PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Reuters) - A Virender Sehwag century steered India to a record World Cup total as debutants Bermuda were crushed by the biggest ever one-day victory margin of 257 runs on Monday.
India piled up 413 for five before Bermuda were skittled for 156 in the Group B encounter, allowing the 1983 champions to surpass Australia’s previous record winning margin of 256, achieved against Namibia in 2003.
They also eclipsed Sri Lanka’s previous Cup highest total of 398 for five made against Kenya in 1996.
The result will keep alive India’s qualification hopes after their shock opening game defeat by Bangladesh on Saturday.
However, they still need to defeat a formidable Sri Lankan side convincingly in their third and final group game on Friday to be in contention if three teams tie on points.
Sehwag emerged from a prolonged slump in form to blaze an 87-ball 114 for his eighth one-day hundred. He set the tone in a 202-run second-wicket stand with Saurav Ganguly (89) after Bermuda put India into bat.
Yuvraj Singh (83 off 46 balls) and Sachin Tendulkar (57 not out off 29 balls) then tore into Bermuda’s lightweight bowling to pile up 122 from just 63 balls for the fifth wicket.
India’s win would have been even more emphatic had it not been for Glamorgan’s David Hemp, whose defiant 76 not out put India’s victory celebrations on hold until the 44th over.
Paceman Ajit Agarkar and leg spinner Anil Kumble took three wickets each.
India grabbed a golden chance to show off after Bermuda asked their shaken rivals to take first strike at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Sehwag, coming in at number three despite calls to drop him from the team, cut loose to stroke his first hundred since April 2005.
The 28-year-old had scored just one fifty in his last 14 innings.
Bermuda’s 17-year-old paceman Malachi Jones struck with his first delivery to remove opener Robin Uthappa (3) in the second over when policeman Dwayne Leverock flung his 19-stone frame at slip to produce a stunning one-handed catch.
Sehwag quickly turned things around as he struck 17 fours and three sixes until he mistimed a heave off paceman Kevin Hurdle and holed out to Jones at deep mid-off in the 30th over.
Ganguly, 34, looked set for a Cup record fifth hundred until he was stumped off spinner Delyone Borden, who had dropped a stiff chance off Hurdle when he was on 14.
Yuvraj and Tendulkar added 136 runs in the last 10 overs with the latter hoisting seamer Hemp over square leg for six in the final over as India became the first team to cross the 400-mark barrier in the 32-year history of the tournament.