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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

The path to the final

March 22, 2003 19:25 IST

AUSTRALIA

Played 10, won 10.

Group A:

Feb 11: Johannesburg: Beat Pakistan by 82 runs. Andrew Symonds hit a 125-ball 143 not out after Australia wobbled at 86-4. All rounder Ian Harvey, a late addition to the squad, took 4-58 including a wicket with his first ball.

Feb 15: Centurion: Beat India by 9 wickets.

India's big-name batting line-up looked very small against Brett Lee (3-36) and Jason Gillespie (3-13). Their 125 all out was an Indian low in World Cups. Australia rattled off the runs in 22.2 overs.

Feb 20: Potchefstroom: Beat Netherlands by 75 runs (D/L method).

The match was cut to 36 overs a side by rain. It could have been cut to nothing after water got under the covers but the Dutch were desperate to play the champions, even on a sub-standard pitch. Man-of-the-match Damien Martyn hit 67 not out and Ian Harvey took three for 25.

Feb 24: Bulawayo: Beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets.

Andy Flower top-scored with 62 and man-of-the-match Andy Blignaut gave Australia an scare with a 28-ball 54, the third fastest World Cup 50. But Australia cruised home, Martyn hitting 50 not out and Darren Lehmann 56 not out.

Feb 27: Potchefstroom: Beat Namibia by 256 runs.

The winning margin was a one-day international record. Australia made 301 for six, Lehmann smashing a tournament record 28 runs off the final over. Glenn McGrath took seven for 15, the best bowling figures in World Cup history, as the Namibians were routed for 45.

March 2: Port Elizabeth: Beat England by two wickets.

Australia's great escape. England raced to 66 for no wicket before Andy Bichel took seven for 20 to restrict them to 204 for eight. Andy Caddick took four wickets as Australia collapsed to 135 for eight, but Michael Bevan (74 not out) and Bichel (34 not out) put on 73 for the ninth wicket to win with two balls left.

Super Sixes:

March 7: Centurion: Beat Sri Lanka by 96 runs.

Ricky Ponting's side needed just one game to reach the semis. Ponting's run-a-ball 114 and Adam Gilchrist's 99 set up Australia's 319 for five. Lee then took three top-order wickets for one run in 11 balls, also sending Sanath Jayasuriya to hospital after hitting him on the forearm and hand.

March 11: Port Elizabeth: Beat New Zealand by 96 runs.

Reduced to 84 for seven on another pedestrian pitch, Australia looked in trouble as Shane Bond took six for 23. Bichel (64) and Bevan (56) put on 97 for the eighth wicket, though, before Lee took five for 42, his wickets in the space of 15 balls, as New Zealand were skittled for 112.

March 15: Durban: Beat Kenya by five wickets.

Lee took the first World Cup hat-trick by an Australian to reduce Kenya to three for three. They fought back to 174 for eight, and 39-year-old left-arm spinner Aasif Karim then took three wickets in two overs. Symonds, with 33 not out, saw Australia home.

Semi-final:

March 18: Port Elizabeth: Australia beat Sri Lanka by 48 runs (D/L method).

For a while, Sri Lanka's plans of playing eight batsmen and a clutch of spinners seemed successful as Australia struggled to 212 for seven on a slow pitch, Symonds scoring 91 not out. Lee swept away those hopes yet again, with three of the top four wickets. Sri Lanka ended on 123 for seven.

- - - -

INDIA 

Played 10, won 9, lost 1.

Group A:

Feb 12: Paarl: Beat the Netherlands by 68 runs.

Sachin Tendulkar, with 52, became the top run-scorer in World Cup history, Javagal Srinath claimed his 300th ODI victim. The Dutch, though, dismissed India for 204 on a sluggish pitch, Tim de Leede man of the match with 4-35.

Feb 15: Centurion: Lost to Australia by nine wickets.

See above.

Feb 19: Harare: Beat Zimbabwe by 83 runs.

Tendulkar (81) and Virender Sehwag (36) hammered a 99-run opening stand in India's 255 for seven. Srinath then removed both openers. Andy Flower, wearing a black wristband, failed and a delighted Saurav Ganguly took three middle-order wickets.

Feb 23: Pietermaritzburg: Beat Namibia by 181 runs.

Tendulkar (152) equalled Australian Mark Waugh's record mark of four World Cup centuries while Ganguly hit 112 as India racked up 311 for two. Namibia folded for 130, giving India the fifth biggest runs victory in tournament history.

Feb 26: Durban: Beat England by 82 runs.

Tendulkar's quickfire 50 gave India a good start and Rahul Dravid contributed 62 out of 250 for nine. England lost openers Nick Knight and Marcus Trescothick early before Ashish Nehra, despite a painful ankle, ripped out the middle order in seaming evening conditions with six for 23.

March 1: Centurion: Beat Pakistan by six wickets.

One of the great games of the tournament on a good pitch. Saeed Anwar's fluent 101 helped Pakistan post 273 for seven but Tendulkar's masterful 98, one of the great one-day innings, set India up for victory with more than four overs to spare. Dravid (44 not out) and Yuvraj Singh (50 not out) sealed proceedings.

Super Sixes:

March 7: Cape Town: Beat Kenya by six wickets.

Kenya managed 225 for six, then reduced India to 24 for three, with Tendulkar among those wickets. Ganguly, however, held the innings together with a measured 107 not out, well supported by Yuvraj Singh's unbeaten 58.

March 10: Johannesburg: Beat Sri Lanka by 183 runs.

'The Little Master' made 97 out of an imposing 292 for six before the seamers turned the match into a Sri Lankan duck-shoot. Srinath and Nehra ended with four for 35. Four of the top five Sri Lankan batsmen made ducks as they slumped to 3-3, 15-4 and 109 all out in 23 overs.

March 14: Centurion: Beat New Zealand by seven wickets.

Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Nehra blew New Zealand out of the game. Khan took four for 42 as the Kiwis, batting poorly, were dismissed for 146. Tendulkar went cheaply, leaving India on 21 for three but Dravid, dropped on one, was still there at the end with 53 not out to Mohammad Kaif's unbeaten 68.

Semi-final:

March 20: Durban: Beat Kenya by 91 runs.

Ganguly made his third hundred of the tournament with 111 not out but this was predictably a one-sided game no one outside the competing nations would have bothered to watch to the end. It was also hardly ideal preparation for India, who had not played for six days before the match.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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