Cricket is a game of uncertainty. You never know when a game can change on its head. One moment you’re lagging behind and suddenly you find yourselves in pole position to win the game. There have been many instances where the uncertainty of cricket has prevailed and it will continue to prevail in the modern era.
This uncertainty is what excites all cricket lovers. One such uncertainty is, a number 11 batsman walking out to bat and suddenly beating the living daylights of the opposition bowlers. We have witnessed many such instances where the number 11 batsman has joined hands with his partner and frustrated the opposition.
While most of them haven’t really had an impact on the result of the game, it certainly impacts the excitement in the fans. Fans love watching the uncertainty that cricket brings and thus, it is one of the reasons why you can never write a team off even when they are nine down because it’s not over until it’s over.
Here, we will be looking at the top 10 highest scores by a number 11 batsman in the history of ODI cricket. Read through the list and let us know your personal favourite.
#1. Jeetan Patel – 34 off 38
It was the 2007 World Cup semi-final as New Zealand squared off against Sri Lanka in Kingston, Jamaica. Sri Lanka batted first and on the back of skipper Mahela Jayawardena’s sublime 115 off 109 balls, they ended on a healthy 289 for 5. New Zealand’s chase began poorly as Fleming and Taylor fell cheaply.
Fulton and Styris did the rebuilding work but once the latter was dismissed, it went downhill for the Blackcaps. They were reeling at 149 for 9 when Jeetan Patel walked in. Everyone knew New Zealand were never going to win the game from there but Jeetan Patel delayed the inevitable. He smashed two fours and one six in his 38-ball 34 runs stay at the wicket.
He along with James Franklin put on a partnership worth 59 runs before Patel fell to part-time spinner Dilshan. New Zealand lost the match but Jeetan Patel’s fighting knock till the end won many hearts across the globe.
#2 Mitchell McClenaghan – 34* off 43
South Africa toured New Zealand for a three-match ODI series in 2014. It was the second ODI as South Africa batted first. The Proteas were cruising at 235 for 2, but some tight bowling restricted the visitors to 282 for 9 with Hashim Amla top scoring with a fluent 119. New Zealand began awfully and kept losing wickets at regular intervals and soon found themselves struggling at 134 for 9.
With no hope of winning the game and the series, Mitchell McClenaghan joined Luke Ronchi who was batting quite superbly. Ronchi and McClenaghan batted for almost 14 overs as New Zealand crossed the 200 runs mark. They both stitched together 74 runs before Ronchi fell for a well made 79 to Philander as McClenaghan remained unbeaten on 34 off 43 balls. South Africa won the game by 72 runs but Ronchi and McClenaghan’s never-say-die attitude was appreciated by the New Zealand fans and players.
#3 Mushtaq Ahmed – 34* off 50
It was the 6th match of Singer Triangular series in the year 2000 between Pakistan and South Africa at Colombo. Pakistan was batting first and lost a wicket in the opening over. Wickets kept tumbling as Shaun Pollock and David Terbrugge wreaked havoc. They shared six wickets between themselves as Pakistan were nine down for just 98 runs on the board.
Mushtaq Ahmed walked in at number 11 and hoped to take Pakistan to the 100-run mark. Shoaib Malik was his partner and they both began playing proper cricketing shots. While Malik tried to see out the overs, Mushtaq had a different approach as he found the boundaries.
Soon Pakistan crossed the 150-run mark but as soon as 130 runs were breached, Shoaib Malik was dismissed for 28 by Paul Adams. Mushtaq Ahmed was left stranded on 34 off 50 balls.
The tenth wicket partnership yielded 55 runs and it happened to be their most fruitful partnership of the innings. The target was not at all a daunting one as South Africa chased down the target with 7 wickets to spare.
#4 Chris Pringle – 34* off 22
It was the 5th match of the Wills World Series in 1994 between New Zealand and West Indies at Guwahati. The Windies were batting first and on the back of a spectacular 111 by Carl Hooper and a gritty 69 by Brian Lara, they posted a solid score of 306 for 6 in 50 overs.
In a tall chase, New Zealand succumbed under pressure and were in the doldrums at 123 for 9. A massive defeat was looming as Chris Pringle walked in to join Dion Nash in the middle. Pringle attacked the ball right from the word go and smashed two fours and two sixes in a 22-ball 34 runs cameo.
He along with Nash remained unbeaten and saw off the 50 overs as New Zealand ended on 171 for 9. The Blackcaps were handed a heavy defeat of 135 runs but it could have been much worse had Pringle not scored those 34 runs.
#5 Steven Finn – 35 off 24
In 2011, England toured Australia for a seven-match ODI series. Australia was leading the series 3-1 coming into the 5th ODI at Brisbane. A do-or-die clash for the visitors as Australia was batting first. A fine fifty by the Aussie skipper Michael Clarke, coupled with good contributions by Brad Haddin and David Hussey gave Australia a platform to score big but Chris Woakes’ career-best 6 for 45 restricted Australia to 249 all out.
The stage was set for the English batsmen to romp home and keep the series alive but the Aussie bowlers had other ideas. England was crumbling at 145 for 9 and they knew the series was lost. Number 11 Steven Finn joined James Anderson in the middle and went after the bowling.
He smashed five fours and one six before being cleaned up by Shane Watson. Finn was dismissed for 35 runs off 24 balls as England were bundled out for 198.
#6 Peter Ongondo – 36 off 42
In the year 2001, West Indies toured Kenya for a three-match ODI series in Nairobi. Having won the first ODI quite comfortably, West Indies looked all set to wrap the series up in the second ODI. Kenya batted first and were miserable with the bat. Wickets fell like ninepins as they were reduced to 126 for 9.
Peter Ongondo, the number 11 batsman walked in to join Jimmy Kamande. They both joined hands and stitched a fabulous partnership. The Windies began to worry as the partnership swelled to 66 runs before part-time offie Chris Gayle struck Ongondo’s timber.
He fell for a brilliant 36 off 42 deliveries which included two fours and one six. Kamande was unbeaten on 32 as Kenya folded for 192. West Indies chased it down with ease despite a few hiccups at the start of their innings. With the win, they had also sealed the series.
#7 Joel Garner – 37 off 29
At the 1983 World Cup in England, West Indies went head-to-head against India in their opening encounter. India batted first and Yashpal Sharma’s sedate 89 helped India muster 262 for 8 in their allotted 60 overs. West Indies got off to a slow but steady start and once Desmond Haynes fell, it all went downhill for the defending champions.
They lost the plot and soon found themselves tottering at 157 for 9. The last man Joel Garner came to the crease and joined Andy Roberts. Their aim was to frustrate the Indian bowlers and succeed quite remarkably. Roberts and Garner kept knocking off the ones and twos and and slowly but steadily the scoreboard kept moving.
The partnership swelled to 71 runs before Garner stepped out to Ravi Shastri and missed the ball completely as Kirmani did the rest. Garner was dismissed for a well made 37 off 29 balls which included one six. His partner Andy Robers remained unbeaten on 37 as West Indies were defeated by 34 runs.
#8 Makhaya Ntini – 42* 0ff 35
South Africa toured New Zealand for a six-match ODI series. The home team had already won the series 4-1 as the visitors looked to end the tour on a high. The sixth and final ODI was held in Napier as the African team batted first.
A horrendous batting display by South Africa coupled with a few poor strokes left them at a precarious 119 for 9. Albie Morkel was then joined by last man Makhaya Ntini. Ntini looked positive and runs started to flow from the tailenders bat. He took on the bowlers as he hit three boundaries and two sixes in a sensational 35-ball 42 runs innings.
He remained unbeaten on 42 while Albie Morkel too was unbeaten on 23 as South Africa posted a below par 186 for 9 in their 50 overs. The target was never going to be enough as New Zealand romped home with five wickets in the bag. Michael Papps was the standout performer for the Kiwis with an unbeaten 92.
#9 Shoaib Akhtar – 43 off 16
The 2003 World Cup witnessed one of the finest knocks by a number 11 batsman. Pakistan faced England at Cape Town on 22nd February. Batting first England posted a decent score of 246 for 8 courtesy twin fifties from Michael Vaughan (52) and Paul Collingwood (66).
Chasing 247, Pakistan never looked like being in the chase and found themselves reeling at 80 for 9 when Shoaib Akhtar walked in to join Saqlain Mushtaq. With the game already beyond Pakistan’s reach, Akhtar decided to throw his bat around and boy, he was successful.
He hammered 5 fours and three gigantic sixes and raced to 43 off just 16 balls before finally being dismissed by Flintoff. Pakistan was skittled for a paltry 134 as England won the game quite convincingly by 112 runs.
#10 Mohammad Amir – 58 off 28
Last on the last is Mohammad Amir, who is the only number 11 to score a fifty in and ODI game. On 30th August 2016 in an ODI at Trent Bridge, England took on Pakistan. Opting to bat first, England hit a world record score of 444 for 3 in their 50 overs.
Alex Hales’ superb 171 and quick fifties by Root, Buttler and Morgan helped England achieve the then highest ever total in the history of ODI cricket. Chasing a monstrous target of 445, Pakistan were never in the chase and slumped to 199 for 9 and were heading for a massive massive defeat Little did everyone know that there were more records in store.
Mohammad Amir walked in and began tonking the ball to all corners of the ground. Soon he reached his fifty and thus, became the first ever player to score a half-century in that position. His innings was cut short by Woakes who completed an easy return catch to dismiss Amir for 58 runs off just 28 balls.
Amir’s innings was studded with 5 fours and 4 sixes. He also shared a 76-run partnership with Yasir Shah. It was a valiant effort but an effort that received immense applause from all parts of the world.