Ricky Ponting breaking 1 billion dreams, Sachin Tendulkar’s scintillating 98 against Pakistan and many more as we look at the top memorable moments from World Cup 2003.
World Cup 2003 still remains a special tournament for all the Indians. Team India had a fairy-tale journey throughout the tournament beating all the teams except for Australia. They did go on to lose to finals, but, the hard work put-in by Sourav Ganguly’s men was absolutely commendable.
The 2003 World Cup also saw some amazing individual performances in the form of Shane Bond, Ashish Nehra, Andrew Symonds, Glenn McGrath, etc., some shocking results such as Canada and Namibia’s poor show, etc. and some surprising endings to the campaign of many teams such as Kenya, South Africa, etc.
So, which are the top 5 memorable moments from World Cup 2003? Let’s find out in this article.
ICC WORLD CUP 2003
Winners: Australia | Runners-up: India
Hosts: South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya
Man of the Tournament:
Sachin Tendulkar: 673 Runs | 11 Inns | 61.18 Avg.
#5: SHANE BOND VS BRETT LEE IN THE BATTLE OF SWING
The sight which is usually rarely seen in the limited-overs cricket as Shane Bond and Brett Lee battled out each other for the crown of ‘Swing King‘ in a low scoring thriller.
Batting first, Australia were shattered by the swing and pace of Shane Bond. The speedster ripped apart the strong batting line-up of Australia.
He took 6 of the first 7 wickets that left Australia reeling at 84-7 after 26.3 overs. However, a solid partnership between Michael Beven and Andy Bichel lifted Australia to a decent 208 in 50 overs.
Shane Bond finished with an amazing spell of 6-23 in 10 overs. In reply, Brett Lee was equally lethal as his 5-42 bundled out New Zealand for just 112.
The only difference between both the speedster was the quality of wickets as Shane Bond mostly took the wickets of the top-order, while Brett Lee mostly took the wickets of the lower-order.
Even though New Zealand lost, the spell from Bond earned him the man of the match award.
#4: CANADA STUMBLE TO LOWEST EVER SCORE IN WORLD CUP HISTORY
Team SriLanka have usually been the team to bowl out the opposition for low scores. Canada had to face the heat this time as SriLanka humiliated the second time World Cup participants, Canada for the lowest ever score in World Cup history.
Chaminda Vass took 3 wickets and Prabath Nissanka took 4 wickets as the Canadian team were bundled out for a meager 36 in 18.4 overs.
The batting scorecard of the Canadians looked like an 11 digit mobile number reading ‘9 0 0 1 0 9 0 6 6 0 0’.
The innings didn’t have a single double-digit score with 9 being the top score. In reply, Sri Lanka chased the target with a record of 272 balls to spare.
#3: TEAM KENYA’S SURPRISINGLY SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN
Team Kenya had a surprisingly successful campaign as they finished as the semifinalists of the 2003 World Cup.
Their entire campaign could well be served into three sentences
- Luck favored them as they got walkovers from higher-ranked teams.
- Defeated the minnows such as Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Canada.
- Defeated Srilanka as the only major upset of the tournament.
Kenya’s campaign ended after India defeated them in the semifinals as Sourav Ganguly scored a magnificent match-winning century.
However, as they say, luck favors the brave, and Kenya did play some really good cricket throughout the tournament.
#2: SACHIN TENDULKAR’S SCINTILLATING 98 AGAINST PAKISTAN
If not the best, it has to be one of the best knocks from Sachin Tendulkar as he smashed a scintillating 98 against Pakistan in World Cup 2003.
Chasing 274, Sachin Tendulkar looked in imperious form, right from the start. After hitting a classy backfoot punch off Wasim Akram in the first over, Sachin Tendulkar smashed an upper-cut for six off Shoaib Akhtar’s bowling followed by two continuous fours.
That six off Shoaib Akhtar’s bowling had oozing class written all over it, and looking at it in 2019 still gives me nostalgia vibes.
Tendulkar had no stopping in that match as he got to his fifty in just 37 balls. While the entire nation was praying for Sachin’s century, Sachin got out on 98(75) with 12 fours and 1 six.
However, by the time he got out, India were already in the driving seat as Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid guided India to a victory with 26 balls to spare.
#1: RICKY PONTING BREAKS 1 BILLION DREAMS
A tournament that looked like a fairytale for Team India until the Villian, Ricky Ponting shattered the dreams of a billion people as India lost the finals of World Cup 2003 to Australia.
After winning 9 of their first 10 matches, India were chasing a well-deserved cup as they met Australia in the finals of World Cup 2003 in Johannesburg on March 23, 2003.
Batting first, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden gave Australia a solid start as they scored 105 runs in their opening partnership in just 14 overs. Ricky Ponting then played a blinder inning as he smashed a magnificent 141(121) with 4 fours and 8 gigantic sixes lifting Australia to a mammoth 359-2 in 50 overs.
Sachin Tendulkar, who has had a fantastic tournament until then had 1 billion hopes rested on his shoulders. However, a mistimed pull off Glenn Mcgrath in the very first over almost ended a billion dreams.
Virender Sehwag did give some fight with his 82(81), but India were eventually bundled out for 234.
That match also gave rise to even nonsensical rumors such as Ponting had a spring in his bat, World Cup be shared or we would have a rematch, etc.
So, these are the top 5 most memorable moments from ICC World Cup 2003.
Some other World Cup 2003 moments which also deserve a special mention are
- Glenn Mcgrath’s amazing 7-15 against Namibia
- Ashish Nehra’s fiery spell of 6-23 against England
- Chaminda Vass’s hattrick against Bangladesh
- Andrew Symonds’ match-winning 143 against Pakistan
- John Davison’s fastest world cup century off just 67 balls
SOME INTERESTING FACTS FROM WORLD CUP 2003:
- Most Runs: Sachin Tendulkar (IND)- 673 Runs | 11 Inns
- Most Wickets: Chaminda Vass (SL)- 23 Wickets | 11 Inns
- Highest Individual Score: Craig Wishart (ZIM)- 172(151)
- Highest Strike Rate (Min 200 Runs): John Davison(CAN) – 118.95
- Best Economy Rate (Min 4 Inns): Andrew Flintoff (ENG)- 2.88
Do watch this space for me. We would be covering the top ICC World Cup moments of other editions in future articles.
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.