Top 10 Lowest Scores in ODI Cricket History

Lowest Scores in ODI Cricket

Cricket is a sport that features thunderous sixes, flashy fours, cuts, flicks, and drives. The bowlers always have a say in the situation; thus it is not just a batter’s game. 

However, it cannot be disputed that bowlers frequently fall by the wayside and are overshadowed by the batters, but if the pitch condition suits the bowler and when the bowler has their day, the outcome becomes a headline. 

So, if we look at the top 10 lowest scores in ODI history, the role of the bowler is uncontested. Having said that, why not look at some of the lowest scores in ODI cricket history ever.

Top 10 Lowest Total Scores in ODI Cricket

Position Team Score Overs Opposition Stadium Date Run Rate
1. Zimbabwe 35 18 Sri Lanka Harare 25 Apr 2004 1.94
2. U.S.A 35 12 Nepal Kirtipur 12 Feb 2020 2.91
3. Canada 36 18.4 Sri Lanka Paarl 19 Feb 2003 1.95
4. Zimbabwe 38 15.4 Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) 8 Dec 2001 2.46
5. Sri Lanka 43 20.1 South Africa Paarl 11 Jan 2012 2.15
6. Pakistan 43 19.5 West Indies Cape Town 25 Feb 1993 2.20
7. Zimbabwe 44 24.5 Bangladesh Chattogram 3 Nov 2009 1.79
8. Canada 45 40.3 England Manchester 13 June 1979 1.11
9.Add New Namibia 45 14 Australia Potchefstroom 27 Feb 2003 3.21
10. India 54 26.3 Sri Lanka Sharjah 29 Oct 2000 2.05

Zimbabwe (35 runs) vs Sri Lanka (2004)

Zimbabwe comes on top of the list of the top 10 lowest scores in ODI cricket. The lowest score ever in an ODIAfter Sri Lanka decided to field first, Chaminda Vaas for Sri Lanka, took 4 wickets to bowl out Zimbabwe for the lowest total in the 50-over format. 

It’s interesting to note that all of Zimbabwe’s hitters failed to reach double figures, with Dion Ebrahim leading the way with 7 runs. Zimbabwe was bowled out for only 35 runs in 18 overs scoring the lowest ever score in ODI cricket. 

Mahela Jayawardene (3) and Saman Jayantha (28) helped Sri Lanka take down the target in 9.2 overs as a response. The game was won by Sri Lanka by nine wickets.

U.S.A (35 Runs) vs Nepal (2004)

The second team on the list is the American cricket squad (U.S.A), who struggled against Nepali spinners in an ICC T20 World cup and recorded the joint-lowest ODI score ever (35) with Zimbabwe. Nepal defeats the USA by 8 wickets by chasing down the target in just 5.2 overs. Additionally, Nepal’s victory ranked 3rd among 50-over ODI victories. Due to them adding three extra runs to the innings, USA was only able to bat for 12 overs and score 32 runs with a run rate of 2.91 only.

Canada (36) vs Sri Lanka (2003)

Canada comes 3rd on this list of the top 10 lowest scores in ODI cricket. On February 19, 2003, at Paarl, Canada played Sri Lanka in the 18th World cup match. Canada was offered to bat after Sri Lanka won the toss. 

Canada could only score 36 runs in 18.4 overs, with 5 fours but no sixes, and a run rate of 1.95. RAP Nissanka (7 overs, 4/12) and Chaminda Vaas (7 overs, 3/15) was what the scoreboard looked like. With only 1 wicket lost, Sri Lanka won the match in 4.4 overs. The man of the match title went to Nissanka.

Zimbabwe (38 runs) vs Sri Lanka (2001)

The first game of the LG Abans Triangular Series, which took place in Colombo on December 8, 2001, comes in at number four. Sri Lanka, who were facing Zimbabwe, chose to field first after winning the toss. 

An intimidating Chaminda Vaas awaited Zimbabwe when they stepped out to play. He bowled 8 overs, gave up 19 runs and claimed 8 wickets. Zimbabwe scored 38 runs in 15.4 overs with a run rate of 2.4 despite hitting five fours but no sixes. Sri Lanka scored 40 runs for the loss of just one wicket to win the match in 4.2 overs. Vaas was named Man of the match for his excellence.

Sri Lanka (43 Runs) vs South Africa (2012)

Sri Lanka‘s 43 runs against South Africa appear 5th on the list. South Africa won the toss and decided to bat in the first one-day international of the Sri Lanka tour of South Africa, which was played at Paarl on January 11, 2012. The Proteas reached 301/8 securing a solid total. 

Crisis struck Sri Lanka early due to a task at hand, as both of their openers were sent back to the stands for a duck and they never recovered from there and gave up. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 43 runs in 20.1 overs with a run rate of 2.15.

Pakistan (43 Runs) VS West Indies (1993)

On February 25, 1993, at Cape Town, South Africa, Pakistan took on the West Indies in the 9th match of the international series. Pakistan was put in to bat after West Indies won the toss. They were knocked out for a pitiful 43 runs (3 fours and 0 sixes) in only 19.5 overs by the powerful West Indies bowling attack, who had maintained a run rate of 2.20. In 12.3 overs, West Indies scored just 45 runs to win the match.

Zimbabwe (44 Runs) VS Bangladesh (2009)

Zimbabwe scored the 7th-lowest score in ODI cricket ever during the fourth ODI of their tour of Bangladesh, which was played at Chittagong on November 3, 2009. Zimbabwe chose to bat first after winning the toss, a decision they would soon come to regret. 

With a run rate of 1.79, the bowlers from Bangladesh, led by the man of the match Nazmul Hossain, bowled them out for 44 runs in 24.5 overs. They scored three fours but no sixes. Bangladesh scored 49/4 in 11.5 overs and win the match.

Canada (45 Runs) VS England (1979)

In the 8th World Cup 1979 match, which took place in Manchester on January 13, Canada played off against England. This ODI is noteworthy since it is the only 60-over ODI on this list. Canada elected to bat after winning the toss. With a run rate of just 1.11, the lowest on this list, they could only manage 45 runs in 40.3 overs, the 7th-lowest score in ODIs. 

England won the match by scoring 46 runs in 13.5 overs while taking just 2 wickets. Only two fours and zero sixes were included in the Canadian innings.

Namibia (45 Runs) VS Australia (2003)

Namibia faced Australia in the 31st World Cup match on February 27, 2003, at Potchefstroom, and their performance ranks 9th on this list. Australia chose to bat first after winning the toss and scored 301 runs for 6 wickets. 

Namibia’s response fell flat against the ferocious Glenn McGrath, who bowled 7 overs, gave up only 15 runs, and claimed 7 wickets. With a run rate of 3.21, Namibia was dismissed for 45 runs after 14 overs. There were only three fours and no sixes in their innings.

India (54 Runs) VS Sri Lanka (2000)

The game that ranks 10th was a difficult one for India. India team faced Sri Lanka in the Coca-Cola Champions Trophy final on October 29, 2000, at Sharjah. The Lankan team chose to bat after winning the toss. With a scorching 189 off 161 balls, Sanath Jayasurya propelled them to an enormous 299/5. 

India’s response fell short against Chaminda Vaas, who claimed 5 wickets in 9.3 overs while allowing only 14 runs and a 1.47 economy rate. With an average run rate of 2.03, India collapsed to a pitiful 54 runs in 26.3 overs with a run rate of 2.05. 3 fours and 0 sixes were part of the Indian innings.


These poor low score ratings have a variety of real causes. Toss, perhaps? or the environment? Has the team misread the pitch? No certainly not because the pitch and environment are the same for both teams. They may have been the result of overconfidence, bad luck, or even simply the inability to knock the ball out of the park. 

These poor scores are undoubtedly a major black mark on the records of these teams. And these data show that if the batsmen can make headlines, so can the bowling squad.