World Cup (cricket): 2007
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Venue: the West Indies.
Participating teams: sixteen (as below):
Full Members: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, Zimbabwe
Associate Members: Bermuda, Canada, Kenya, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scotland
Winners: Australia, which defeated Sri Lanka in the final.
Ayaz Memon India Today February 5, 2015 | World Cup highlights: When the greats got going
What marked Adam Gilchrist's 149 in the 2007 World Cup final against Sri Lanka as remarkable was his use of a squash ball to help his batting. Throughout the tournament, he had been struggling to put up a decent score. There were some snide references to his advancing age-he was almost 37 then-and his slowing reflexes.
Gilchrist saw the problem differently. He realised that his struggles were because his grip had developed a problem. To counter this, he checked out if the grip could be improved by using a squash ball in his left glove. It seemed fine in practice and Gilchrist decided that he would take the risk in the big match too.
The scorebook vindicates his decision, but only marginally explains his annihilation of the Sri Lankan attack. Gilchirst ran amok, hitting 13 fours and eight sixes in his 149 off 104 balls. In a match reduced to 38 overs a side, the Lankans would have believed that they had fielded for 138!
The 2007 tournament: highlights
Tushar Bhaduri | Mail Today | New Delhi, February 10, 2011 | 2007: A Cup to forget
A one-eyed fan of Australian cricket may remember the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean as a memorable event in which the men from Down Under became champions for the third successive time, their fourth triumph in all. For most of others though, it was a World Cup they would much rather forget.
Bob Woolmer The spectre of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer's death will always be linked to the event, which failed to portray the colourful Caribbean cricket ethos.
The blame for the insipid 16-team tournament should also lie with its long duration ( a month and a half) and the format (a Super Eight stage after the group matches).
Also the fact that India and Pakistan, two of the biggest draws of the tournament, were knocked out after the pool games did not help matters.
The over-priced tickets, faraway stadiums and stringent measures that stifled most of the traditional West Indian exuberance also played spoilsport.
Add to that, the near farcical end of the championship with the final finishing in darkness.
On the field, the biggest positive memory for cricket fans will be Adam Gilchrist's squash ballaided hurricane 149 off just 104 balls to destroy any plans that the Sri Lankans had in the final.
His opening partner, Matthew Hayden was the standout batsman of the tournament as he smashed 659 runs with three hundreds, including a 66- ball ton against South Africa - the fastest in World Cup history.
The legendary Glenn McGrath ended his international career by claiming 26 wickets and being adjudged the player of the tournament.
Among other standout performances were Lasith Malinga, claiming four wickets in four balls, almost fashioning a miracle victory against South Africa, and Herschelle Gibbs smashing the hapless Dutch bowler Dan van Bunge for six sixes in an over.
Australia had entered the World Cup on the back of five straight defeats, but as the tournament entered its business end, it became clear that it would be a major upset if Ricky Ponting's men did not take the trophy.
As it turned out, they did not have a close game in the competition and their unbeaten streak at the World Cup now stands at 29 matches. Brian Lara, in what was to be his swansong, failed to lift the hosts enough as they were ousted in the Super Eights. Off the field, England all- rounder Andrew Flintoff made news for all the wrong reasons when he capsized a pedalo after a defeat to New Zealand.
It was the first World Cup which featured powerplays but most matches failed to provide any powerful performances.
Bangladesh and Ireland made it to the Super Eights at the expense of India and Pakistan, which meant there were few close games.
Sri Lanka thrash the Kiwis
Sri Lanka thrashed the Kiwis in the first semi- final by 81 runs on the back of a hundred by captain Mahela Jayawardene and four wickets taken by Muttiah Muralitharan. There was great anticipation ahead of the Australia vs South Africa semifinal.
But it proved to be a nocontest as the Proteas were reduced to 27 for five and the target of 150 was never going to challenge the Aussies.
The final was a 38- overs- aside affair to start with due to early rain. Gilchrist had a look at the bowling for a couple of overs before launching his assault, which left Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas and Lasith Malinga shell- shocked.
Hayden, who had been the most dominant batsman of the competition, was made to look sluggish as the openers put on 172. Gilchrist smashed 13 fours and eight sixes and the final score of 281 for four seemed a mammoth target for the Lankans.
After the early loss of Upul Tharanga, Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara kept the fight going with a 116- run stand. But the rapidly rising asking rate took its toll and Sri Lanka were behind the eightball when play had to be stopped twice for rain and bad light.
The Lankans had batted way more than the 20 overs that constitute a game, but the match officials decreed that 36 overs had to be completed to get a result. So the players had to return to complete the farce in utter darkness, ruining the Aussies' victory celebrations.
If that left a bitter taste in the mouth, it was nothing compared to tragedy involving Woolmer. The Pakistan coach was found dead in his Jamaica Pegasus Hotel room in Kingston, hours after his team had been sent packing by the Irish. All kinds of conspiracy theories - matchfixing, murder, unrest in the team - did the rounds in the days that followed and even the Pakistan players were not considered beyond suspicion.
A police inquiry later concluded that Woolmer died of natural causes, but that has not put all the questions to rest.
On June 12, Jamaica's top cop announced that the coach and former England allrounder had died of natural causes as per investigation. But on Nov 6, the coroner asked for further tests. Nearly a month later, the jury gave an open verdict refusing to rule out the contentious strangulation theory . Seven years later, nobody really knows who or what killed Bob Woolmer?
All was not well within the Rahul Dravid- led Indian team.
Friction between coach Greg Chappell and several senior players meant the team was not at ease.
The upset at the hands of Bangladesh in the opener put the players under immense pressure and though they thrashed minnows Bermuda, a loss to Sri Lanka resulted in the premature exit of one of the pre- tournament favourites.
Legendary spinner Anil Kumble must have hoped for a better farewell from One-day cricket.
Highlights of 2007
The then coach of Pakistan team Bob Woolmer died under mysterious circumstances soon after the team's loss to Ireland in the league stage.
Matthew Hayden was the highest run getter in the tournament with 659 runs which included a 66- ball century against South Africa.
In the 38- over- a- side final against Sri Lanka, Adam Gilchrist struck a 104- ball 149 as Australia won their third successive World Cup trophy.
Herschelle Gibbs hit Dutch bowler Dan van Bunge for six sixes in an over and the South African remains the only player to achieve the feat in One- day Internationals so far.
India vs. New Zealand semi-final
Across all sports, great players tend to respect each other, unless there is reason for personal animosity. Before they were about to lead India and New Zealand into the 2019 World Cup semifinal at Old Trafford, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson were constantly reminded by the media about how both had captained their countries against each other in another semifinal — that of the Under-19 World Cup in February, 2008.
Incidentally, it was Kohli who had dismissed Williamson, now a premier batsmen in world cricket, getting him stumped for 37. “I’ll remind Kane (about 2008). I’m sure he remembers,” Kohli joked. Later, he even counted himself as the sixth bowler that India could reply upon! “I was just told I got Kane out so I can bowl any time, as long as I don’t slip on the pitch,” grinned the Indian skipper. Of course, before Kohli could do, it was the media who reminded the Kiwi captain of the bowler who dismissed him in that game. “Oh dear. Tell me how!” he replied, prompting laughter all across. “He used to be an allrounder I think back in the day, but hasn’t bowled as much recently… yeah,” he remembered. Kohli eventually went on to lead India to the under-19 World Cup triumph. Naturally, this game, in which he scored 43 to help India chase down 191 in 43 overs and win by three wickets via the D/L method, holds sweets memories for Kohli. “It is quite a nice thing to realise that 11 years later we are captaining our respective nations again in a senior World Cup from Under-19s. It’s a really nice memory and we’ll both feel good about knowing that this is happening and no one, neither me nor him, could have ever anticipated that one day this will happen,” he said.
Williamson spoke about how it was indeed an unusual, but special coincidence that he and Virat were leading their national teams. “Yeah, I actually hadn’t thought about that at all so I guess that’s kind of cool, isn’t it, that a few years later, we’re here again, perhaps on a slightly different stage, but pretty special and a lot of respects to being able to lead your country out in a semifinal on the biggest stage,” said the Black Caps skipper.
It’s a journey that both Kohli and Williamson have undertaken almost together, even though they were playing for different teams. Kohli says he first had a glimpse of his Kiwi’s talent during India’s U-19 tour to New Zealand in 2007. “During an U-19 Test match, Kane played a shot off one of our fast bowlers, who was quick, off the back foot. I remember standing in slips and telling guys standing close by: ‘I have never seen anyone play a shot like that,’ and he was special...,” said Kohli.
Gilchrist on Australia vs.Sri Lanka (final)
It was fantasy cricket: Maximum ability with little going wrong
2007 proved that it's important to go into a tournament not thinking you need to defend your title
For the full story please see India Today| February 5, 2015
Gilchrist scored a century and was Man of the Match in the 2007 final. He was also part of the 1999 and 2003 winning teams
When I look back at my one-day career, few things make me happier than the fact that I was part of all the three World Cup winning teams-1999, 2003, 2007. It's a very special privilege that I share with Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting. I also admit that I do feel pleased when people notice that I have scored 50 and over in all three finals as well!
The next edition was in South Africa, and in 2003 we were a team that prided itself on being the best in the world. There were challenging matches-like the one against Pakistan as well as the semi-final against Sri Lanka-but the strong performance in the final is something I cherish.
However, the smoothest performance was in 2007.
The preliminary stage of the tournament saw some big upsets when Pakistan lost to Ireland and India to Bangladesh. Both the subcontinent giants were knocked out as they did not have the points to go through to the Super Sixes. It was a big blow to their fans and I remember reading large Caribbean cruise liners booked by Indian fans faced huge cancellations!
On the eve of the final, we were all discussing our strategy against Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankans had had a wonderful tournament, and had an in-form young opening bowler Lasith Malinga. He had, a few matches earlier, taken three wickets in four balls and was the man to watch out for.
Back home in Perth I was told by my coach Bob Meuleman that the discomfort with my grip could be addressed by placing a squash ball within the bottom-hand glove. I had been doing this while practising at home in Perth and it made my grip better.
However, it was only in the final that I thought I would go out in the middle with it. As things turned out, the gamble worked and I was able to play freely, and score 149. Bob had asked me to give him a signal if I used the squash ball tip, which is why I gestured to the glove when I reached the century.
My knock in that game was one of my most satisfying ones, coming as it did in a winning cause on the biggest stage the game has. There are no particular shots that I can pinpoint but I was happy that I batted through a large part of the innings and helped the team reach a total that our accomplished bowlers were able to defend.
I remember the confusion about lights and the game ending really in darkness. However, none of that really dampened our spirits and we were delighted with the 'threepeat' that we had achieved.
Fascinating facts about World Cups
2007: Tendulkar didn't want Chappell for 2007 World Cup In his autobiography - Playing It My Way - Sachin Tendulkar revealed that he did not want Greg Chappell with the team for the 2007 World Cup. Several Indian players accused Chappell of creating a negative environment in the dressing room.
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