In a dazzling display of batting prowess, star Australian cricketers David Warner and Mitchell Marsh achieved a significant milestone with their opening partnership during the ongoing World Cup 2023 clash against Pakistan in Bengaluru.

Opting to bat first, Warner and Marsh orchestrated a formidable 259-run partnership, marking the second-highest opening stand in the history of ODI World Cups.

Over the years, the tournament has witnessed several such monumental partnerships that have not only left fans awe-struck but also left the opposition in utter disbelief.

Here, we recount the top five highest opening stands in ODI World Cup history.

189 runs – Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul vs Sri Lanka – World Cup 2019

In the World Cup 2019 match in Leeds, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul displayed a spectacular opening partnership, amassing an impressive 189 runs. This partnership stands as the fifth highest in the history of ODI World Cup opening stands. The duo’s exceptional performance played a pivotal role in India’s victory against Sri Lanka. In pursuit of a target of 265, Rohit and Rahul displayed remarkable composure, capitalizing on the favourable batting conditions at Headingley, Leeds. Notably, Rohit Sharma’s innings of 103 runs marked his third consecutive century in the tournament. While KL Rahul had faced challenges in converting starts in previous games, he shone in this match, securing his maiden ODI World Cup hundred with a score of 111. Their stellar partnership led India to victory with seven wickets in hand and an impressive 39 balls to spare.

rohit rahul opening partnership
Source: Cricinfo

194 runs – Saeed Anwar and Wajatullah Wasti vs New Zealand – World Cup 1999

In a crucial semi-final match, Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar and Wajatullah Wasti formed an outstanding opening partnership, amassing 194 runs. The game took place on a favourable batting pitch in Manchester. Pakistan’s pace bowlers successfully contained New Zealand, limiting them to a score of 241/7 in the initial innings. This target posed no significant challenge for the Men in Green. Sensibly approaching their innings, openers Anwar and Wasti skillfully guided Pakistan towards victory. Their combined efforts led to an impressive 194-run partnership for the first wicket. Although Wasti was dismissed after contributing 84 runs, Anwar remained unbeaten, securing an outstanding 113 runs off 148 balls. This memorable performance played a crucial role in Pakistan’s advancement in the tournament.

Source: Cricinfo

231* runs – Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan vs England – World Cup 2011

Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan formed an imposing partnership that stood out as a pivotal element in Sri Lanka’s highly successful World Cup campaign in 2011. Their profound understanding of the conditions gave them a significant edge, leading to two exceptional partnerships, both surpassing the 200-run mark. One of these remarkable stands was an unbeaten 231-run collaboration during a quarterfinal face-off against England in Colombo.

Opting to bat first, the English batsmen struggled against the challenging spinning conditions, managing to score only 229/6 within their allotted 50 overs. In response, Tharanga and Dilshan orchestrated a masterful chase, consuming 237 balls to achieve the target flawlessly. Their performance exuded dominance, propelling Sri Lanka into a position of authority and subjecting the English bowlers to a challenging ordeal on the tricky pitch.

Dilshan’s unbeaten 108* marked a significant milestone, followed by Tharanga’s equally impressive 102*, which also secured his second century of the tournament. This dynamic partnership not only secured victory but also underscored the formidable strength of Sri Lanka’s batting lineup.

Source: Cricinfo

259 runs – David Warner and Mitchell Marsh vs Pakistan – World Cup 2023

In the ongoing match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh forged an astounding 259-run stand, displaying exceptional batting prowess.

Opting to bat first, the Australian batsmen displayed an aggressive approach, capitalizing on the favourable pitch conditions. With the boundaries positioned closer on either side, Warner and Marsh unleashed a barrage of powerful strokes, sending the Pakistani bowlers on a relentless chase.

Warner, in particular, exhibited a remarkable display, seizing every opportunity with a keen eye for short deliveries. He fearlessly employed aerial shots, even against the rapid deliveries of Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi. Notably, Warner’s phenomenal innings yielded an impressive 163 runs.

Marsh, on the other hand, delivered an outstanding performance, contributing a superb 121 before his dismissal. The partnership eventually concluded when Marsh was caught at short fine-leg.

Source: Cricinfo

282 runs – Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan vs Zimbabwe – World Cup 2011

The ODI World Cup history witnessed a spectacular display of opening partnership in the 2011 edition, as Sri Lanka’s Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan etched their names with a colossal 282-run stand against Zimbabwe.

Taking the lead in batting, Tharanga and Dilshan set the pitch ablaze with an explosive start. While Dilshan took charge as the aggressor, constantly keeping the fielders on their toes, Tharanga calmly accumulated runs, evading the limelight.

Remarkably, it only took them 97 balls to notch up a century partnership. Their solid foundation laid the groundwork for a punishing assault on the Zimbabwean bowlers in the middle and death overs.

The Zimbabwean bowling lineup found itself struggling to counter the dynamic Sri Lankan duo. The slightest of errors were ruthlessly punished. Tharanga and Dilshan faced 268 balls, amassing an extraordinary 282 runs.

Tharanga, after a stellar performance, was the first to depart after an impressive 133. Dilshan’s outstanding 141-run knock was marked by a superb strike rate of 109.92.

Source: Cricinfo
Source: Cricinfo

Sri Lanka concluded their innings with a formidable 327/6, proceeding to dismantle the opposition for a mere 188 runs. This monumental partnership remains an unforgettable chapter in ODI World Cup history.

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