With a squash ball tucked inside his left glove to improve grip, Adam Gilchrist singlehandedly fired Australia to their third straight world cup trophy on April 28, 2007. Also Read - WTC Final: Prefer Shardul Thakur As Third Seamer Than Mohammed Siraj, Says Sanjay Manjrekar
Continuing their dominant world cup record, Australia stormed to a fourth straight final, unbeaten where a date with Sri Lanka, a team that bested them in the 1996 final awaited. Ricky Ponting won the toss and opted to bat first and Australia were off to a blistering start courtesy Gilchrist in a rain-curtailed contest. Also Read - "Super proud of this bindass bunch": Ravi Shastri On India's No.1 Ranking
With Matthew Hayden, Gilchrist pulverised the Sri Lankan attack comprising Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan. Also Read - India retain top spot in ICC Test Team rankings
Gilchrist smashed 149 off 104 with 13 fours and eight sixes as Australia posted 281/4 in 38 overs.
Sri Lanka were a wicket down early before Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara revived their claim with a century stand.
But the pair departed in quick succession and Sri Lanka didn’t recover from the twin blows.
And when bad light stopped play, Australia thought they have won the game after 33 overs of the Sri Lankan innings. But what followed has been consigned to one of the farcical moments in cricket’s history.
With darkness descending on the stadium, the match officials ruled three overs were still to be bowled before the game would be deemed finished. Ponting, who was in a celebratory huddle with his teammates couldn’t believe what was transpiring.
His shock had a solid base – as per Duckworth Lewis method, the chasing team needs to bat 20 overs for the result to be declared. But as it turned out, Sri Lanka came back to bat again to avoid delaying the inevitable – they would have to return next morning to complete their innings if refusing to resume under near-darkness as the stadium didn’t have floodlights.
Sri Lanka finished on 215/8 from 33 overs and Australia completed a 53-run win and thus became the first team to win three titles in a row stretching back to the 1999 World Cup when they beat Pakistan in England before outclassing India in South Africa in 2003.