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We’ve looked at some figures that are specific to countries, but what about an overall list? Here are the best bowling figures in One Day Internationals.
Who has the Best Bowling Figures in ODIs?
The current record for best figures in a One Day International is held by Chaminda Vaas. Playing for Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe in 2001, Vaas returned the figures of 8/19.
Vaas’ return came from eight overs and he delivered three maidens.
10 Best Bowling Figures in ODIs
As we’ve just seen, the best bowling figures in One Day International cricket are the 8/19 by Chaminda Vaas for Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe in 2001.
Vaas is currently the only bowler to take eight wickets in an ODI innings, and his figures helped to bowl Zimbabwe out for just 38.
Second on this list is the great Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi. In a game against the West Indies in Guyana in 2013, the man known as Boom Boom returned bowling figures of 7/12.
Australia’s Glenn McGrath was an effective bowler in all forms of the game. For many years he held the record for most test wickets by a seamer, and he was exceptional in ODIs too.
McGrath’s best figures in the ODI format came against admittedly weak opponents. Playing against Namibia in the 2003 World Cup, he claimed 7/15 from seven overs.
An effective leg spinner who has been Afghanistan’s best player for many years, Rashid Khan slots into this list with best ODI figures of 7/18. The return came in a game against the West Indies in 2017 and it helped the Afghans to a memorable 63-run victory.
Andy Bichel’s spell was, perhaps, the most important of all in the context of the actual match. Playing against England in that 2003 World Cup, Australia’s opponents were handily placed at 71/1 and coasting towards a big target.
Bichel intervened with a devastating spell as England slumped to 87/5. They rallied but still lost the game, largely due to Bichel’s figures of 7/20.
Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralthiran is the leading international wicket taker across all formats, so we should have expected him to be here.
Murali claimed 534 wickets in 350 ODIs, and his best figures of 7/30 came in a match against India in 2000.
Seam bowler Tim Southee has been an important member of New Zealand’s attack for a number of years. At the time of writing in October 2022, he’s closing in on 150 ODI appearances and 200 wickets.
Among his haul is a best return of 7/33, which came in a match against England in Wellington in 2015.
Left armer Trent Boult has been Tim Southee’s new ball partner for many years. He’s also been an effective bowler for the Kiwis and his best ODI figures are only just behind those of his teammate.
Playing for New Zealand against the West Indies in Christchurch in 2017, Boult returned 7/34 from his ten overs.
The great Pakistani swing bowler Waqar Younis played 262 ODIs over a long career. His total of 416 wickets puts him in third place on the overall list behind Wasim Akram and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Waqar’s best figures in this format came in 2001 against England at Headingley. He claimed 7/36 from ten overs as Pakistan won by six wickets.
Pakistan seamer Aaqib Javed was often overshadowed by his teammates Wasim and Waqar, but he was an exceptional bowler in his own right. In 163 One Day Internationals for his country, he took 182 wickets and was part of the side that won the 1992 World Cup.
Aaqib Javed’s best figures of 7/37 came in a game against India at Sharjah in 1991.
This is another list where many of the best bowlers in world cricket are included. We’re possibly only missing Shane Warne who’s best ODI figures – if you’re interested – are relatively unexceptional at 5/33.
The list also offers some questions moving forward. Will any bowler ever take eight wickets in an ODI again? Could anyone possibly go better and overtake Chaminda Vaas at the top of the list?
That’s one of the great things about cricket. Records are constantly being broken, so which bowlers will be breaking into the top ten in the years to come?