World Cup Countdown: India first to break 400-run barrier in a World Cup
Virender Sehwag slammed a century off 87 balls. (Getty Images)

In the build-up to the 2019 ICC Cricket World CupCricketCountry brings to you the most memorable moments and matches from the tournament over the years – right from its first edition, way back in 1975. With 33 days to go, in our latest World Cup Countdown, we look back at the 2007 edition during which India became the first side to cross the 400-run barrier in a World Cup. 

India had a forgettable 2007 World Cup but the one thing that couldn’t be taken away from them despite that horrid tournament was that Rahul Dravid’s side became the first team to put up a 400-plus total in a World Cup. On March 19, 2007, India piled a record 413 for 5 against a low-key Bermuda side which remains their only positive in an otherwise dismal campaign.

Here’s the backdrop: India were dealt a huge jolt in their World Cup opener against Bangladesh, which they had lost. The format of the tournament went as follows: 16 teams were split into four groups, followed by a Super Eights that would involve the top eight teams pitted against each other.

Pakistan had been eliminated from the tournament following a shock defeat at the hands of Ireland and Sri Lanka had pummelled Bangladesh by 243 runs. The equation was simple: India not only had to beat Sri Lanka but also had to inflict a heavy defeat on Bermuda. So they went about their checklist with an emphatic tick first up.

Irving Romaine surprisingly put India in on an absolute flat track. Malachi Jones, all of 17, opened bowling, and sent one outside off; Robin Uthappa poked at it; the 127-kg Dwayne Leverock, standing at first slip, flung himself to the right, and somehow managed to come up with a near-miraculous catch.

But that was all the joy Bermuda would taste. Virender Sehwag’s blistering century, coupled by Sourav Ganguly’s sedate 114-ball 89 deflated Bermuda. MS Dhoni was promoted above Sachin Tendulkar, as was Yuvraj Singh. Tendulkar eventually emerged at the fall of the fourth wicket; the score read 269 for 4 after 38.2 overs. Yuvraj and Tendulkar added 122 in 62 balls, taking the score tantalisingly close to the 400-mark.

The batsmen had crossed, and Tendulkar reverse-paddle-swept Leverock for four, and tried an encore, only to get a single. The score read 396 for 5 after 49 overs, 2 short of Sri Lanka’s World Cup record of 398 for 5; Leverock finished with 96 from 10 overs, though he had the small consolation of dismissing Yuvraj for a 46-ball 83.

David Hemp bowled the last over, and Tendulkar swept his first ball for six, pushing India beyond the 400-mark — something no team had achieved in World Cup till then. There ran a few ones and twos, and Rahul Dravid, was left to face the last ball, which would be his second. Tendulkar, meanwhile, had raced to a 29-ball 57.

Bermuda never had a chance, and Zaheer Khan made the first inroad by dismissing Oliver Pitcher in his first over. Bermuda may have raised their hopes once it started raining after 3.1 overs, but play resumed without any loss of overs. Zaheer came back to remove Steven Outerbridge, and Bermuda found them all at sea against Zaheer, Ajit Agarkar, and Munaf Patel.

Anil Kumble, brought in for Harbhajan Singh, struck a double-blow. Dean Minors played a hand, helping Hemp add 43, but Agarkar took 3 wickets from 6 balls to reduce them to 118 for 8. Leverock held fort at one end, helping Hemp reach his fifty; the ninth wicket stand added 44 from 61 balls.

Hemp remained unbeaten on a well-compiled 76 as Kumble polished things off. Both Agarkar and Kumble finished with 3 for 38, and India, having won by 257 runs, acquired the necessary net run rate.