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Preview, Aus v SL, World Cup final, Barbados
Both teams are evenly matched: Chappell
April 27, 2007
Ian Chappell previews the final of World Cup 2007 between Australia and Sri Lanka
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World Cup 2007 statistics : Numbers point to an Australian hat-trick
Players/Officials: Ian Chappell
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Cup
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Well, what you always want to see in a prestigious tournament is the best two teams getting to the final and that's exactly what has happened. Australia and Sri Lanka are the best two teams.

Sri Lanka match up quite well against Australia in a number of areas. Firstly, they have variety in their attack. They are the only team that comes close to matching Australia in that regard with pace, spin, and swing - all sorts of options are there for Mahela Jayawardene.

Jayawardene is a good captain and he matches up quite well with Ricky Ponting, who is very much an in-form captain at the moment. Everything that he does is turning out to be very good for Australia. The one area where Sri Lanka do struggle to match up to Australia is the top order. The Australian top four are in terrific form. It is very strong and no one comes near to matching that. For Sri Lanka, with Jayawardene in form, they really need Jayasuriya to make a big score in the final. If Jayasuriya gets going and scores quickly then Sri Lanka have a chance of scoring about 300. If he misses out, they are probably more likely to get around 250-260. I think if the Sri Lankans could bat first and get a total somewhere over 260 then they are really going to stretch the Australians.

These two teams have the type of bowling attack that can take a lot of stick early on and then pull the game back. None of the other teams in the competition can do that against strong batting sides. So these two teams match up pretty well. The other area the Sri Lankans don't match up quite so well against the Australians is in late order hitting. The Australians with guys like [Shane] Watson and Andrew Symonds down in the middle order, they can really pile it on in the last ten overs. The Sri Lankans lack a little bit of power hitting in that regard. Both teams are very good in the field.

I think the Australians will probably win and become the first team to win three successive finals. But let's hope they have to do it via an excellent challenge from Sri Lanka.

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