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Was New Zealand's 401 vs Pakistan the highest total in a World Cup defeat?

And was Sri Lanka's top five managing only two runs against India also a record?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
New Zealand's 401 was a new World Cup record for the highest total in a defeat  •  ICC/Getty Images

New Zealand's 401 was a new World Cup record for the highest total in a defeat  •  ICC/Getty Images

New Zealand scored 401 against Pakistan at the weekend - but lost. Was this a record? asked Nasirul Hasan from Pakistan
New Zealand ran up 401 for 6 in Bengaluru last Saturday - but still lost to Pakistan, who were probably helped by the rain that curtailed the match.
It was the highest total to end in defeat in a World Cup match. That record had already been broken twice in this tournament: on October 10, Sri Lanka's 344 for 9 in Hyderabad was not enough to avoid defeat by Pakistan, while on October 28 New Zealand scored 383 for 9 against Australia in Dharamsala, but ended up just short of Australia's total of 388. Before this year, the highest World Cup total to end in defeat was England's 334 for 9 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2019.
In all one-day internationals, there have been only two higher totals that were not enough to bring victory. Top of the list is Australia's 434 for 4 in Johannesburg in March 2006, when South Africa replied with 438 for 9. And in Rajkot in December 2009, Sri Lanka made 411 for 8 - but India had earlier scored 414 for 7.
Has any bowler got close to the hard-to-achieve average of two wickets per ODI? Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc are not far off? asked David Cohen from Australia
As I write, Trent Boult has 207 wickets from 112 ODIs, while Mitchell Starc has 229 from 118. There's someone else in the current World Cup who's very close to averaging two per match: Shaheen Shah Afridi currently has 102 wickets from 52 (he was actually averaging exactly two per match before going wicketless against New Zealand in Bengaluru at the weekend).
In all ODIs, the only man with more than 100 wickets to average better than two a game is the Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane, who currently has 112 wickets from 51 matches.
Is David Warner the only player to be involved in two 250-run partnerships in World Cup matches? asked Maribel Garcia from Belgium
The short answer is yes: as I write there have been just seven partnerships of 250 or more in men's World Cup matches, and David Warner was part of two of them. He put on 260 for the second wicket with Steve Smith against Afghanistan in Perth in March 2015, and 259 for the first with Mitchell Marsh against Pakistan in Bengaluru in 2023.
In all men's one-day internationals, there have so far been 31 partnerships of 250 or more. Warner features in five of them, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar in three.
Sri Lanka's top five managed only two runs between them against India. Was this a World Cup record? asked Rajinder Parikh from India
Sri Lanka's calamitous collapse in Mumbai last week - Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka were out for 1 after ducks for Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne and Sadeera Samarawickrama - was actually the worst return by the top five in the batting order in any men's one-day international.
Against Netherlands in King City in August 2013, Canada's top five mustered four runs between them (their No. 6 was out for a duck as well).
The previous worst return for the top five in the order in a World Cup match was eight runs, by Pakistan against West Indies in Christchurch in February 2015.
In a women's ODI against Australia in Dambulla in September 2016, Sri Lanka's top six mustered just one run between them, while in a World Cup match in Hyderabad in December 1997, Pakistan's top five collected two runs against Australia, on the way to being all out for 27.
I noticed that Paul Stirling has played against 29 different opponents in T20 internationals. Is this a record? asked Elizabeth Thompson from Australia
You're right that Ireland's Paul Stirling leads the way here, having played official T20Is against 29 different countries. His team-mates Mark Adair and George Dockrell come next with 26; Andy Balbirnie and Harry Tector have faced 25 different opponents, as have Rohan Mustafa and Ahmed Raza of the UAE.
Stirling and Dockrell have faced 20 different opponents in official ODIs, as have the Scottish pair of Kyle Coetzer and Richie Berrington. If you lump all men's internationals together, Stirling's 29 puts him second behind Collins Obuya of Kenya, who has faced 30 different opponents. In Tests, five Bangladeshis - Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam - currently stand alone in having played against 11 different opponents.
I did see some reports during the World Cup that Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi had played against 41 different countries, but I believe this involves some matches which were not official internationals.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes