The lowest team total in World Cup history has seen a side bowled out for a total of under 100 on 19 occasions.
The 2023 edition of the world’s most prestigious cricket tournament saw its first under 100 total at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, as India dismissed Sri Lanka for only 55 runs, in what turned out to be a repeat of the Asia Cup final a month earlier.
But where does this performance from Sri Lanka rank among the lowest team total in World Cup history?
Here’s a look at the top 10 lowest totals in this tournament since its first edition in 1975.
Lowest team total in World Cup
|Canada||36||v Sri Lanka||Paarl||19 Feb 2003|
|Canada||45||v England||Manchester||13 Jun 1979|
|Namibia||45||v Australia||Potchefstroom||27 Feb 2003|
|Sri Lanka||55||v India||Wankhede||2 Nov 2023|
|Bangladesh||58||v West Indies||Mirpur||4 Mar 2011|
|Scotland||68||v West Indies||Leicester||27 May 1999|
|Kenya||69||v New Zealand||Chennai||20 Feb 2011|
|Pakistan||74||v England||Adelaide||1 Mar 1992|
|Ireland||77||v Sri Lanka||St George's||18 Apr 2007|
|Bangladesh||78||v South Africa||Mirpur||19 Mar 2011|
1. Canada – 36 all out vs Sri Lanka | 2003
Canada hold the record for the lowest team total in World Cup registered in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. They were bowled out for only 36 runs by a ruthless Sri Lankan attack in Paarl during the 2003 edition. None of the Canadian batters managed a double-figure score in this innings. It is the third-lowest total in men’s ODI history.
New ball bowlers Chaminda Vaas and Prabath Nissanka reduced Canada to 12/6 in the opening 10 overs. Muttiah Muralitharan and Dilhara Fernando joined the party later to dismiss the tail as the North American team crawled to 36 before getting bowled out. Sri Lanka chased the target in 4.4 overs and Prabath Nissanka’s 4/12 earned him the Player of the Match award.
2. Canada – 45 all out vs England | 1979
In the second edition of the ICC World Cup in 1979, where England made their way to the final, they had a record-breaking outing against Canada in the group stages. Bob Willis and Chris Old romped through their batting line-up, picking up four wickets each, as Canada could only manage 45 runs before getting bowled out.
The English batters took their time and completed the run chase in 13.2 overs to pick up an eight-wicket win. It was the lowest total in ODIs for the next 14 years, until 1993, where West Indies got Pakistan bowled out for 43 runs in a bilateral contest.
3. Namibia – 45 all out vs Australia | 2003
On their way to a third ICC World Cup title in 2003, Australia had registered a stunning performance against Namibia. Matthew Hayden, Darren Lehman and Andrew Symonds scored half-centuries as Australia posted 301/6 batting first. In response, Glenn McGrath’s ominous spell left Namibia flat-footed.
McGrath completed his five-fer in the 11th over with the wicket of Louis Burger and finished with career-best figures of 7/15, as Namibia could only manage 45 runs on the board. Australia won by 256 runs, which was the biggest win in ODI cricket (as of that day). It was the third-lowest team total in World Cup history.
4. Sri Lanka – 55 all out vs India | 2023
Sri Lanka are the latest additions to this list, who were bowled out for 55 runs courtesy of terrific spells from Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj. Batting first, India scored a gigantic 357/8 after half-centuries from Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer. In response, the Islanders were bundled out for 55, as India picked up a gigantic 302-run win.
Sri Lanka, who were tattering at 21/8 in the second innings, were close to breaking Canada’s two-decade-old record, but a late fightback from their tail got them past the 50-mark. However, their effort remains the lowest total by a Test-playing nation in ICC World Cup history.
5. Bangladesh – 55 all out vs West Indies | 2011
Bangladesh registered the lowest total by a hosting country in ICC World Cup history against West Indies in 2011. Darren Sammy’s Caribbean outfit bowled first in this match in Mirpur. The Tigers were bowled out for 55 runs in 18.5 overs, which came as a huge disappointment for the home fans.
Kemar Roach and skipper Sammy picked up three wickets each, while Sulieman Benn got four to his name. However, Roach was named Player of the Match for his spell of 3/19, which included the big wickets of Tamil Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful and Junaid Siddique.
6. Scotland – 68 all out vs West Indies | 1999
The 1999 edition was not a memorable one for West Indies, who failed to make it to the semi-finals. However, they had one big win against Scotland in Leicester, where the bowling unit put up a terrific display. Scotland batted first and were all out for 68 runs in 31.3 overs.
For the Caribbean side, Courtney Walsh starred with a spell of 3/7, while Curtley Ambrose, Hendy Bryan and Reon King got two wickets each. They chased the total in 10.1 overs and won by eight wickets.
7. Kenya – 69 all out vs New Zealand | 2011
The 2011 edition saw some low-scoring matches and Kenya’s disastrous outing against eventual semi-finalists New Zealand was one of those. Kenya batted first and got off to a positive start, getting to 40/1 in 11 overs. But Hamish Bennett picked up four wickets in a span of three overs to kick-start their downfall and secure an entry into the list of lowest team total in World Cup history.
Tim Southee and Jacob Oram, who got three wickets each, ensured Kenya lost their last nine wickets for only 29 runs and managed an eventual total of 69 before getting bowled out. The Kiwi openers completed the run-chase in a hurry and won the match by 10 wickets.
8. Pakistan – 74 all out vs England | 1992
This is the only instance of a team getting bowled out for less than 100 and going on to win the World Cup in the same edition. Pakistan were off to a horrible start in the 1992 World Cup and their batting performance against England was a testament to it.
At the Adelaide Oval, they were bowled out for only 74 runs, with Derek Pringle’s 3/8 standing out among the English bowlers. In what turned out to be one of the luckiest escapes for Pakistan, rain in the second innings saw the match getting abandoned without a result.
9. Ireland – 77 all out vs Sri Lanka | 2007
Sri Lanka made it to the finals of the 2007 World Cup and picked up some famous wins en route to the silver medal finish. One such performance came against Ireland, where they bowled out the European side for just 77 runs in 27.4 overs.
Farveez Maharoof, who was named Player of the Match for his 4/28, also picked up the wicket of Eoin Morgan, who went on to lift the World Cup in 2019 as captain of England. Muralitharan, too picked up four wickets in this contest, which Sri Lanka won by eight wickets.
10. Bangladesh – 78 all out vs South Africa | 2011
Bangladesh’s first hosting opportunity saw them register two under 100 scores in the group stages. The second one came against South Africa, where they managed only 78 runs in the second innings and lost the match by 206 runs.
The Proteas batters made 284/8 in the first innings courtesy of fifties from Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Faf du Plessis. In response, Lonwabo Tsotsobe (3/14) and Robin Peterson (4/12) wrecked the Bangladeshi batting line-up to pick up a huge win.