WC 2003 - Ponting, Martyn help Aussies post record score

Published: Sunday, March 23, 2003, 23:06 [IST]
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Ponting raises his arms after his centuryJohannesburg: Australia captain Ricky Ponting's unbeaten 140 left the defending champion with one-hand on the World Cup as it posted a massive 359 for two against India in the final at the Wanderers on Sunday.Together with Damien Martyn (88 not out), only passed fit to play earlier Sunday following a finger injury, he shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 234 in 188 balls.Australia's total was its best in One-day cricket and the highest-ever in a World Cup final. It surpassed the 291 for eight West Indies posted against Australia in the first final back 1975 at Lord's when innings were sixty overs maximum as opposed to fifty.And Ponting's innings bettered West Indies' legend Viv Richards' 138 not out against England in 1979 as the largest individual innings in a World Cup final.Ponting's 13th One-day International hundred, a magnificent exhibition of clean-hitting eventually lasted 121 balls including eight sixes and four fours.Martyn faced 84 balls with seven fours and one six.India's bowlers did not help their cause by delivering seven no-balls and 16 wides - the equivalent of nearly four extra overs. Off spinner Harbhajan Singh (two for 49), took both wickets to fall. Openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden got Australia going, after Ponting lost the toss, the hundred partnership up in just 92 balls. Harbhajan, on early in the 10th over, gave India some hope, wicket-keeper Gilchrist (57) caught at mid-wicket by Virender Sehwag and Hayden (37) edging to wicket-keeper Rahul Dravid.Australia was now 125 for two in the 20th over but that was as good as it got for India. Ponting, after passing fifty, struck Harbhajan for two sixes off successive balls, the second going over midwicket and out of the ground.He topped that with a one-handed flicked six off left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra which flew over square leg before finishing the innings with a six and four off Srinath.An Australia win will make it the first team to win three World Cups and extend its world record for consecutive One-day victories to 17. This is its third consecutive World Cup final it lost to Sri Lanka in 1996 and beat Pakistan four years ago and fifth overall.India is in only its second World Cup final ever having won the trophy in its one previous appearance back in 1983. Copyright AFP 2001

India wins toss and elects to field in World Cup final

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