Australia: 417/6 against Afghanistan, Perth (2015)
This remains the highest total ever in a World Cup match. It was scored on the WACA pitch in Perth and tells a lot about how the surface has changed. But that doesn’t take anything away from the blistering innings that David Warner came up with against Afghanistan on March 4. Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss and asked the Aussies to bat first. And then all hell broke loose. Aaron Finch was dismissed in the third over but Warner sent the Afghan team on a leather hunt. The flamboyant opener smashed 5 sixes and 19 fours in his 178-run knock that came off 133 balls. Warner reached his fifty off 40 balls, 100 off 92 balls and 150 off 116 balls. But it wasn’t just Warner who was on the rampage that day. Steve Smith (95) and Glenn Maxwell (88) added to Afghanistan’s misery as Australia crossed the 400-run mark in 48.3 overs. Australia went on to win the match by a massive 275-run margin.
India: 413/5 against Bermuda, (2007)
This match was unfortunately the only high point in India’s World Cup campaign under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid in 2007. Having being criticised by one and all for their defeat against Bangladesh, India needed to win big against Bermuda to qualify for the Super Eights. Asked to bat first, India lost Robin Uthappa in the second over to a stunning catch by Dwayne Leverock at first slip. But India rode on Virender Sehwag‘s breathtaking 87-ball 114, Sourav Ganguly‘s 89 and Yuvraj Singh’s 46-ball 83 to pile up 413/5 in 50 overs. Sehwag reached his century off 81 balls. It was his first World Cup hundred. Batting at No. 6, Sachin Tendulkar hit an unbeaten 29-ball 57 to add to Bermuda’s misery. India’s margin of victory of 257 runs broke the then record of the largest margin of victory in ODIs.
South Africa: 411/4 against Ireland, Canberra (2015)
Whenever a big cricket nation bats first against a minnow the spectators are in for a run feast. The same happened when perennial World Cup under-achievers South Africa took on Ireland on March 3, 2015. Opting to bat first, the Proteas lost opener Quinton de Kock in the third over. But Hashim Amla (159) and Faf du Plessis (109) took the Irish bowling by the scruff of the neck, smashing blistering centuries. South Africa crossed the 100-run mark in the 18th over and Amla registered his 20th ODI century off 100 balls. Amla in fact broke Virat Kohli’s record, becoming the fastest to get to 20 ODI tons, taking 111 matches to get to the figure. Amla scored the next 50 runs after his century off just 24 balls. Du Plessis’ hundred came off 103 deliveries. Ireland were bowled out for 210 runs in 45 overs, losing the match by 201 runs.
South Africa: 408/5 against West Indies, Sydney (2015)
Batting at No. 5, AB de Villiers smashed an unbeaten 162 off just 66 deliveries, as South Africa racked up 408/5 against West Indies on February 27, 2015. Hashim Amla (65), Faf du Plessis (62) and Rilee Rossouw (61) hit half-centuries, but their knocks simply paled in comparison to De Villiers’s knock. It was absolute carnage at the SCG, as De Villiers raced to his fifty off 30 balls, 100 off 52 deliveries and 150 off 64 balls (the fastest in ODIs). De Villiers’ knock was studded with as many as 8 sixes and 17 fours. Windies captain Jason Holder conceded 104 runs off his 10 overs of which two were maidens. South Africa scored 261 runs in the last 20 overs. A demoralised West Indies were bowled out for 151 runs in 33.1 overs, as South Africa won the match by 257 runs.
Sri Lanka: 398/5 against Kenya, Kandy (1996)
This was the edition in which Sri Lanka took the cricket world by storm. With Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana coming out all guns blazing at the top of the order and Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga in the middle order to steady the ship. It was that sort of a day on March 6, 1996, when Jayasuriya (44) and Kaluwitharana (33) gave their side a fiery start, Asanka Gurusinha came in at No. 3 and smashed 84 before De Silva and Ranatunga completed the Kenyan misery with a 106-run stand. De Silva reached his century off 92 balls before getting out for 145. Ranatunga smacked a six and 13 fours in his unbeaten 40-ball 75, as Sri Lanka registered the highest score in ODI history at that time. Kenya managed 254/7, as Sri Lanka won by 144 runs.