Sachin Tendulkar’s form in ICC World Cup 2003 was nothing short of a breeze © Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar’s form in ICC World Cup 2003 was nothing short of a breeze © Getty Images

It will not be an exaggeration to refer to ICC World Cup 2003 as Sachin Tendulkar’s tournament. Tendulkar had scored 523 in 1996, which remained the only tournament score in excess of 500 till 2003. Tendulkar finished ICC World Cup 2003 with an ordinary outing in the final, but what he did before that was extraordinary: a streak of 52, 36, 81, 152, 50, 98, 5, 97, 15, and 83 would have looked outstanding on any CV, but Tendulkar would have loved to have a hold on the coveted Trophy.

Though Sourav Ganguly came second on the runs chart, he finished more than 200 short of Tendulkar, and Ricky Ponting, the third man on the list, managed fifty less than Ganguly; the Indian captain also became the first batsman since Mark Waugh to score three hundreds in a single World Cup, while Ponting and Marvan Atapattu managed two each.

With 23 wickets Chaminda Vaas finished at the top of the bowling chart, with Brett Lee (22) and Glenn McGrath (21) in hot pursuit. Vasbert Drakes, on the other hand, became the third bowler (after Gary Gilmour in 1975 and Ashantha de Mel in 1983) to claim two five-wicket hauls in the same edition of the World Cup. Vaas and Lee also took hat-tricks, the third and fourth in the history of World Cup cricket.

Batting records

Tendulkar, as mentioned above, finished head and shoulders above everyone else, though Herschelle Gibbs registered a commendable 384 from six innings at an average that closed in to hundred. Just ahead of Gibbs was Adam Gilchrist with 408 runs at 41 and without a hundred, but his runs came at 105 per hundred balls.

 Most runs M I NO R BF HS Ave SR 100s 50s
Sachin Tendulkar 11 11  – 673 754 152 61.18 89.3 1 6
Sourav Ganguly 11 11 3 465 565 112* 58.13 82.3 3
Ricky Ponting 11 10 2 415 472 140* 51.88 87.9 2 1
Adam Gilchrist 10 10  – 408 387 99 40.80 105.4 4
Herschelle Gibbs 6 6 2 384 381 143 96.00 100.8 1 2

Gibbs’ average was phenomenal, but it only managed to put him at three. Leading the way was Andrew Symonds, who scored 326 being dismissed only twice, and had a strike rate of 91; Ramnaresh Sarwan, on the other hand, finished with an average of 104.50 and a strike rate of 96. Damien Martyn and Rahul Dravid were not among the top two scorers for their countries, but they topped the average charts.

Highest batting averages (150 or more runs)

  M I NO R BF HS Ave SR 100s 50s
Andrew Symonds 9 5 3 326 360 143* 163.00 90.6 1 2
Ramnaresh Sarwan 5 5 3 209 218 75 104.50 95.9 1
Herschelle Gibbs 6 6 2 384 381 143 96.00 100.8 1 2
Damien Martyn 10 8 3 323 395 88* 64.60 81.8 4
Rahul Dravid 11 10 5 318 496 62 63.60 64.1 2

John Davison, the surprise package of the World Cup who registered the fastest hundred in the history of the tournament, scored 226 at a staggering 119 runs per hundred balls. Other surprise entries above the 100-mark included Maurice Odumbe and Scott Styris.

Highest strike rates (150 or more runs)

  M I NO R BF HS Ave SR 100s 50s
John Davison 6 6 226 190 111 37.67 118.9 1 1
Adam Gilchrist 10 10 408 387 99 40.80 105.4 4
Maurice Odumbe 8 8 3 211 204 52* 42.20 103.4 1
Scott Styris 8 7 2 268 263 141 53.60 101.9 1 1
Herschelle Gibbs 6 6 2 384 381 143 96.00 100.8 1 2

ICC World Cup 2003 witnessed a staggering 21 hundreds, seven of which were shared by Ganguly (three), Ponting (two), and Atapattu (two). Netherlands scored 314 for four in their match against Namibia, which included hundreds from both Feiko Kloppenburg and Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk; Kloppenburg also claimed four for 42. Craig Wishart (172 not out) registered the highest score of the tournament, with Tendulkar (152) registering the only other score in excess of 150.

Centuries Score Against Venue
Craig Wishart 172* Namibia Harare
Sachin Tendulkar 152 Namibia Pietermaritzburg
Andrew Symonds 143* Pakistan New Wanderers
Herschelle Gibbs 143 New Zealand New Wanderers
Scott Styris 141 Sri Lanka Bloemfontein
Ricky Ponting 140* India New Wanderers
Stephen Fleming 134* South Africa New Wanderers
Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk 134* Namibia Bloemfontein
Marvan Atapattu 124 South Africa Kingsmead
Feiko Kloppenburg 121 Namibia Bloemfontein
Sanath Jayasuriya 120 New Zealand Bloemfontein
Chris Gayle 119 Kenya Kimberley
Brian Lara 116 South Africa Newlands
Ricky Ponting 114 Sri Lanka Centurion
Sourav Ganguly 112* Namibia Pietermaritzburg
Sourav Ganguly 111* Kenya Kingsmead
John Davison 111 West Indies Centurion
Sourav Ganguly 107* Kenya Newlands
Marvan Atapattu 103* Zimbabwe East London
Nathan Astle 102* Zimbabwe Bloemfontein
Saeed Anwar 101 India Centurion

Bowling records

Vaas, with 23 wickets at 14 and an economy rate of 3.76, was easily the bowler of the tournament. Australia played a match more, but both Lee and McGrath fell short of Vaas’ tally. Shane Bond, with 17 wickets at 18, was the other star of ICC World Cup 2003.

Most wickets B R W BB Ave SR Econ 5WIs
Chaminda Vaas 528 331 23 6/25 14.39 23.0 3.76 1
Brett Lee 499 394 22 5/42 17.91 22.7 4.74 1
Glenn McGrath 522 310 21 7/15 14.76 24.9 3.56 1
Zaheer Khan 530 374 18 4/42 20.78 29.4 4.23
Shane Bond 468 305 17 6/23 17.94 27.5 3.91 1
Muttiah Muralitharan 526 319 17 4/28 18.76 30.9 3.64

ICC World Cup 2003 was a seamer’s World Cup: barring Vaas, McGrath, and Lee (and Drakes), Andy Bichel had an excellent World Cup with 16 wickets at an outrageous 12, while Wasim Akram, in his farewell tournament, had 12 at 17 apiece.

Best averages (10 or more wickets)

  B R W BB Ave SR Econ 5WIs
Andy Bichel 342 197 16 7/20 12.31 21.4 3.46 1
Vasbert Drakes 311 208 16 5/33 13.00 19.4 4.01 2
Chaminda Vaas 528 331 23 6/25 14.39 23.0 3.76 1
Glenn McGrath 522 310 21 7/15 14.76 24.9 3.56 1
Wasim Akram 285 201 12 5/28 16.75 23.8 4.23 1

With two fifers, Drakes’ strike rate of 19 was easily the best in the tournament, but the quartet of Bichel, Lee, Vaas, and Wasim all had strike rates below the 24-mark.

Best strike rates (10 or more wickets)

  B R W BB Ave SR Econ 5WIs
Vasbert Drakes 311 208 16 5/33 13.00 19.4 4.01 2
Andy Bichel 342 197 16 7/20 12.31 21.4 3.46 1
Brett Lee 499 394 22 5/42 17.91 22.7 4.74 1
Chaminda Vaas 528 331 23 6/25 14.39 23.0 3.76 1
Wasim Akram 285 201 12 5/28 16.75 23.8 4.23 1

While Andrew Flintoff (2.88) was the most economic bowler of the tournament, Aasif Karim put up an excellent show as well. Karim’s 8.2-6-7-3 against Australia at Kingsmead is well-documented, but he bowled well throughout the World Cup to become the only other bowler with an economy rate of less than three.

Best economy rates (100 or more balls)

  B R W BB Ave SR Econ 5WIs
Andrew Flintoff 292 140 7 2/15 20.00 41.7 2.88  –
Aasif Karim 140 69 3 3/7 23.00 46.7 2.96  –
Jason Gillespie 180 98 8 3/13 12.25 22.5 3.27  –
Makhaya Ntini 313 176 10 4/24 17.60 31.3 3.37  –
Andy Bichel 342 197 16 7/20 12.31 21.4 3.46 1

Till the tournament Winston Davis was the only bowler to take a seven-for in World Cup cricket. Not only did McGrath (seven for 15) register the best figures in the history of the tournament, Bichel returned figures of seven for 20 as well. Shane Bond, Ashish Nehra, and Vaas all claimed six-fors, making the tournament a treat for fast bowlers.

Five-wicket hauls Figures Against Venue
Glenn McGrath 7/15 Namibia Potchefstroom
Andy Bichel 7/20 England St George’s Park
Ashish Nehra 6/23 England Kingsmead
Shane Bond 6/23 Australia St George’s Park
Chaminda Vaas 6/25 Bangladesh Pietermaritzburg
Collins Obuya 5/24 Sri Lanka Nairobi
Austin Codrington 5/27 Bangladesh Kingsmead
Wasim Akram 5/28 Namibia Kimberley
Vasbert Drakes 5/33 Kenya Kimberley
Brett Lee 5/42 New Zealand St George’s Park
Rudi van Vuuren 5/43 England St George’s Park
Vasbert Drakes 5/44 Canada Centurion

The first seven World Cups had witnessed two hat-tricks (Chetan Sharma in 1987 and Saqlain Mushtaq in 1999). This edition witnessed that count being doubled. Vaas became the first bowler (he still remains the only one) to take wickets off the first three balls of a One-Day International (ODI) when he removed Hannan Sarkar, Mohammad Ashraful, and Ehsanul Haque (he also claimed Sanwar Hossain in the same over). Lee, on the other hand, accounted for Kennedy Otieno, Brijal Patel, and David Obuya in consecutive balls.

Hat-tricks Against Venue Batsmen How out
Chaminda Vaas Bangladesh Pietermaritzburg Hannan Sarkar bowled
Mohammad Ashraful caught and bowled
Ehsanul Haque caught Mahela Jayawardene
Brett Lee Kenya Kingsmead Kennedy Otieno bowled
Brijal Patel caught Ricky Ponting
David Obuya bowled

Fielding and wicket-keeping

Gilchrist set a new record by taking 21 catches (but no stumping) in a single World Cup, while both Kumar Sangakkara (15 catches, two stumpings) and Dravid (15 catches, one stumping) proved their worth as all-rounders. Mark Boucher, too, put up a spectacular show with 11 catches from a mere six matches.

Most dismissals as wicket-keeper

  M C S D D/M
Adam Gilchrist 10 21 21 2.10
Kumar Sangakkara 10 15 2 17 1.70
Rahul Dravid 11 15 1 16 1.45
Kennedy Otieno 9 8 4 12 1.33
Mark Boucher 6 11 11 1.83

Once again there was a new world record as Ponting claimed 11 catches from 11 matches. Lee, Dinesh Mongia, and Virender Sehwag all finished with eight catches to finish as joint second.

Most catches as fielder

  M C C/M
Ricky Ponting 11 11 1.00
Brett Lee 10 8 0.80
Dinesh Mongia 11 8 0.73
Virender Sehwag 11 8 0.73

Record partnerships

Though Tendulkar and Ganguly added 244 for the second wicket against Namibia, the unbroken 234 between Ponting and Martyn was possibly the most devastating one. Michael Bevan and Bichel accounted for both the eighth- and ninth-wicket stands, both at St George’s Park, against New Zealand and England respectively.

Highest partnerships

Wicket Runs Batsman 1 Batsman 2 Against Venue
1 153 Sachin Tendulkar Virender Sehwag Sri Lanka New Wanderers
2 244 Sachin Tendulkar Sourav Ganguly Namibia Pietermaritzburg
3 234* Ricky Ponting Damien Martyn India New Wanderers
4 152 Marvan Atapattu Aravinda de Silva South Africa Kingsmead
5 118* Sourav Ganguly Yuvraj Singh Kenya Newlands
6 90 Alec Stewart Andrew Flintoff Australia St George’s Park
7 88 Ramnaresh Sarwan Ridley Jacobs New Zealand St George’s Park
8 97 Michael Bevan Andy Bichel New Zealand St George’s Park
9 73* Michael Bevan Andy Bichel England St George’s Park
10 54 Saqlain Mushtaq Shoaib Akhtar England Newlands

Team aggregates

Perhaps nothing exemplified Australia’s dominance in the tournament more than the fact that they registered the highest score in the final — 359 for two against India. Australia also scored 319 for five against Sri Lanka in the Super Sixes, whereas the other three scores in the top five came against Namibia.

Highest team scores

Team Score Against Venue
Australia 359/2 (50) India New Wanderers
Zimbabwe 340/2 (50) Namibia Harare
Australia 319/5 (50) Sri Lanka Centurion
Netherlands 314/4 (50) Namibia Bloemfontein
India 311/2 (50) Namibia Pietermaritzburg

For 24 years Canada’s 45 against England remained the lowest score by a team in the World Cup, but Namibia emulated that against Australia by getting bowled out for the same score. The record, unfortunately, went back to Canada, who were bowled out for 36 by Sri Lanka.

Lowest team scores (excludes rain-reduced matches)

Team Score Against Venue
Canada 36 (18.4) Sri Lanka Paarl
Namibia 45 (14) Australia Potchefstroom
Namibia 84 (17.4) Pakistan Kimberley
Kenya 104 (35.5) West Indies Kimberley
Bangladesh 108 (35.1) South Africa Bloemfontein

Biggest margins of victory

By runs: 256

Australia 301/6 (50) beat Namibia 45 (14)

By wickets: 10

Kenya 140 (38) lost to South Africa 142/0 (21.2)

Bangladesh 124 (31.1) lost to Sri Lanka 126/0 (21.1)

Bangladesh 108 (35.1) lost to South Africa 109/0 (12)

By balls to spare: 272

Canada 36 (18.4) lost to Sri Lanka 37/1 (4.4)

Smallest margins of victory

By runs: 3

West Indies 278/5 (50) beat South Africa 275/9 (49) — target 279 from 49 overs

By wickets: 3

England 204/8 (50) lost to Australia 208/8 (49.4)

By balls to spare: 2

England 204/8 (50) lost to Australia 208/8 (49.4)

Tie

Sri Lanka 268/9 (50) tied with South Africa 229/6 (45) — target 230 from 45 overs

For tournament summary click here