WC 2003 - Double delight for Aussies on Monday morning

Published: Sunday, February 16, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: A sleepy Australia woke up to a double delight this morning their cricket team had won the most coveted prize on offer while Nicole Kidman became the only Australian actress to win the Oscars.It cannot be said what brought the masses greater happiness the feats of their team or those of Kidman but it was purely a day of celebration for the Aussies. Smiles were contagious in buses and trains as children and adults set out to schools and offices on a particularly wet day in Sydney. Since the match got over by 4 am local time, newspapers could not carry full reports on Australia's superb 125-run thrashing of India but most predicted a win after the champions had posted their best ever One-day score of 359. For the national team, 'Intent and Intimidate' had won the battle on the cricket field even though the 'shock and awe' tactics adopted by the coalition forces in Iraq was earning the wrath of many an Australian.Skipper Ricky Ponting's eight sixes and the Australian top order batting were talk of the town and many were expressing surprise at the way Indians bowled. One SMS message sent in jest after the first over that gave away 15 runs, said, "Tell the Indians there are only six balls in an over." For expatriate Indians though, it was a day of dejection and loss. Australian-Indian cricket author Kersi Meher Homji said, "I have mixed feelings. I am happy that the better team has won, but I would have liked it to be a much closer contest."India did very well to come up to the final, but it was no match for the professional Australians. I think the Indian bowlers were overwhelmed by the big occasion," he said. Many Australian fans were hoping that they would see a class innings by Sachin Tendulkar, but when he was caught on the fifth ball, it was good night, India.A headline in the 'Daily Telegraph' screamed, "Nation mourns mauling" as it went on to say "this Australian team has become a unit in the image of their captain - ruthless, uncompromising and fiercely determined. They don't so much beat sides as dismember them"."Australian cricket has soared to imperial heights and this after the squad suffered the shattering losses of Shane Warne and Jason Gillespie makes it truly remarkable." Mission complete with an undefeated eight weeks in South Africa, the players arrive in Perth on Tuesday to a public reception. PTI

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