Hyderabad, India: Australia complete the hattrick of World Cup victory. Ironically the victory came in the land of West Indies, who missed the hattrick. Ricky Ponting emulated Clive Lloyd by winning 2 World Cup as captain.
The invincible Australia ran over all the opponents. For them every team was as good as minnows. Opening pair of Hayden and Gilchrist, top order led by by Ponting and then Clark, middle order strengthened by Brad Hodge and then the bowling led by McGrath were too much together to taste defeat. McGrath created bowling record for the World Cup, Hayden missed Sachin’s record 673 runs by just 14 runs.
Sri Lanka met Australia again in the final. But batting second did not help this time. Gilchrist had decided to leave his impact in the final only. New Zealand appeared consistent enough to reach the semifinal again, but the elusive entry to final still eluded them.
South Africa did not have the same power. India and Pakistan were done in by minnows at the league stage.
The minnows again provided the spice in the tournament when Ireland and Bangladesh not only entered the Super Eight but also created more upsets. England could not rally behind Pietersen, otherwise they might have reached the semifinals.
The tournament became more famous for the death of Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer. The reason could never be known, but Pakistan were out in the first round.
Besides the bowling legend McGrath and Muralitharan, Shaun Tait, Brad Hogg, Malinga, Bracken, Hall, Flintoff, Langeveldt, Powell Abdur Razzak succeeded. Hayden led the successful batsmen of the tournaments. Mahela Jayawardene, Ponting, Styris, Kallis, Jayasuriya, Gilchrist, Pietersen, Smith (SA), Clark, Sarwan, de Villiers, Fleming, LPC Silva, Sangakkara, Gibbs and Chanderpaul scored more than 300 runs.
West Indies pitches were no more fast bowling supportive. Otherwise more than 16 times teams could not have crossed 300, despite the small size of grounds. 4 bowlers did take more than 20 wickets, yet batsmen plundered runs at will.
Ponting and Lloyd
In 2011 World Cup can Ponting became the first captain to lead his side to World Cup victory podium thrice!! Clive Lloyd failed, can he!!