This day, that year: Adam Gilchrist scores 149 to gift Australia World Cup | cricket | Hindustan Times
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This day, that year: Adam Gilchrist scores 149 to gift Australia World Cup

Adam Gilchrist blasted a 104-ball 149 to set up Australia’s title triumph against Sri Lanka in the 9th edition of cricket World Cup in 2007

cricket Updated: Apr 28, 2018 18:31 IST
HT Correspondent
Adam Gilchrist plays a shot in the ICC cricket World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Kensington Oval on April 28, 2007 in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Adam Gilchrist plays a shot in the ICC cricket World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Kensington Oval on April 28, 2007 in Bridgetown, Barbados.(Getty Images)

On April 28 in 2007, swashbuckling opener Adam Gilchrist blasted a 104-ball 149 to set up Australia’s title triumph against Sri Lanka in the 9th edition of cricket World Cup. The victory marked a hat-trick of World Cup wins for the Australian side, which emerged champions in 1999 and 2003 as well. (Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2018 - HIGHLIGHTS)

Gilchrist went berserk from the outset after Australian captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first at Bridgetown in a rain-curtailed match. Sri Lanka had a very potent bowling attack at that time with the likes of Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga in their ranks. None of them, though, managed to stop the Australian stumper from putting on display a high-voltage assault that day.

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Gilchrist’s innings contained 13 fours and six maximums as Australia amassed a mammoth 281/4 in the stipulated 38 overs. The importance of Gilchrist’s knock can be gauged from the fact that the next best score in the innings read only 38, which came off fellow opener Matthew Hayden’s bat.

Sri Lanka, in reply, could muster only 215/8 in 36 overs after bad light stopped play and Australia were deservedly declared winners by 53 runs according to Duckworth–Lewis method.

Gilchrist, who was adjudged man-of-the-match, revealed after the match that he had batted with a squash ball inside the glove on his left hand. In the big-hitting Australian’s words, it was done to keep his bottom hand marginally off the bat, which ensured he can generate more power in his strokes while keeping a lighter grip.

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Gilchrist’s knock of 149 also earned him the distinction of registering the highest-ever individual score in a World Cup final. Even 11 years and two World Cups later, his feat remains untouched.

NEW FACE OF CRICKET COVERAGE

Meanwhile, in a new development, Gilchrist is set to anchor Fox Sports’ cricket coverage in Australia. The 46-year-old, who carved a niche for himself with his consummate broadcasting skills during the coverage of Big Bash League (BBL) for Network Ten, is expected to perform for Fox the kind of role legendary commentator late Richie Benaud did for Channel Nine for years on end.

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Seven West Media and Fox Sports have jointly bought broadcasting rights for cricket matches in Australia for $1.182 billion. The new deal has brought an end to a four-decade long association that cricket coverage in Australia had with the Nine Network. Channel Nine’s commentary team that included the much-admired quartet of Benaud, Bill Lawry, Tony Greig and Ian Chappell had developed a massive following among cricket lovers from around the world.