Barbados: Australia recorded a hat-trick of World Cup titles by subduing a fighting Sri Lanka to a 53-run win in a rain-marred cricket final on 28April. The Lankans made a spirited chase of the intimidating score of 281 for four,but rain, that had delayed the start by three hours, did spoil the momentum.
The end came in a farcical manner, when umpires offered light to batsmen with Sri Lanka needing 62 runs from three overs, after the target was revised to 269 from 36 overs. The champions started to celebrate, only to be told by the umpires, Steve Bucknor and Aleem Dar, that the match was not officially over yet and might have to be continued on the reserve day. To this Sri Lankan captain intervened.
At the end of the day, the ton scored by Gilchrist in an imperious 72-ball delivery was a delight to watch. And if Adam Gilchrist is to be believed, the secret behind his blistering 149-run knock in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka is an innocuous squash ball in his batting glove.
Gilchrist’s breathtaking knock powered Australia to a 53-run win against the islanders and the 104-ball knock was studded with 13 fours and eight sixes. Every time Gilchrist hit a six, he gestured towards a point on his gloves the reason for which he was prepared to share with the media at the end of the day.
“Before the World Cup, I actually practised indoors and tried to improve my grip with half of the squash ball inside my gloves. It was a friend of mine, Bob Mueleman (former Western Australia player), who said that if I felt okay with it, I should gesture that I had got it right which is what I actually did in the middle.”
The ploy clearly paid off with the 35-year-old stumper-batsman hitting the highest knock in a World Cup final, bettering his captain Ricky Ponting’s 140 not out against India four years ago. The dashing left-hander confessed that he had been pretty “frustrated” by his performance in the World Cup in the run-up to the final.