WC 2003 - Rampaging Aussies lift World Cup for record 3rd time

Published: Monday, March 24, 2003, 3:34 [IST]
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Australians with the World CupJohannesburg: Australia captain Ricky Ponting's 140 not out ensured the defending champion became the first team to win three World Cups when it beat India by 125 runs in a one-sided final at the Wanderers on Sunday.Ponting's magnificent exhibition of clean hitting was the cornerstone of Australia's massive 359 for two its best total in One-day cricket and the highest-ever in a World Cup final. It surpassed the 291 for eight, inaugural winners West Indies posted against Australia in 1975 at Lord's when innings were 60 overs maximum as opposed to 50.And Ponting's score bettered West Indies' legend Viv Richards' 138 not out against England in 1979 as the largest individual innings in a World Cup final.It was a fitting way to mark Australia's third successive final it lost to Sri Lanka in 1996 and beat Pakistan in 1999, having previously beaten England in 1987.Together with Damien Martyn (88 not out), only passed fit to play earlier on Sunday following a finger injury, Ponting shared an Australian record unbroken third-wicket stand of 234 in 188 balls.In reply India, which elected to field after winning the toss, was shot out for 234, Virender Sehwag's 82 the only meaningful resistance. When Zaheer Khan was last man out, caught by Darren Lehmann off Glenn McGrath, there were still 10.4 overs left.India, playing in its second final since winning the trophy in its only previous appearance in 1983, desperately needed a big score from Sachin Tendulkar.But the man-of-the-tournament made just four after pulling the fourth ball of the innings from McGrath to the boundary. Next ball, Tendulkar's miscued hook gave McGrath a simple catch.Saurav Ganguly (25) went cheaply before McGrath had Mohammed Kaif (nought) caught behind to make it 59 for 3.A 25-minute rain interruption after 17 overs excited the thousands of Indian fans here who knew that 25 overs had to bowled in the second innings to avoid a Monday replay. But, as long as Sehwag remained, India's supporters could still dream of an improbable victory.However an attempted quick single off Andy Bichel saw Sehwag beaten by Lehmann's direct hit from mid-off. He faced 82 balls including three sixes and 10 fours. India was now 147 for four in the 24th over and the match was over as a contest.Earlier, Ponting's 13th One-day International hundred lasted 121 balls in all with eight sixes and four fours. Martyn faced 84 balls with one six and seven fours. India's bowlers added to the run-fest by sending down nearly four extra overs in illegal deliveries.Off spinner Harbhajan Singh (two for 49), snared Adam Gilchrist (57) and Matthew Hayden (37) after the openers got Australia off to a flyer with a hundred partnership in 92 balls.Ponting cut loose after passing his 50 by lofting Harbhajan for successive sixes, the second over mid-wicket and out of the ground. He topped that with a one-handed flicked six over square leg off left-arm seamer Asish Nehra. India knew then it was Australia's day.Copyright AFP 2001

Ponting, Martyn help Aussies post record score

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