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Sri Lanka v West Indies, 6th qualifying match, Mumbai

A day to savour for Sri Lanka and Maharoof

S Rajesh

October 14, 2006

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Sri Lankan flags were flying high at the Brabourne Stadium © Getty Images
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In the 1975 World Cup, West Indies clashed with Sri Lanka for the first time in an ODI. The Sri Lankans were greenhorns then, and they played according to the script, being bundled out 86 in 37.2 overs as West Indies romped home by nine wickets with 236 balls to spare. Thirty-one years later, the Sri Lankans returned the favour in spectacular fashion at the Brabourne Stadium, clinching victory by an identical margin with 220 balls remaining.

The advent of so many minnows into one-day cricket has meant many more one-sided games, but taking into account only matches involving the top eight teams (excluding Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and the other non-Test-playing teams), today's margin of victory - in terms of balls remaining - was the third-highest ever in ODIs. Only England and Pakistan have suffered more crushing defeats, and incidentally, West Indies were the side that inflicted that Cape Town hammering to Pakistan in 1992-93.

Most convincing margins of victory, in terms of balls remaining (excluding matches involving B'desh, Zim, and other non-Test playing teams)
Winner Against Balls remaining Venue & year
Australia England 226 Sydney, 2002-03
West Indies Pakistan 225 Cape Town, 1992-93
Sri Lanka West Indies 220 Mumbai (Brabourne), 2006-07

West Indies' 80 all out was their second-lowest total in ODIs, next only to their 54 against South Africa, again at Cape Town. Click here for a list of West Indies' lowest totals in ODIs.

While it was day of dismal lows for West Indies, Sri Lanka, and Farveez Maharoof, had plenty to celebrate. It was their 17th ODI win against West Indies in 42 matches, and while they have lost 24 times, the gap is gradually narrowing - in the last nine matches, they have won seven.

Maharoof, meanwhile, recorded his best figures in ODIs, and became only the fourth Sri Lankan bowler to take six wickets in a one-day international. (Click here for the best bowling performances by Sri Lankan bowlers in ODIs.) Only Anil Kumble has conceded fewer runs while taking six wickets in an ODI - Kumble took 6 for 12 against West Indies in the final of the Hero Cup in Kolkata in 1993-94. The table below lists the five most economical six-fors.

Most economical six-fors in ODIs
Bowler Figures Against Venue & year
Anil Kumble 6 for 12 West Indies Kolkata, 1993-94
Gary Gilmour 6 for 14 England Leeds, 1975
Imran Khan 6 for 14 India Sharjah, 1984-85
Farveez Maharoof 6 for 14 West Indies (Brabourne), 2006-07
Colin Croft 6 for 15 England Kingston, 1980-81>

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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