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World Cup 2007: Australia create history with a hat-trick of World Cup wins

first_imgThe ninth edition of ODI cricket’s biggest tournament was held in the Caribbean Islands. The number of participants increased to 16 and the teams were pooled into four groups of four with the top two nations from each group progressing to the Super Eights. Apart from the 10 Test nations and Kenya, who had their full ODI status; Canada, Scotland, Netherlands, Ireland and Bermuda had also qualified for the tournament after finishing among the top five ranked teams in the 2005 ICC Trophy. Both Bermuda and Ireland were making their World Cup bows and it would go on to be an especially memorable debut for the Irish.Most of the matches went as per script with the favourites emerging triumphant more often than not. Ireland and Bangladesh, however, put a real spanner in the works by upstaging established powerhouses and contributing to their early as well as unexpected exits. After a dramatic tie against Zimbabwe in their opening match, Ireland stunned Pakistan with a 3-wicket victory (D/L method). The loss sealed Pakistan’s fate and dumped them out of the competition on the back of successive losses against West Indies and Ireland.Pakistan’s darkest hour though came the following day when their coach Bob Woolmer, known for his experience and expertise, died mysteriously in his hotel room. Tributes poured in from the cricketing fraternity and Pakistan beat Zimbabwe in their last match of the group, but it’s safe to say that no one associated with Pakistani cricket will remember the 2007 World Cup fondly. The same, of course, can be said about India, looking at how they fared in the tournament. Like their arch-rivals, India were dumped out of the World Cup after a shock loss against Bangladesh and a defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka.advertisementBangladesh and Ireland were the beneficiaries following Pakistan and India’s eliminations, however, the Super Eights was a step too far for them. Bangladesh just managed to win one of their Super Eight games against South Africa, whereas Ireland’s sole win at this stage came at the expense of the Bangladeshis. While the Super Eights did feature some classic matches, it served more of an indicator of who the frontrunners for the World Cup were. Both Australia and Sri Lanka looked strong and confident with the latter involved in several thrilling finishes.One close finish even saw Lasith Malinga take a hat-trick and go one better by claiming a fourth scalp from four successive deliveries. Chasing 210, South Africa needed just 4 runs with 5 wickets remaining before Malinga’s brutal spell began and accounted for four wickets in a row. The Proteas managed to get over the finish-line in the end, but Malinga’s fiery spell ensured it wasn’t plain sailing. Another dramatic finish saw them beat England by 2 runs and they went on to win most of their remaining Super Eight matches after that to qualify for the semis.The semi-finals pitted Sri Lanka against New Zealand, while the unbeaten Australians faced South Africa. Both semis were one-sided contests that ended in easy wins for Sri Lanka and Australia, thus making it a repeat of the 1996 final. Unlike 1996, Australia emerged as convincing winners in a rain-marred final that witnessed Adam Gilchrist unleash a belligerent assault on the Sri Lankan bowlers en-route to 149 from 104 balls. Having bowled the minimum 20 overs required to constitute a game, Australia eventually won the match by 53 runs via Duckworth Lewis Method after bad light suspended play. The win made Australia the first nation to win three successive World Cups and it was also their fourth cup overall.Also Read | World Cup 1999: Australia become two-time World Champions, Klusener’s heroics go in vainAlso Read | World Cup 2015: Australia reclaim World Cup and become record five-time championsAlso Read | World Cup 1992: Imran Khan inspires Pakistan to World Cup gloryAlso Read | World Cup 1975: The birth of World Cups and West Indies’ dominanceAlso Seelast_img read more