Australia won the Cup as expected and the championship ended on a dark Saturday evening. The Australian team beat Srilanka convincingly in the WC finals to win it for the third consecutive time. The Australian team once again proved that they are way ahead of the other teams in both forms of the game. Everyone in the team contributed when it mattered and Glen McGrath had a dream exit from one dayers being the highest wicket taker of the tournament and also named the “Player Of the Tournament”. This was a fitting end to a great career which spanned over a decade and also coincided with the amazing Australian dominance in both forms of the game.
Glenn McGrath has been a great bowler for Australia with more than 400 wickets in both forms of the game. He has been a part of 3 world cup winning teams, a rare achievement in the modern era. Matthew Hayden became the highest run getter of the tournament with more than 600 runs in the championship and Rickey Ponting became just the second captain in World cricket to lead two World Cup winning teams after Clive Lloyd of WI.
The World Cup Finals itself was an organizers nightmare with the rain before the start of the game. The game was reduced to a 38 overs a side and Srilanka’s best bet would have been to bat first and set a challenging total for the Australians to chase in the finals. The Srilankans lost the toss and Australia did what they did four years ago and batted first. The Srilankan new ball bowlers except for Malinga were trashed by Adam Gilchrist on his way to the championship winning 149. Adam Gilchrist had a ordinary tournament before this game but he performed when it mattered the most. Adam Gilchrist has always been the man for Australia in WC finals as he has two fifties and a hundred in the three chances he has had till now.
This innings almost batted Srilanka out of the game as Australia amassed 281 in 38 overs at almost 7.5 runs an over. Srilanka’s start to the innings was not that promising with Taranga getting dismissed in the first couple of overs.Everything rested on the partnership between Sangakkara and Jayasurya after the early loss. Both these batsmen kept them in the hunt until Jayasurya’s charge against part timer Clarke ended his innings on 63 which also ended Srilanka’s hopes of winning the game. The Australians tightened the screws after Jayasurya’s exit and Srilanka kept losing wickets at regular intrevals. Later the match was stopped due to the rain with Srilanka needing more than 10 runs an over and after lots of chaos Australia were eventually declared the winners of the World Cup.
Srilanka had a great World Cup as not a lot of people thought they would be in the finals. Srilanka played beautifully and the veterans in the team Jayasurya, Murali and Vaas had a great World Cup. These three great players from the island might have just played their last World Cup game and they would feel that they had given their best in the Championship.
Overall the World Cup was a dull event due to the Australian dominance over the other teams and also was too long to keep the viewers interested as there were too many meaningless games towards the end of the tournament in the super 8 stage.