ICC World Cup: The biggest and most prestigious trophy for any country in the game of cricket is the ODI World Cup trophy. It gives a team a tagline of “world champions.” Last year, England won their maiden ODI World Cup in their own backyard. The next ICC event will be held in India next year. The stakes are always high in any game in the multi-national tournament. Most teams always want a good opening partnership to set the platform for the rest of the batters.
That makes the jobs of both openers more vital, but it has happened numerous times when both openers gave their team a really good start and that became the reason for the win. Speaking of the World Cup, the role of opening batters becomes more important. So, in this article we will discuss the top ten highest opening partnerships in the history of the ODI World Cup.
1. Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan (282 runs) against Zimbabwe in the 2011 World Cup
The highest partnership for the opening wickets came in the 26th match of the 2011 World Cup between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. After losing the toss, Sri Lanka batted first and had the dream start that they could have ever thought of. Both openers, Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan, kept on scoring runs and added 282 runs for the first wicket. Both also scored their respective centuries during the course of the innings.
Finally, the partnership was broken in 44.2 overs. Tharanga made 133 runs and Dilshan scored 144. Sri Lanka posted a big score of 327/6 in their 50 overs. Chasing a big target, Zimbabwe also had a decent start when both openers added 116 runs for the first wicket. But once the first wicket fell, Sri Lanka didn’t let any other batters settle. In the end, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 188, losing the match by 139 runs. Tillakaratne Dilshan took four wickets for just four runs, apart from his century with the bat, and won the “Man of the Match.”
2. Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan (231 runs) against England in the 2011 World Cup
Sri Lanka were at their best in the 2011 World Cup, courtesy of their in-form openers, who were on fire. The second highest opening partnership also came between the same pair in the same event against England. Batting first, the English team didn’t have a good start and kept losing wickets. Half centuries from Eoin Morgan and Jonathan Trott helped them to reach 229/6 in their 50 overs. This score was never challenging for the in-form Sri Lanka openers.
In the end, that’s what happened. Both openers toyed with the English attack and never looked uncomfortable. As a result, they both got their respective centuries once again and chased down the target without losing any wickets. Both added 231* runs in 39.3 overs to win the game. Dilshan scored 108* and Tharanga was unbeaten on 102*.
3. Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti (194 runs) against New Zealand in 1999 World Cup.
This was the first semi-final of the 1999 World Cup between Pakistan and New Zealand. The Kiwis won the toss and elected to bat first, but it didn’t go well for them. The Pakistani pacers were all over them and not one of the Kisi batters scored a half-century. As a result, they scored 241/7 in 50 overs, with Roger Twose having the highest score of 46. Shoaib Akhtar took three, and Wasim Akrama and Adbul Razzaq took two wickets each.
Chasing the target, the Pakistani opener came in with the approach of winning the game without losing wickets. They almost succeeded in doing that, as both openers added 194 runs for the first wicket and helped their team to win the game with 9 wickets. Saeed Anwar was unbeaten on 113* and Wajahatullah Wasti scored 84 runs.
ODI World Cup Highest Opening Partnership List
|Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)||282||Zimbabwe||Pallekele||2011|
|Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)||231*||England||Colombo (RPS)||2011|
|Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti (Pakistan)||194||New Zealand||Manchester||1999|
|KL Rahul and RG Sharma (India)||189||Sri Lanka||Leeds||2019|
|G Kirsten and AC Hudson (South Africa)||186||Netherlands||Rawalpindi||1996|
|SR Watson and BJ Haddin (Australia)||183||Canada||Bengaluru||2011|
|RB McCosker and A Turner (Australia)||182||Sri Lanka||The Oval||1975|
|KL Rahul and RG Sharma (India)||180||Bangladesh||Birmingham||2019|
|WTS Porterfield and PR Stirling (Ireland)||177||Netherlands||Kolkata||2011|
|G Kirsten and HH Gibbs (South Africa)||176||New Zealand||Birmingham||1999|