24 June 2019

South Africa: 500 - Cricket's (UN)breakable Record

analysis

Is it really possible to score 500 runs in a 50-over cricket match? Given the mood at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, it could happen any day now.

It used to be that if you posted a total of 300 or more in a one-day international (ODI) cricket match, you could be pretty confident of a match victory. Any team chasing a target of 300-plus would need to score at a rate of a run a ball for 50 overs -- which, for many years, seemed an all but impossible task.

Then came "That" match at the Wanderers in 2006, when Australia posted an unimaginable score of 434 for 4 (run rate: 8.68), only for South Africa to respond with 438 for 9 (run rate: 8.78). It was cricket's equivalent of cracking the four-minute mile. Suddenly, a score of 300 wasn't only reachable, it was (depending on the batting conditions) a new kind of minimum. And, crucially, 400 was no longer impossible. In fact, since that Wanderers watershed, 18 more teams have scored 400-plus in ODIs.

A couple of teams have come close to 400 at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Pakistan posted 348 against England at Trent...

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