Top 10 World Cup batting innings

1. Brief run-down of the top batting knocks in the World Cup against test playing nations only ahead of the 2011 edition which starts on Saturday. Sourav Ganguly (India) - 183 (158 balls, 17 fours, 7 sixes) v Sri Lanka, Taunton, 1999. Ganguly provided a taste of what T20 might be like with his towering hits that almost cleared the outskirts of the town, let alone Taunton's tiny ground.more after the break...

2. Viv Richards (West Indies) - 181 (125 balls, 16 fours, 7 sixes) v Sri Lanka, Karachi, 1987. Richards walked in to bat on a hat-trick and by the time he departed, he had scored the highest score (then) in a World Cup. He went about his business in such a savage manner that Desmond Haynes' 105 almost seemed pedestrian by comparison.

3. Matthew Hayden (Australia) 158 (143 balls, 14 fours, 4 sixes) v West Indies, North Sound, 2007. Hayden imposed himself on the home side with an innings of various gears. It was an uncharacteristic innings, given it was Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson who provided the impetus while the big man almost played a 'sheet anchor' role by his standards.

4. Adam Gilchrist (Australia) 149 (104 balls, 13 fours, 8 sixes) v Sri Lanka, Bridgetown, 2007. Clive Lloyd (1975), Viv Richards (1979), Aravinda de Silva (1996), Ponting (2003) and Gilchrist (2007). It is a Who's Who list of batsmen who left their indelible mark on World Cup finals.

5. AB de Villiers (South Africa) 146 (130 balls, 12 fours, 5 sixes) v West Indies, St George's, 2007. With the West Indies already out of contention for a semi-final slot, Lara experimented with some debatable team selection and bowling decisions. But nothing can be taken away from the knock of De Villiers, who ensured that South Africa's shock defeat to Bangladesh was an aberration.

6. Rahul Dravid (India) 145 (129 balls, 17 fours, 1 six) v Sri Lanka, Taunton, 1999. Indian cricket is replete with Dravid's feats in some monumental partnerships and this extremely crucial 318-run partnership with Ganguly was no less momentous.

7. Andrew Symonds (Australia) 143* (125 balls, 18 fours, 2 sixes) v Pakistan, Johannesburg, 2003. In Australia's first match of the 2003 World Cup as defending champions, they were stunned by the Pakistani fast bowling attack with Gilchrist, Hayden, Damien Martyn and Jimmy Maher back in the hutch within the Powerplay.

8. Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) 143 (141 balls, 19 fours, 3 sixes) v New Zealand, Johannesburg, 2003. A feeling of deja vu must have crept in when Gibbs scored another century at the World Cup and lost another crucial match. Rewind to 'You just dropped the World Cup, mate' quip from Steve Waugh in 1999 when Gibbs dropped a sitter after having scored 101 and let Australia off the hook

9. Dave Houghton (Zimbabwe) 142 (137 balls, 13 fours, 6 sixes) v New Zealand, Hyderabad, 1987. Another heartbreak story for another valiant centurion. Zimbabwe had always threatened to be giant slayers in their performances against India and Australia in 1983. They nearly did it again, chasing a respectable 243 to win.

10. Scott Styris (New Zealand) 141 (125 balls, 3 fours, 6 sixes) v Sri Lanka, Bloemfontein, 2003. To round off the theme with a hat-trick of centuries in losing causes, Styris was the sole survivor amidst a sinking ship with only a fighting 32 from Chris Cairns to prop up the New Zealand total. New Zealand never really came close to challenging the relatively imposing total of 272 from Sri Lanka.

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