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ODI GOAT: Lara v Miandad

Two legendary batsmen go head-to-head as our round of 32 continues in style

The #ODIGOAT is cricket.com.au's knockout competition to determine the greatest ODI player of all time. We started with our top 64 ODI players and now we're asking YOU to do the hard work – that is, narrow it down to one. Set up in much the same way as a tennis tournament, each day you'll see head-to-head match-ups, with the winner of those progressing to the next round to square off with their next challenger. From 64, we are now into the round of 32. Next it will be 16, 8, 4 and ultimately our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest ODI player in history!



BRIAN LARA (WEST INDIES)

The numbers: Matches: 299 | Runs: 10,405 | Average: 40.48 | SR: 79.51 | 100s: 19 | HS: 169

WATCH: The brilliant Brian Lara

#ODIGOAT Voting: Lara took on Hashim Amla in the round of 64 and his reputation and record proved too much for the classy Protea, prevailing with 70 per cent of the vote to move to the round of 32 and a clash with Miandad. 

Why he makes the list: Any batting list comparing the best there has been wouldn't be complete without the Prince of Trinidad, Brian Charles Lara. Emerging onto the scene in the early 1990s at the tail end of a legendary West Indian era, Lara flew the flag for the Caribbean side in his own inimitable fashion. Occasionally there was controversy, often rumblings of internal discontent, but to cricket lovers worldwide, it did little to dull the manner in which the little left-handed genius illuminated the sport whenever he strode to the middle. The intense focus, the instinctive crouch, the full flourish of the bat, and the glorious, flowing follow through. It was a recipe that captivated ODI audiences for the best part of 17 years and produced 19 hundreds, though as was the case for much of his career, Lara's individual brilliance during a difficult era for the Windies failed to translate into team success in the five World Cups he played.

Performance we loved: World Cup '96. The Windies had just been beaten by Kenya, the latest evidence that their once mighty empire was in irrevocable decline. A quarter-final against tournament favourites South Africa appeared a merciful means of exit for Richie Richardson's side, but Lara, typically, rose to the occasion. On a turning track in Karachi, the Proteas opted for the spin of Paul Adams over the pace of Allan Donald. It was a gamble that discounted the fleet-footed Lara, who proceeded to blaze 16 fours in a sublime 111 from 94 balls. The innings put the Windies through to a World Cup semi-final, which remains their most recent appearance in the tournament's final four.

JAVED MIANDAD (PAKISTAN)

The numbers: Matches: 233 | Runs: 7,381 | Average: 41.70 | SR: 67.01 | 100s: 8 | HS: 119no

WATCH: Mix Tape: 'Beautiful shots' from Javed Miandad

#ODIGOAT Voting: Miandad took on another subcontinent batting great in Mohammad Azharuddin in the opening round of voting, and eased to a comfortable win - claiming 70 per cent of the vote. He now faces Lara, and is unlikely to have things so comfortably his way. 

Why he makes the list: Javed Miandad loomed as a colossus over ODI cricket for more than two decades, neatly bracketing his 50-over career with the inaugural World Cup in 1975 and the '96 edition on the subcontinent, including his home country of Pakistan. Only Sachin Tendulkar played in as many World Cups (six), Miandad beginning his career in the 50-over showpiece a day before his 18th birthday and closing it out as a 38-year-old with 1083 World Cup runs – then the most ever. Sharp between the wickets as well as between the ears, Miandad rarely scored his runs rapidly (one exception being his 73-ball effort against India on New Year's Eve) but nonetheless was one of the prototype batsmen of one-day cricket, and earned bonus points among his countrymen for his regular standout displays against bitter rivals India (ave 51, with 3x100s).

Performance we loved: Nine wickets down, one ball remaining, four runs required. That was the equation, but the context made it all the more memorable; Pakistan against India in the 1986 final of the 'AustralAsian Cup' in Sharjah. Miandad was unbeaten on 110 when he faced up, his century the shining light in a run chase that had stayed alive solely because of his efforts. A low full-toss from Chetan Sharma was duly dispatched over midwicket for six, and Pakistan had won a classic ODI and kick-started a run of success over India that was largely attributed to the psychological blow Miandad's winning boundary had struck. 

#ODIGOAT First Round: Tendulkar v Sharma

#ODIGOAT First Round: Akram v Starc

#ODIGOAT First Round: Garner v Donald

#ODIGOAT First Round: Richards v de Silva

#ODIGOAT First Round: Azharuddin v Miandad

#ODIGOAT First Round: Dev v Vettori

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lloyd v Border

#ODIGOAT First Round: Jones v Clarke

#ODIGOAT First Round: Waqar v Johnson

#ODIGOAT First Round: Warne v Kumble

#ODIGOAT First Round: Hooper v S. Waugh

#ODIGOAT First Round: Imran v Hadlee

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lee v Akhtar

#ODIGOAT First Round: M. Waugh v Jayasuriya

#ODIGOAT First Round: De Villiers v Boucher

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lara v Amla

#ODIGOAT First Round: Gilchrist v McCullum

#ODIGOAT First Round: Gayle v Haynes

#ODIGOAT First Round: McGrath v Pollock

#ODIGOAT First Round: Anwar v Ganguly

#ODIGOAT First Round: Sehwag v Greenidge

#ODIGOAT First Round: Ponting v Gibbs

#ODIGOAT First Round: Dhoni v Sangakkara

#ODIGOAT First Round: Inzamam v Kallis

#ODIGOAT First Round: Murali v Hogg

#ODIGOAT First Round: Bond v Ambrose

#ODIGOAT First Round: Malinga v Vaas

#ODIGOAT First Round: Kohli v Pietersen

#ODIGOAT First Round: Symonds v Klusener

#ODIGOAT First Round: Afridi v Saqlain

#ODIGOAT First Round: Bevan v Hussey

#ODIGOAT First Round: Dilshan v Jayawardena