 1999)
Another occasion, where the world saw the batting prowess of the Indian team was in a 1999 World Cup match against Sri Lanka, when the Sourav Ganguly-Rahul Dravid duo took on the Sri Lankan bowlers. A dazzling 145 off 129 balls from Rahul Dravid complemented Sourav Ganguly’s highest ODI knock of 183. The pair put on 318 runs for the second wicket. Although Ganguly was the show stopper in that match, Dravid too played a sensational knock as the duo sent the Lankan bowlers to the cleaners. Taking on the likes of Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, some of the best bowlers of all time, the Ganguly-Dravid pair in that World Cup match looked fearless and batted authoritatively. During their onslaught the duo collectively hit 33 fours and 5 sixes, helping India score a towering 373 for 6. India eventually won the match by 157 runs.
Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman (304 runs vs Zimbabwe in 2018)
On July 20 2018, the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo saw a complete massacre of the Zimbabwe bowling attack, as Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman breathed fire with their bats to help Pakistan score their highest ever ODI score of 399/1. Electing to bat after winning the toss, both Imam and Fakhar went into carnage mode, whacking the Zimbabwe bowlers all around the park. For 42 overs, Imam and Fakhar batted magistically, before the former was finally dismissed after scoring 113 runs. During the record partnership of 304 (Pakistan’s highest partnership) for the opening wicket that lasted 252 balls, Zaman mostly was in charge, scoring 169 runs (in the stand with Imam ul-Haq) and went on to score a sublime 210 — his maiden double ton — in ODIs. The knock from the duo laid the perfect platform for batsman number three Asif Ali, who smashed an unbeaten 50 off 22 balls to help Pakistan score their biggest ever ODI total. Pakistan, later dismissed Zimbabwe for 155, to win the match by a mammoth 244-run margin.