In the very first World Cup fixture in 1975 England batted first against India at Lords, and posted 334-4 in their 60 overs thanks to 137 from Dennis Amiss.
So ludicrous was the prospect of chasing such a total that their opponents simply refused to even try, instead crawling their way to 132-3, with Sunil Gavaskar carrying his bat for a notorious 36 not out off 174 balls (a strike rate of 20.68).
On Sunday, England took 10 less overs to post 309-6, Joe Root anchoring the innings with a superb 121.
Sri Lanka chased it down with 16 balls to spare for the loss of a single wicket, Kumar Sangakkara barely breaking sweat on his way to an unflustered 117 not out off 86 balls.
Cricket World Cup 2015: 10 young players to watch
Cricket World Cup 2015: 10 young players to watch
1/10 Usman Ghani, 18, Afghanistan
At just over 18 years old, Ghani is the youngest player at the tournament, but the attacking opener already has an ODI century to his name. If the Aghans are to spring a shock, much will depend on him getting them off to a good start.
2/10 Pat Cummins, 21, Australia
With his wonderful action and searing pace, Cummins burst onto the scene when he took seven wickets as an 18-year-old Test debutant against South Africa. Terrible injuries have prevented him from adding to his solitary Test cap, but now the stage is set for Cummins to re-establish himself as one of cricket's hottest talents.
3/10 Mominul Haque, 23, Bangladesh
A compact left-handed batsman, Haque will occupy the No.3 spot in the Bangladeshi batting order. He has already made 24 ODI appearances, but thus far has enjoyed more success in the longer format - in 12 Test appearances he has plundered almost 1200 runs at 63.05, with four centuries.
4/10 Jos Buttler, 24, England
One of the genuine box-office talents in the England squad, Buttler's 121 against Sri Lanka last summer was the most eye-catching innings of the season. His keeping needs work, but as a mid- to lower-order batsman he has the talent to change the course of a game in the blink of the eye.
5/10 Akshar Patel, 21, India
One of the few positives of India's disastrous recent Tri-Series with Australia and England was the consistency of Patel, who was miserly and probing with his tight left-arm spin. He enjoyed a superb 2014 IPL season with 16 wickets and an economy rate of just 6.22 for Kings XI Punjab.
6/10 George Dockrell, 22, Ireland
Despite having been a mainstay of the Ireland side since his debut in 2010, and with four county seasons at Somerset under his belt, Dockrell is still only 22. The canny spinner was named the ICC Associate Player of the Year in 2012, and he has been touted to follow Eoin Morgan into England colours.
7/10 Kane Williamson, 24, New Zealand
Williamson is the most consistent performer in a dangerous New Zealand batting line-up, his devastating recent form in all forms of cricket cementing his reputation as one of the most exciting, talented batsmen in world cricket. Having recently had his action cleared, he can now resume bowling his useful off-spin.
8/10 Ahmed Shehzad, 23, Pakistan
Despite his tender age, Shehzad boasts a wealth of experience, with over 50 ODI appearances and six centuries to his name. More of a classical, patient opener than a David Warner-esque pinch-hitter, he will lay the foundation from which Pakistan's big-hitting middle order can tee off.
9/10 Quinton de Kock, 22, South Africa
Since making his debut just after his 20th birthday, De Kock has been an aggressive, punchy performer at the top of the South African order, plundering six hundreds in just 36 matches. A tidy gloveman, who by taking over keeping duties has allowed AB De Villiers to focus on his batting, to devastating effect.
10/10 Tendai Chatara, 23, Zimbabwe
An athletic opening bowler with a curious, idiosyncratic action, Chatara takes the ball away from the right-hander at decent pace and is Zimbabwe's key strike bowler. His maiden Test five-wicket haul set up a famous victory over Pakistan in 2013.
The game has changed.
Gone are the days when 300 was the benchmark. In the first eight World Cups, teams posted scores over 300 on 26 occasions. It resulted in victory all but once, when Sri Lanka chased 313 against Zimbabwe in 1992. Since 2007, such targets have been successfully chased five times.
The graphic below shows that, since the World Cup adopted 50-over cricket in 1987 and fielding restrictions in 1992, what was once the holy grail of ODI cricket has increasingly become the norm.Teams have already reached the milestone 14 times in this tournament, almost one in three innings. Of these, six totals were over 330, each time leading to victory by more than fifty runs.
England, however, do not seem to have realised that the goalposts have moved. Against Scotland, they were 200-1 after 34 overs, a total of 350-plus well within the team's grasp. Instead, Peter Moores' side limped to 303-8.
On Sunday, Eoin Morgan and Ian Bell failed to keep the scoreboard ticking over in the middle overs, leaving too much work for Root and the sparkling Jos Buttler to do to post a truly imposing target.
England do not have AB de Villiers, who plundered 162 off 66 balls as South Africa posted 408 against the West Indies, or a Brendan McCullum or Chris Gayle to get their innings off to a flyer.
But they need to find a way to convert their solid starts into match-winning totals. Because in the modern game, 300 often just isn't enough.
The six highest World Cup chases
Ireland 329/7 vs England, 2011
Sri Lanka 313/7 vs Zimbabwe, 1992
Sri Lanka 312/1 vs England, 2015
Ireland 307/4 vs Netherlands, 2011
Ireland 307/6 vs West Indies, 2015
England 301/9 vs West Indies, 2007Reuse content