Australia unprecendented World Cup victory

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, April 28, 2007 –  Australia beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method to win the World Cup Final before an audience of thousands of jubilant Australian fans here Saturday. It is the third consecutive win and the fourth since Cricket World Cup started in 1975. In this game as in 2003, they also won each game they played.

However, the game ended in farce with Australia thinking the match had been called off after 33 overs of Sri Lanka’s innings only for the game to resume in pitch-black conditions on a ground without floodlights.

Wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist’s 149, the highest individual score in a final, beating the unbeaten 140 made by Australia captain Ricky Ponting against India in Johannesburg four years ago, was the centrepiece of the champions’ 281 for four in an innings reduced by rain to 38 overs.

In reply Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions and making their second final appearance, were given a glimmer of hope by a second-wicket stand of 117 between Sanath Jayasuriya (63) and Kumar Sangakkara (54).

Chasing a revised target of 269 in 36 overs after a second rain delay, they finished on 215 for eight.

Gilchrist, Ponting and fast bowler Glenn McGrath, in his last match before retirement, became the only three players to appear in three World Cup-winning teams after also starring in Australia’s 1999 and 2003 triumphs.

The team led by Rickey Ponting pulled a hatrick victory at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, Saturday, repeating similar victories at  Lord’s in England (1999) then at Wanderers in Johannesburg (2003).

The match was deja vu of the 1996 finals when the same two teams, Sri Lanka and Australia, battled in Lahore. Australia lost to Sri Lanka by seven wickets but not so this year.

Of the nine Cricket World Cups hosted since 1975, Australia was a finalist in six. They lost to the West Indies in the first ever game in 1975 and never made it against into the finals until 1987 when they beat England by seven runs. They were back into the finals nine years later losing to Sri Lanka but from the following games in 1999 they stayed on the winning side beating Pakistan (1999), India (2003), and Saturday Sri Lanka.



A. Gilchrist c Silva b Fernando 149
M. Hayden c Jayawardene b Malinga 38
R. Ponting run out 37
A. Symonds not out 23
S. Watson b Malinga 3
M. Clarke not out 8
Extras lb4, nb3, w16 23
Total for four wickets 281

Fall of wickets: 1-172 (Hayden), 2-224 (Gilchrist), 3-261 (Ponting), 4-266 (Watson).

Bowling Vaas 8-0-54-0 (nb2, w1)
Malinga 8-1-49-2
Fernando 8-0-74-1 (nb1, w4)
Muralitharan 7-0-44-0 (w2)
Dilshan 2-0-23-0 (w1)
Jayasuriya 5-0-33-0

Overs: 38

Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Steve Bucknor (WIS)

TV umpire: Rudi Koertzen (RSA)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)