New Delhi - Records tumbled as Sri Lanka flayed the Zimbabwe attack on Thursday, seeking a victory to seal a Cricket World Cup quarter-final slot and virtually ensure last eight spots for New Zealand and Pakistan.
After being put in to bat, openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan tamed Zimbabwe's bowlers, recording the fourth-highest stand for any wicket in a one-day international, scoring 282 before they were parted.
Tharanga was eventually out for 133, caught by Elton Chigumbura off Chris Mpofu in the 45th over and Dilshan, on 144, followed shortly afterwards, caught by Tinashe Panyangara off Prosper Utseya.
The pair sailed past the previous World Cup best for the first wicket of 194 made by Pakistan's Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti against New Zealand in Manchester in 1999.
The partnership was just four runs short of a stand of 286 for the first wicket in all ODI cricket between Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya at Leeds in 2006.
"Dilshan played really well. He got a magnificent start and got momentum so I played around him," said Tharanga, adding that he was happy with the daunting total of 327 for six.
A win against Zimbabwe in Pallekele would take the co-hosts to the top of Group A with seven points, ahead of New Zealand and Pakistan, who both have six.
There are still 16 matches to go in the group stages of the World Cup from Friday but barring a major upset, it looks likely that the top eight sides in the world rankings will all make it through to the quarter-finals.
The International Cricket Council meanwhile approved England's giant fast bowler Chris Tremlett as a World Cup replacement for Stuart Broad.
Broad was ruled out for the rest of the tournament after suffering a side strain during the six-run win over South Africa in Chennai on Sunday.
Tremlett, 29, who was already travelling with the squad as a reserve bowler, will be available for England's next Group B match against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Friday.
Tremlett is the second replacement England have needed in the past two days, having summoned Eoin Morgan in place of the injured Kevin Pietersen on Monday.
A win over Bangladesh would virtually assure England a place in the quarter-finals.
England captain Andrew Strauss is staying tight-lipped over his new opening partner after the loss of Pietersen.
"I am very clear in my mind who will open, but will not say before the game has started," Strauss said.
The choice is likely to be limited to Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara or wicket-keeper Matt Prior, who are all essentially middle-order batsmen but capable of having a hit at the start.
Injured South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir is set to miss the rest of the World Cup group stage to nurse his fractured thumb, but he is still in the tournament, the team said.
Tahir suffered a fractured left thumb when he caught Jonathan Trott off his own bowling on Sunday and has been advised to rest for 10 days, Proteas manager Mohammed Moosajee said.
The quarter-finals get under way on March 23.