Sunday, 3 April 2011

A totally flawless final

Well I just cannot recall a finals between two teams captained by played who also keep wickets for their side. This time I saw it when Kumara Sangakkara for Sri Lanka and Mahendra Singh Dhoni did it for India in the finals. On one side, being an Indian I was rejoicing the Indian victory which came home after 28 years surpassing a silver jubilee in between and on the other hand, I had complete pity for Mahela Jayawardane to have ended on the losing side despite scoring a century. No one scored a century for India despite them being victorious.

This was a rare finals not only because it was India who won the trophy but for the fact that both teams fought it out hard to win the trophy which was eventually awarded to one team that played a slight better cricket. Sri Lanka did well to pileup 274 runs on the board which should have been a winning total for sure. But, needless to be said, Dhoni and team had different plans. I just cannot forget the presence of Sachin Tendulkar in the team for the sixth world cup. Someone like Rahul Dravid, Brian Lara, Inzamam Ul Haq never enjoyed this.

Despite being extraordinary players of their era, they never got to lift the world cup. One can look into the last three world cup finals which were all won by Australia and were one sided games. It would not have been a prized prediction for anyone who would have bet on Australia after Pakistan were bowled out for 132 in 1999. And then in 2003, a total of 359 would have never be chased even with ten Sachin Tendulkars in the side against a team with McGrath and co bowling. If McGrath stuck to his line and length, Lee did the damage.

Exactly four years later in the Caribbean, India was replaced by Sri Lanka and Ricky Ponting was replaced by Adam Gilchrist. Every world cup final set up a new record for Australia. In 1999, Pakistan were bowled out for the lowest total in a world cup final. Then in 2003, Indian bowlers were belted for the highest total, the largest margin of victory and the fastest hundred in a world cup final. Four years later, Adam Gilchrist blasted the fastest hundred in a world cup finals bettering Ponting's record by 2 balls and the highest individual score in a world cup final.

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