Few one-day internationals include low-scoring contests where the side bowling first successfully defends low totals, surprising the spectators. True cricket lovers will be impressed by the talents displayed by these bowlers as they get a chance to demonstrate why they are so good throughout these matches. Let us look at the lowest scores defended in international cricket.
1. India Vs. Pakistan (125)
In this game, neither of the two teams played their best batting. Only Mohammad Azharuddin and Kapil Dev batted decently for India while they were batting first in this match, which was played at the renowned Sharjah Cricket Ground. Their contributions helped India reach a total beyond 100. It was a straightforward score for Pakistan to chase, but Indian bowlers under the direction of Kapil Dev bowled very effectively on that day to dismiss Pakistan for just 87 runs, giving India a stunning 38-run victory in such a low-scoring contest.
2. West Indies Vs. England (127)
Surprisingly, this match featured the two best teams in the early 1980s and had a very low-scoring total. Everton Mattis scored 62 of the 127 runs that the West Indies squad could only muster while batting first. Even with the famed West Indies assault, it appeared that the England squad would be able to chase this down, but Colin Croft bowled a fantastic spell, taking 6 wickets and rocking England, who narrowly lost the game by 2 runs.
3. South Africa Vs. England (129)
The hitters from both sides were dissatisfied on the day of this match in 1996 between these two elite teams. England should have easily won this game after South Africa batted first, but as they say, "cricket is a funny game," so on that day, the English batters were unable to bat properly and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. All of South Africa's bowlers took wickets, and South Africa won by a score of 14 runs.
4. Zimbabwe Vs. Afghanistan (129)
In 2017, these two teams competed in this encounter amongst the weaker teams. The Afghan team must have believed they had won when Zimbabwe scored 129 runs in their 50 overs while batting first, but they batted even worse than their opponents and lost by three runs. It is not ideal for these games to occur frequently because the audience expects great scores.
5. Afghanistan Vs. Zimbabwe (131)
These two lower-ranked teams played each other in one more game, which was held in Sharjah. However, as they say, never say anything until both teams have batted. Zimbabwe proved this to be true as they gave one of their worst batting performances ever as they got bundled out for 82, thus losing this match by a whopping 49 runs. Afghanistan batted first and they were highly disappointed in their home ground and only managed to score 131 runs on the board. Such low-scoring games, particularly those against inferior clubs, do not benefit anyone, thus they should improve their hitting techniques.
6. India Vs. Bangladesh (125)
No cricket fan could have predicted what happened in the second ODI of the 2014 ODI series between Bangladesh and India. Taskin Ahmed, a newcomer from Bangladesh, took 5/28 to remove India for a pitiful total of 105, with stand-in captain Suresh Raina leading the way with 27. The Sher-e-Bangla Stadium's ground became incredibly favorable for swing bowling as the evening temperature and moisture settled in. Mohit Sharma and Stuart Binny of India's new ball bowling team took advantage of the circumstance and quickly dislodged the Bangladeshi batting order, dismissing them for 58 runs. Binny's fantastic spell of 6/4 earned him the title of the match's best player.
7. Zimbabwe Vs. England (135)
This was one of the most surprising matches in ODI cricket. This match happened in 1992. Zimbabwe scored only 135 runs while batting first. England, on the other hand, got all out on 125 runs. Thus, they lost by 9 runs and Zimbabwe was successful in defending 135 runs.
8. Kenya Vs. Zimbabwe (135)
Zimbabwe had experienced a string of player disputes and bad performances amid ongoing political unrest there. Kenya scored 135 runs while batting. While chasing, Zimbabwe got all out for just 69 runs. Hence, Kenya won this ODI easily by defending 135 runs.
9. Zimbabwe Vs. West Indies (139)
West Indies suffered a humiliating loss after being outscored 91 times in a row. In a tri-series game in Sydney, Australia, Zimbabwe shocks the West Indies team by bowling them out for just 91 runs (including five ducks) to win an ODI by 46 runs.
10. South Africa Vs. West Indies (141)
This was one of the most surprising matches in ODI cricket. This match happened in 1992. South Africa scored only 141 runs while batting first. West Indies, on the other hand, got all out on 136 runs. Thus, they lost by 4 runs and South Africa was successful in defending 141 runs.