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ICC World Cup Cricket 2003, South Africa
Dates: 9 February 2003 to 23 March 2003
Teams: West Indies, England,India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Netherlands, South Africa , Bangladesh, Namibia & Canada
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World Cup Cricket 2003
Australians continue their pre-eminence
The Australian Cricket Team has been winning almost every match over the last four years and came to the 8th World Cup in southern Africa as pre-tournament favourites. At the end of it they went home with the trophy, retaining it without losing a single match.
Ricky Ponting, who took over captaincy from legendary Steve Waugh last year, led his team from the front in an attacking and inspirational manner, as his team became the first in history to win the World Cup for the third time.
They outplayed every opposition they came up against and in every department of the game too, certainly the deserved winners. No matter the toss was won or lost, no matter batted first or bowled first - whatever they did was to perfection and not left to chance. They approached every game with a gung-ho attitude and reaped the harvest.
The Australians started off their World Cup campaign under the most trying conditions - just before their first game against Pakistan, champion spinner Shane Warne was sent back home after failing a drug test. Most other teams would not have coped and probably faltered but not the Aussies. They showed tremendous mental strength as they came into the Pakistan game as if nothing had happened, it was 'business as usual' for them.
Even when they were in a spot of bother, reduced to 146-5 in the 30th over they never gave up. Andrew Symonds, lucky to be at the Aussie squad in first place, stood up and scored a magnificent 143 not out to lead the charge as Australia accumulated a mammoth 310-8. Next their bowlers got into the act and despite a late Pakistan assault bowled them out for 228 to win by 82 runs.
Similarly, in the final against India, they lost both openers after a good start and could have lost more wickets but skipper Ponting and batsman Damien Martyn first made sure there were no further losses. After playing themselves in, both went on a rampage and belted the Indian bowling to every nook and cranny of the Wanderers to pile up a monstrous 359-2, Ponting ending with 140 and Martyn on 88. In every time of trouble, one or other Australian player stood tall to help his team in the most appropriate manner.
Another aspect of Australian victories was they excelled in both batting and bowling rather than depending on just one department. Batters did their job and the bowlers did their job. The latter proved, once again, to be the best in the business. Even after losing two main weapons in Shane Warne and Jason Gillespie they never showed the smallest chink in their armour as solace to oppositions.
It is often said a genuine fast bowling attack can make captaincy so much easier and Ricky Ponting will be the first one to agree with this. Both Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee were simply brilliant and Andy Bichel, coming in for Gillespie, took wickets in a heap and never let the team feel his absence. Most impressive was Brett Lee, the New South Welshman, in the best form of his life to take 22 wickets bowling with utmost fire and pace.
All critics agree Australia is indeed one of the best if not the best team in history. The outstanding successes achieved recently suggest that Ricky Ponting is a marvellously astute captain. I would stress this side is so good it really does not need a captain at all!
Nearly all players are thinking cricketers; they foresee every move to be made and where to field, how to bat and where to bowl according to the situation. They have gelled well as cohesive unit, which makes them an even stronger opposition. There were so signs of rivalry or tension in them unlike some other teams and each player backed the other as if they were brothers.
The Aussies also figured out their opposition players extremely well by focusing on a batsman's weakness or targeting a weak fielder, extracting mistakes through the added pressure. Their other philosophy was 'attack being the best form of defence'. Even if the chips were down like in the Super Six match against New Zealand and in the semi-final against Sri Lanka when bowled out for comparatively low scores, they came out to bowl all guns blazing and blasted them with an attacking and positive game plan.
The merit of any teams performance must be judged against the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. This applies to players as well when assessing their records, be they batsmen, bowlers or wicketkeepers. Many a false reputation has been achieved against weaker opponents!
The acid test of greatness comes when a team must face awkward situations, strong opposition, and especially if a team has some precious players missing.
Thus, this Australian team has every right in the world to be called great. Indeed, they are a cut above the rest and are in a league of their own.
This World Cup was just a start and as their coach John Buchanan has said 'we can still improve'; they surely will make life for others more difficult. So it may be best to wish the best of luck to the others in coming years.
Cricket World Cup 2003 Finals Score Board
Australia beat India by 125 runsAustralia clinched their third Cricket World Cup with a thumping 125-run victory over India.
Captain Ricky Ponting hit a blistering 140 as the Aussies scored a massive 359 for two - their highest-ever one-day total.
Despite a fighting 82 from Virender Sehwag , India could only make 234.
And in securing their third World Cup triumph, Australia also became the only side to win all of their matches in a World Cup tournament.
Man of the Match: RT Ponting
359 for 2 (50.0 overs)
234 all out (39.2 overs)
|AC Gilchrist||c Sehwag||b Harbhajan Singh||
|ML Hayden||c Dravid||b Harbhajan Singh||
|RT ponting||not out||
|DR Martyn||not out||
||7nb 16w 2 b 12lb||37||
|SR Tendulkar||c&b McGrath||
|V Sehwag||run out||
|SC Ganguly||c Lehman||
|M Kaif||c Gilchrist||b McGrath||0||3||0||0|
|R Dravid||b Bichel||47||57||2||0|
|Yuvraj Sigh||c Lee||b Hogg||24||34||1||0|
|D Mongia||c Martyn||b Symonds||12||11||2||0|
|Harbhajan Sigh||c McGrath||b Symonds||7||8||0||0|
|Z Khan||c Lehman||b McGrath||4||8||0||0|
|J Srinath||b Lee||1||4||0||0|
|A Nehra||not out||
||4nb 9w 4b 4lb||21||
Live Cricket Umpires: SA Bucknor (WI) and DR Shepherd
Australia Team: AC Gilchrist, ML Hayden, RT Ponting, DR Martyn, DS Lehmann, MG Bevan, A Symonds, GB Hogg, AJ Bichel, B Lee, GD McGrath.
India Team: SR Tendulkar, V Sehwag, SC Ganguly, M Kaif, R Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, D Mongia, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, J Srinath, A Nehra.
Summary of results
Pool B: South Africa v West Indies at Cape Town - February
West Indies won by 3 runs. West Indies 278-5 (50 ov); South Africa 275-9 (49 ov).
Pool A: Zimbabwe v Namibia at Harare - February 10, 2003
Zimbabwe won by 86 runs. Zimbabwe 340-2 (50 ov); Namibia 104-5 (25.1 ov).
Pool B: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Bloemfontein - February
Sri Lanka won by 47 runs. Sri Lanka 272-7 (50 ov); New Zealand 225 (45.3 ov).
Pool A: Australia v Pakistan at Johannesburg - February
Australia won by 82 runs. Australia 310-8 (50 ov); Pakistan 228 (44.3 ov).
Pool B: Bangladesh v Canada at Durban - February 11,
Canada won by 60 runs. Canada 180 (49.1 ov); Bangladesh 120 (28 ov).
Pool A: India v Netherlands at Paarl - February 12, 2003
India won by 68 runs. India 204 (48.5 ov); Netherlands 136 (48.1 ov).
Pool B: South Africa v Kenya at Potchefstroom - February
South Africa won by 10 wickets. Kenya 140 (38 ov); South Africa 142-0 (21.2 ov).
Pool A: Zimbabwe v England at Harare - February 13, 2003
Zimbabwe won by a walkover.
Pool B: New Zealand v West Indies at Port Elizabeth -
February 13, 2003
New Zealand won by 20 runs. New Zealand 241-7 (50 ov); West Indies 221 (49.4 ov).
Pool B: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Pietermaritzburg -
February 14, 2003
Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets. Bangladesh 124 (31.1 ov); Sri Lanka 126-0 (21.1 ov).
Pool A: Australia v India at Centurion - February 15,
Australia won by 9 wickets. India 125 (41.4 ov); Australia 128-1 (22.2 ov).
Pool B: Canada v Kenya at Cape Town - February 15, 2003
Kenya won by 4 wickets. Canada 197 (49 ov); Kenya 198-6 (48.3 ov).
Pool A: England v Netherlands at East London - February
England won by 6 wickets. Netherlands 142-9 (50 ov); England 144-4 (23.2 ov).
Pool A: Namibia v Pakistan at Kimberley - February 16,
Pakistan won by 171 runs. Pakistan 255-9 (50 ov); Namibia 84 (17.4 ov).
Pool B: South Africa v New Zealand at Johannesburg -
February 16, 2003
New Zealand won by 9 wickets. South Africa 306-6 (50 ov); New Zealand 229-1 (36.5 ov).
Pool B: Bangladesh v West Indies at Benoni - February
No result. West Indies 244-9 (50 ov); Bangladesh 32-2 (8.1 ov).
Pool A: England v Namibia at Port Elizabeth - February
England won by 55 runs. England 272 (50 ov); Namibia 217-9 (50 ov).
Pool A: Zimbabwe v India at Harare - February 19, 2003
India won by 83 runs. India 255-7 (50 ov); Zimbabwe 172 (44.4 ov).
Pool B: Canada v Sri Lanka at Paarl - February 19, 2003
Sri Lanka won by 9 wickets. Canada 36 (18.4 ov); Sri Lanka 37-1 (4.4 ov).
Pool A: Australia v Netherlands at Potchefstroom - February
Australia won by 75 runs. Australia 170-2 (36 ov); Netherlands 122 (30.2 ov).
Pool B: Kenya v New Zealand at Nairobi - February 21,
Kenya won by a walkover.
Pool A: England v Pakistan at Cape Town - February 22,
England won by 112 runs. England 246-8 (50 ov); Pakistan 134 (31 ov).
Pool B: South Africa v Bangladesh at Bloemfontein - February
South Africa won by 10 wickets. Bangladesh 108 (35.1 ov); South Africa 109-0 (12 ov).
Pool A: India v Namibia at Pietermaritzburg - February
India won by 181 runs. India 311-2 (50 ov); Namibia 130 (42.3 ov).
Pool B: Canada v West Indies at Centurion - February
West Indies won by 7 wickets. Canada 202 (42.5 ov); West Indies 206-3 (20.3 ov).
Pool A: Zimbabwe v Australia at Bulawayo - February 24,
Australia won by 7 wickets. Zimbabwe 246-9 (50 ov); Australia 248-3 (47.3 ov).
Pool B: Kenya v Sri Lanka at Nairobi - February 24, 2003
Kenya won by 53 runs. Kenya 210-9 (50 ov); Sri Lanka 157 (45 ov).
Pool A: Netherlands v Pakistan at Paarl - February 25,
Pakistan won by 97 runs. Pakistan 253-9 (50 ov); Netherlands 156 (39.3 ov).
Pool A: England v India at Durban - February 26, 2003
India won by 82 runs. India 250-9 (50 ov); England 168 (45.3 ov).
Pool B: Bangladesh v New Zealand at Kimberley - February
New Zealand won by 7 wickets. Bangladesh 198-7 (50 ov); New Zealand 199-3 (33.3 ov).
Pool A: Australia v Namibia at Potchefstroom - February
Australia won by 256 runs. Australia 301-6 (50 ov); Namibia 45 (14 ov).
Pool B: South Africa v Canada at East London - February
South Africa won by 118 runs. South Africa 254-8 (50 ov); Canada 136-5 (50 ov).
Pool A: Zimbabwe v Netherlands at Bulawayo - February
Zimbabwe won by 99 runs. Zimbabwe 301-8 (50 ov); Netherlands 202-9 (50 ov).
Pool B: Sri Lanka v West Indies at Cape Town - February
Sri Lanka won by 6 runs. Sri Lanka 228-6 (50 ov); West Indies 222-9 (50 ov).
Pool A: India v Pakistan at Centurion - March 1, 2003
India won by 6 wickets. Pakistan 273-7 (50 ov); India 276-4 (45.4 ov).
Pool B: Bangladesh v Kenya at Johannesburg - March 1,
Kenya won by 32 runs. Kenya 217-7 (50 ov); Bangladesh 185 (47.2 ov).
Pool A: Australia v England at Port Elizabeth - March
Australia won by 2 wickets. England 204-8 (50 ov); Australia 208-8 (49.4 ov).
Pool A: Namibia v Netherlands at Bloemfontein - March
Netherlands won by 64 runs. Netherlands 314-4 (50 ov); Namibia 250 (46.5 ov).
Pool B: Canada v New Zealand at Benoni - March 3, 2003
New Zealand won by 5 wickets. Canada 196 (47 ov); New Zealand 197-5 (23 ov).
Pool B: South Africa v Sri Lanka at Durban - March 3,
Match tied. Sri Lanka 268-9 (50 ov); South Africa 229-6 (45 ov).
Pool A: Zimbabwe v Pakistan at Bulawayo - March 4, 2003
No result. Pakistan 73-3 (14 ov).
Pool B: Kenya v West Indies at Kimberley - March 4, 2003
West Indies won by 142 runs. West Indies 246-7 (50 ov); Kenya 104 (35.5 ov).
Super Six: Australia v Sri Lanka at Centurion - March
Australia won by 96 runs. Australia 319-5 (50 ov); Sri Lanka 223 (47.4 ov).
Super Six: India v Kenya at Cape Town - March 7, 2003
India won by 6 wickets. Kenya 225-6 (50 ov); India 226-4 (47.5 ov).
Super Six: New Zealand v Zimbabwe at Bloemfontein - March
New Zealand won by 6 wickets. Zimbabwe 252-7 (50 ov); New Zealand 253-4 (47.2 ov).
Super Six: India v Sri Lanka at Johannesburg - March
India won by 183 runs. India 292-6 (50 ov); Sri Lanka 109 (23 ov).
Super Six: Australia v New Zealand at Port Elizabeth
- March 11, 2003
Australia won by 96 runs. Australia 208-9 (50 ov); New Zealand 112 (30.1 ov).
Super Six: Kenya v Zimbabwe at Bloemfontein - March 12,
Kenya won by 7 wickets. Zimbabwe 133 (44.1 ov); Kenya 135-3 (26 ov).
Super Six: India vs New Zealand at Centurion - March 14,
India won by 7 wickets. New Zealand 146 (45.1 ov); India 150-3 (40.4 ov).
Super Six: Australia v Kenya at Durban - March 15, 2003
Australia won by 5 wickets. Kenya 174-8 (50 ov); Australia 178-5 (31.2 ov).
Super Six: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at East London - March
Sri Lanka won by 74 runs. Sri Lanka 256-5 (50 ov); Zimbabwe 182 (41.5 ov).
Semi-Final: Australia v Sri Lanka at Port Elizabeth -
March 18, 2003
Australia won by 48 runs. Australia 212-7 (50 ov); Sri Lanka 123-7 (38.1 ov).
Semi-Final: India v Kenya at Durban - March 20, 2003
India won by 91 runs. India 270-4 (50 ov); Kenya 179 (46.2 ov).
Final: Australia v India at Johannesburg - March 23,
Australia won by 125 runs. Australia 359-2 (50 ov); India 234 (39.2 ov).