The 2007 World Cup in West Indies
Australia continued to rule world cricket after they defended their title for the third time in a row. Apart from Australia’s victory, there is no other reason why people would like to remember this World Cup.
The teams, this time, were divided into four groups of four; two from each group would qualify for the Super Eight.
For Pakistan, it was a year to forget. The world media condemned them for their shameful loss to West Indies and Ireland in the group stage, which eliminated them from the tournament. As they dealt with the criticism, the mysterious death of their coach Bob Woolmer rocked the world. The Jamaican police claimed that he had been murdered even as nothing was proved.
Meanwhile, the Indians were sent packing back home, courtesy their miserable slump against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the group stage. Both, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka moved to the Super Eight from Group B. They were joined by Australia and South Africa from Group A, New Zealand and England from Group C and West Indies and Ireland from Group D.
As expected, the Australians dominated the Super Eights by registering wins in their every outing. The West Indies, however, disappointed their home crowd, losing five of their seven matches. Australia were joined by Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa in the semis.
The Lankans claimed a thumping victory over New Zealand: first, Mahela Jayawardene slammed an unbeaten 115 to help his team post a competitive 289 runs, and then, spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan picked four crucial wickets to restrict the Kiwis at 208 runs. Australia’s semis clash against South Africa was a one-sided encounter as well. Shaun Tait and Glenn McGrath seven wickets in all as the Proteas wrapped up their innings at 149 runs. The chase was piece of cake for Australia, thanks to Matthew Hayden (41) and Michael Clarke (60 not out).
Adam Gilchirst slammed a sizzling 149 as Australia tamed the Lankan lions in the finals, to settle 1996’s issues and lift their fourth World Cup trophy, their third in a row and fourth overall!
India at 2007 World Cup
The World Cup was staged in the Caribbean this time and India were upbeat with two series wins under their belt just before the mega-event. The team was studded with stars and even the then coach Greg Chappell was sure that his formula to win the World Cup would work after years of experimentation with the Indian line-up.
The outfit was led by Rahul Dravid and boasted of the strongest batting line-up with Sachin, Sehwag, Ganguly, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Uthappa. Even the bowling looked good with Kumble, Harbhajan, Zaheer and Irfan to lend solidarity to the batsmen.
Bangladesh, however, had other plans as they beat India in their first match. This was one blot that spelled doom as the next match was won against Bermuda, leaving the last group stage match against Sri Lanka as a do-or-die tie.
Muttiah Muralitharan was the Indian nemesis in the match as Sachin, Yuvraj and Dhoni fell cheaply, leaving the onus on Dravid and Sehwag who could not shoulder the responsibility on the day. In the end, India were all out for just 185 runs in reply to Sri Lanka’s 254, drawing curtains on their World Cup campaign in the first round itself.
-India lost two of the three matches they played while Australia went on to win the trophy again with another 11-0 record.