Who would have predicted that: Ricky Ponting shreds Indian bowling attack to bits with 140* in 2003 World Cup Final
In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.
Having enjoyed an unbeaten run to the 2003 World Cup final and having beaten their opponents India by a dominating margin of 9 wickets in the group stage, the Kangaroos were full of confidence coming into the title clash.
Australia 359/2 (50 overs) - Ricky Ponting* 140 (121), Damien Martyn* 88 (84); Harbhajan Singh 2/49 (8), Virender Sehwag 0/14 (3)
India 234 (39.2 overs) - Virender Sehwag 82 (81), Rahul Dravid 47 (57); Glenn McGrath 3/52 (8.2), Andrew Symonds 2/7 (2)
Result - Australia won by 125 runs
India were the underdogs and the pressure on them was clearly visible when Zaheer Khan sprayed the ball all around in his first over to be taken for 15 runs. The stage was well and truly set for a carnage.
Openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden added 105 runs from just 14 overs when Ricky Ponting walked to the crease. This provided Punter the room to ease into his knock. Ponting took as many as 74 balls to reach his half-century and hit only one four till that point while his partner Damien Martin was going at over run a ball.
Once Ponting reached his 50, something in him triggered. The onslaught began with two sixes off Harbhajan Singh over mid-wicket and a one-handed swipe off Ashish Nehra that was deposited over square leg. Ponting raced from 50 to 100 off just 29 deliveries and finished with 140* off 121 balls, setting India a daunting 360-run target.
Fall of wickets: 1-105 (Adam Gilchrist, 13.6 ov), 2-125 (Matthew Hayden, 19.5 ov)
As expected, India buckled under pressure with Virender Sehwag waging a long battle with a run a ball 82. India were bowled out within 40 overs for 234 as Australia won the World Cup final by 125 runs to register their second WC win on the trot.
India were no match for Australia that day but they could not be blamed too much as they ran into a giant of a batsman in Ponting at the peak of his powers.
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Sachin Tendulkar, 0.5 ov), 2-58 (Sourav Ganguly, 9.5 ov), 3-59 (Mohammad Kaif, 10.3 ov), 4-147 (Virender Sehwag, 23.5 ov), 5-187 (Rahul Dravid, 31.5 ov), 6-208 (Yuvraj Singh, 34.5 ov), 7-209 (Dinesh Mongia, 35.2 ov), 8-223 (Harbhajan Singh, 37.1 ov), 9-226 (Javagal Srinath, 38.2 ov), 10-234 (Zaheer Khan, 39.2 ov)
Australia - Adam Gilchrist (wk), Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (c), Damien Martyn, Darren Lehmann, Michael Bevan, Andrew Symonds, Brad Hogg, Andy Bichel, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath
India - Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly (c), Mohammad Kaif, Rahul Dravid (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, Ashish Nehra
Match: AUS v IND, Final, ICC World Cup, 2003
Date: Sunday, March 23, 2003
Toss: India won the toss and decided to bowl
Venue: The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Umpires: Steve Bucknor, David Shepherd
Third Umpire: Rudi Koertzen
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle
© Cricket World 2020