World Cup 2019 promised to have big chases, fans expected not even 350 to be safe. As the World Cup hasn't yet showed signs of such chases happening, here are some of the biggest run chases in World Cup history.
Ahead of the World Cup in England, there was a lot of talk about how England and their dynamic batting lineup had the ability to chase or score 500 runs.
But so far, with 17 games done and the 300 mark crossed in eight of those innings with the team batting first, none have been chased successfully.
This just goes to show, the added pressure of chasing a decent total - even in this age of T20 cricket, big bats, smaller boundaries and batsman friendly pitches - proves to be quite a challenge when you have to chase in the biggest event in world cricket.
There are lots of teams that are looking to take advantage of the overcast English conditions but more often than not, that has backfired. One of the most recent examples is when Bangladesh decided to bowl against England after winning the toss and the hosts scored this tournament’s highest score 386/6 in their 50 overs.
But there have been times when teams have managed to successfully chase in excess of 300 so let’s take a look at four of the highest chases in World Cups.
4. England vs Sri Lanka - 2015 World Cup
This group stage match was a super one-sided affair. Batting first, England scored 309, with Joe Root scoring a brilliant 121. But when Sri Lanka came on to bat, they made the English bowling look ordinary and chased it down losing just one wicket and with 16 deliveries to spare!
That bowling attack had James Anderson and Stuart Broad and Steven Finn - three players that have now been kept strictly for Test cricket now. And Sri Lanka had players like Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara. Thirimanne scored 139 off 143 deliveries while Sangakkara scored a majestic 117 off 86 deliveries to guide the Lankans home.
3. Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe - 1992 World Cup
Back in 1992, any total over 250 was considered a formidable total. But Zimbabwe scored 312/4 backed by a 115 by Andy Flower and a blistering 45-ball 83 run innings by Andy Waller. The Zimbabweans thought they had bagged a win but the Lankas started off solidly with Roshan Mahanama and Athula Samarasekera forming a 128-run opening stand.
Although wickets started to fall captain Arjuna Ranatunga led from the front scoring a brilliant 88 off 61 balls to guide his side home with four deliveries and three wickets remaining.
2. Bangladesh vs Scotland - 2015 World Cup
Bangladesh looked to have messed it up again against a non-Test playing nation in the World Cup (as they had previously done against Canada in 2003 and Ireland in 2007) when Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won the toss and elected to bowl first with Scotland piling 318 runs.
Opener Kyle Coetzer scored a career-best 156 runs off just 134 balls in an innings that had 17 fours and four sixes, to take the Bangladeshi bowlers apart.
In reply, Bangladesh lost Soumya Sarkar with the score on five but from there, Tamim Iqbal (95) and Mahmudullah (62) took the score to 144 before Mahmudullah was out. The Tigers then had another contribution from Mushfiqur Rahim who scored 60 before Shakib Al Hasan (52*) and Sabbir Rahman (42*) finished off the run chase with ease in the 49th over.
1. Ireland vs England - 2011 World Cup
This will probably remain as one of the best World Cup matches and one of the greatest chases in ODI cricket as Ireland shocked England to chase down a total of 327. Batting first, England had useful contributions from the top order in Kevin Pietersen (59), Jonathan Trott (92), and Ian Bell (81) to post what looked like a match-winning total.
In reply, the Irish looked down and out at 111/5 in the 25th over. Enter Kevin O’Brien who formed a 162-run partnership with Alex Cusack (47) to take the total to 273 before Cusack departed in the 42nd over.
O’Brien kept on scoring in the other end and reached his century - the fastest in World Cup history - before being dismissed for 113 off 63 deliveries in the 49th over with the score at 317. His innings had 13 fours and six maximums.
John Mooney and captain Trent Johnston saw off the chase and scored the remaining runs with five deliveries and three wickets to spare, scripting one of Ireland’s greatest ever ODI wins.