Videos: Shane Warne inspires Australia to second World Cup title

According to many, it was going to be an all-green affair at Lord’s. The ‘Summer of 99’ had seen some exciting cricket being played and a PakistanSouth Africa contest in the World Cup final was very much on the cards. A brain-freeze moment for South Africa that led to a thrilling tie saw Australia scraping through to the final. Australia’s win over South Africa in the Super Sixes game ensured they finished over them in the points table of Super Six, and therefore the tie in the semi-final saw the star-studded South African side out of the competition. READ MORE: In Pictures: The greatest ODI ever!

While Australia’s entry was because of a thrilling tie, Pakistan thrashed New Zealand to cruise to the final. Until then, Australia and Pakistan had won a World Cup apiece. While Australia beat Pakistan in the World Cup 1987 semi-final at Lahore to later, lift the trophy at Kolkata, in 1992, Pakistan won their maiden World Cup at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). At the home of cricket, Lord’s, Pakistan started as favourites. Pakistan had won the group game between the two sides but this time the magician Shane Warne made the difference. ALSO READ:  When a fiery Shoaib Akhtar bowled Pakistan to the World Cup Final

Electing to bat, when Saeed Anwar cut the third ball from Glenn McGrath through the point region, it seemed Pakistan were out to prove a point. Anwar continued with his delirious shot making and Pakistan were 21 for no loss after four overs. Fourth ball of the fifth over, Wajahatullah Wasti tried to guide one down to the third-man but Mark Waugh at second slip demonstrated why he is considered as one of the greatest in slips. He leapt to his right to nab it. Despite giving away 14 in the fourth over, Steve Waugh continued with Damien Fleming and he responded with Anwar’s wicket. He got an inside-edge to the stumps.

Abdul Razzaq began a rebuilding job with Ijaz Ahmed. Pakistan were placed at 68 for 2 in the 20th over when Warne triggered a collapse, yet again. Replicating his act of semi-final, Warne accounted for the key wickets of Ijaz, Moin Khan, Shahid Afridi and Wasim Akram as Pakistan folded for 132 in 20 overs.

Australia made a statement with their approach to chase. The top class bowling attack of Akram and Shoaib Akhtar was taken apart by the Australian openers. Australia had raced away to 75 in 10 overs when Adam Gilchrist was dismissed caught off Saqlain Mushtaq. He had taken the game away from the opposition with his whirlwind 36-ball 54.

The rest of the batters just completed the formality. A square-cut from Darren Lehmann off Saqlain in the first ball of the 21st over, meant Australia had equalled West Indies’ feat by becoming the second team to win the World Cup twice.

Shane Warne was again the Man of the Match. What happened next was history. The Aussies under Steve Waugh marched on to become the best side across formats. Their domination continued as they went on to win the next two World Cup tournaments (2003 and 2007) too.

Brief scores

Pakistan 132 in 39 overs [Ijaz Ahmed 22 (46); Glenn McGrath 2 for 13, Tom Moody 2 for 17, Shane Warne 4 for 33] lost to Australia 133 for 2 in 20.1 overs [Mark Waugh 37 (52)*, Adam Gilchrist 54 (36), Ricky Ponting 24 (27)] by eight wickets.

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sports marketer, strategist, entrepreneur,  philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)