New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, there will be no Asian team in the final of a Cricket World Cup. Australia defeated defending champions India in the second semi-final of the cricket's show-piece event by 95 runs in Sydney. The Aussies will meet tournament co-hosts New Zealand in the final on Sunday.
In the last seven World Cup editions, at least one team from the Asian continent had been making it to the final. But, today's result meant that the streak was broken.
Australia, batting first, posted a record semi-final score of 328 runs, with imperious Steven Smith compiling a classy hundred for the co-hosts.
India fell 95-run short as Aussies bowled out the continental team with 22 balls remaining in the match. Indians were never in the chase, losing wickets in regular intervals. When skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni seemed to have started the hunt, with his powerful hits, the equation had already reached an unrealistic proposition.
Last time, a team from the Asian continent failed to make-up the tournament final line-up was in 1987, wherein Australia defeated England by seven runs in title clash in Kolkata's Eden Gardens.
In the 1992 edition, Imran Khan inspired Pakistan win their first ever title beating England by 22 runs in Melbourne. Then in the following edition, held in the Indian sub-continent, Arjuna Ranatunga led Sri Lanka to triumph, beating Australia by seven wickets in the Lahore final.
Australia returned to claim their second world title in 1999. In the Lord's final, Steve Waugh's side thumped Pakistan by eight wickets. The formidable Aussie side, this time under Ricky Ponting, claimed two back-to-back titles in the subsequent editions, first defeating India by 125 runs in the Johannesburg final of 2003, then Sri Lanka by 53 runs in the 2007 final in Bridgetown.
In the last edition, India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in Mumbai.