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Cricket World Cup

Sehwag's blistering century and the highest-scoring tie in World Cup history

World Cup Rewind, Week One

A decade on from the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, we are reliving all of the best bits of the incredible tournament.

The opening week of the 2011 World Cup provided drama in spades, from a massive opening match between two of the hosts through to a dramatic tie where India and England could not be separated after 676 runs were scored.

Highlights of the week

Sehwag’s blistering century

Virender Sehwag got the tournament underway in spectacular fashion, smashing 175 off 140 balls as India posted a daunting 370/4. Virat Kohli also hit a century, reaching three figures off the penultimate ball of the innings.

Sehwag’s knock was his highest ODI score at the time, it was the highest individual score in the opening game of a World Cup, and was the highest score by any batter in any ODI against Bangladesh. The 370 also comfortably broke the record for the highest total in a World Cup opener, surpassing England’s record of 334 that had stood since 1975 (when the game also lasted 60 overs).

Bangladesh gave the chase a good go, with Tamim Iqbal (70) and Shakib Al Hasan (55) showing their class, but nevertheless, they fell a whopping 87 runs short.

Virender Sehwag celebrates his century against Bangladesh.
Virender Sehwag celebrates his century against Bangladesh.

Bowling dominates in Colombo

The quality of both attacks was on show as Pakistan and Sri Lanka faced off in Colombo. First up the hosts restricted a powerful Pakistani batting group to 277/7 in their 50 overs, with the spin of Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath drying up the runs.

But Sri Lanka, one of the pre-tournament favourites, fell 11 runs short as a brilliant showing from the Pakistan attack held them to 266/9. Shoaib Akhtar was at his brilliant best - the Rawalpindi Express finished with 2/42 from his 10 overs -  but it was the irrepressible Shahid ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi who did much of the damage, taking 4/34 including the crucial wickets of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara.

Shahid Afridi was the star of Pakistan's win against Sri Lanka.
Shahid Afridi was the star of Pakistan's win against Sri Lanka.

India v England – Match Tied

A masterful century from Sachin Tendulkar - ably assisted by half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, as well as quick-fire 30s from Sehwag and MS Dhoni - helped India to a formidable 338. Tim Bresnan was the one England bowler to impress, taking 5/48 - including a certain Kohli (who remarkably came in to bat at No. 7).

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his century against England.
Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his century against England.

Such a target was at the very edge of England’s 50-over reach at the time, and against a classy Indian bowling attack, it seemed to be an unlikely chase. But Andrew Strauss produced the best ODI knock of his career with 158 off 145 balls, which along with a rapid 31 from Kevin Pietersen and a crucial 69 from Ian Bell, brought England within reach when Strauss fell with seven overs remaining.

England looked like they were throwing it away, but some huge sixes from Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad left them needing just two to win off the final ball with Graeme Swann on strike. Swann could only eek out a single as Munaf Patel delivered in the death overs and the match finished all-square – still the highest-scoring tied match in ODI World Cup history.

The highest scoring tie in World Cup history.
The highest scoring tie in World Cup history.


In Group A the results were largely as scripted, with New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan all kicking off their campaigns with wins against the two non-Test nations (Canada and Kenya) and Zimbabwe. The clash of the antipodeans saw Australia underline their dominance in the 50-over format, while Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in one of the highlights of the opening week.

  • Kenya 62 vs New Zealand 72/0 (8 overs) - New Zealand won by 10 wickets
  • Sri Lanka 332/7 vs Canada 122 - Sri Lanka won by 210 runs
  • Australia 262/6 vs Zimbabwe 171 - Australia won by 91 runs
  • Pakistan 317/7 vs Kenya 112 - Pakistan won by 205 runs
  • New Zealand 206 vs Australia 207/3 (34 overs) - Australia won by seven wickets
  • Pakistan 277/7 vs Sri Lanka 266/9 - Pakistan won by 11 runs
Australia beat New Zealand comfortably.
Australia beat New Zealand comfortably.

But it was in Group B where the biggest drama occurred – something that became a bit of a trend as the group stage progressed. India got their tournament off to a flier against joint-hosts Bangladesh, the Netherlands gave England a real scare in Nagpur, and AB de Villiers turned on the class to see off the West Indies. But the most memorable match of the opening week came when India and England served up a run-fest in Bengaluru.

  • India 370/4 vs Bangladesh 283/9 - India won by 87 runs
  • Netherlands 292/6 vs England 296/4 (48.4 overs) - England won by six wickets
  • West Indies 222 vs South Africa 223/3 (42.5 overs) - South Africa won by seven wickets
  • Bangladesh 205 vs Ireland 178 - Bangladesh won by 27 runs
  • India 338 vs England 338/8 - Match Tied

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