ICC World Cup, Final: Australia v Sri Lanka at Bridgetown, Apr 28, 2007
Australia won by 53 runs (D/L method)
Played at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados (neutral venue)
28 April 2007 (50-over match)

12.15pm Here we go. The players are ready, the officials are ready ... Martin Williamson, Sriram Veera, Will Luke, George Binnoy, Jenny Thompson and Siddhartha Vaidyanathan are your commentators ... Gilchrist to take strike and Chaminda Vaas to open up from the Joel Garner End almost three hours late ...

12.10pm The Sri Lankan side is on the boundary edge, stretching and looking understandably slightly nervous. After such a long wait they just want to get going.

Meanwhile, Mandira Bedi has changed her saree ...

12.05pm The sky is blue and we are ready to rumble. Surely they aren't going to bother with wasting time with national anthems ... let's just get on with the cricket.

11.50am So, 38 overs each, three bowlers can bowl eight overs, two seven, and the third Powerplay is ditched. The pitch is dry, there's a breeze blowing across the ground ... cue Ian Botham: "This pitch won't change. It looks flat, I don't expect it to do a great deal."

The first World Cup final in 1975 was 60 overs a side, started at 10.30am and finished at 8.43pm. And it was sunny and hot all day. What a contrast ...

11.45am Massive cheers as the last of the covers comes off, and the Sri Lankans come onto the outfield to warm-up ... again. "At least the raindrops have been musical," says a bored Andrew Miller. "The one dripping next to me fits the soca rhythm very nicely ..." Now we are told a 12.15pm start and 38 overs a side. Believe it when it happens.

11.40am No sooner have we been told a tale of gloom, that the covers are again coming off and the umpires have appeared. It's still drizzling, though. Could it be that TV channels are dictating that the game ought to be played today?

This is so frustrating for everyone in Australia as they are staying up in the hope that the match starts ... and they know that if they go to bed then no sooner will they have done so that the rain will stop. Stay with it ...

We are told that there is a row brewing in India where people are angry because Mandira Bedi is sporting a saree that has different flags stitched on it ... and the Indian flag was near her feet and that is supposed to be an insult.

Blackburn are now beating Charlton. What on earth else can go wrong today?

11.35am Our man on the spot says now the rain is really heavy and he has seen signs of people building lifeboats. I suspect the weather has got to him, but he doesn't reckon there is much chance of the game starting today. And he is usually relentlessly optimistic. But nothing official as yet, so there is still hope.

Here's the thing ... the powers that be will not want this match to start unless it does very soon as it will be reduced a crash-bang 20 or 30 overs affair and then they will be even more lambasted for the format than they already have been (I know it seems impossible that they could be). So while there was the will to get underway up to the last hour, that's diminishing faster than the booze in the ICC president's box. All back tomorrow for another toss and a fresh game? We will see.

Back in the real world, Charlton have scored at Blackburn.

11.25am This is not looking at all good. The drizzle is steady ... and we have confirmation that overs are being lopped off.

11.15am Covers on, drizzle in the air. The corporate guests have now been inside their air-conditioned and booze-laden boxes for three hours. Even if the match starts today, none of them are likely to notice. Outside, the authorities have taken things in hand and turned up the volume on the music. Gnasher suggests they have only done so to drown out the sound of Percy Sonn belting out "My Way" in the ICC bolt hole.

Forget Cricinfo 3D," emails Nigel. "What you need to produce is an internet based alarm system for those of us waiting around at 1:30am Sydney time to see if the match will actually start?" It will be suggested ...

11.10am "I don't like cricket," sings Jenny. " I really hate it." Not quite what 10CC (or the ICC) had in mind, but she has a point. We have eaten the entire day's biscuit supply already. The covers, meanwhile, are as stuck in place as Will's hand in his pocket when it comes to buying a drink. "I'm not tight," objects Will, before admitting that he has not bought anyone a beer since Sri Lanka last held the World Cup.

11.05am Very bad language from many sitting near me as the covers come back on. We had some blue sky but the dark clouds have come back.

Re the number of overs that will be deducted ... we won't know how many until we get a start time, then it will be calculated.

We have just heard that if there is no play by 2.15pm (18.15GMT) then we all get to go home and come back tomorrow. How on earth do I explain to my wife that I can't take her to the coast because it's raining in the Caribbean ...

10.55am And the cover comes off ... that's been the highlight of the fun so far today. Our man in the stands says: "Just a few seats still to be taken - the music is loud and clear and at midwicket the Aussie fans are still keeping themselves entertained by hitting around a big inflatable ball."

Being really miserable, if there is no play today or tomorrow then the teams will be declared joint winners.

10.50am It's all rather nothing. The rain has almost stopped, but not enough to allow the covers to come off. A few people are milling around the perimeter, but more in hope than expectation that things are about to happen.

"The tournament has lost its charm right from the beginning with India and Pakistan being out in first round, rain spoiling so many matches and now final too," emails Piyush.."Its been dragging on and on." Many have argued that the World Cup has been poor because of India and Pakistan's elimination. A few have suggested that both should be guaranteed semi-final berths ...

10.35am Back come the main covers as the drops of rain that remained become heavier. This is all very tedious. The delay means that over deductions will kick in fairly soon. We are trying to find out exactly when.

Until not so long ago, they would have started the match today and carried on into a second day to ensure both teams got the full 50 overs. The change is for TV companies, who hate their schedules being mucked up. But this is the biggest match in the game. Everything else has been sold out by the ICC, surely for one match they could put cricket before cash? Rant over.

"This is a very, very, very ugly tournament," emails Sam, echoing the views of hundreds of others. "Everyone lost interest after it dragged on and on and on. If the final is washed out by rain for both the days then it will be a fitting end to the shambles. The ICC is on a mission to kill the interest in the game."

"The tournament has been a failure and could begin the end of one day cricket, at least in its current format," adds Justin.

Many others ask why, given all the cash spent on the tournament and pouring into the ICC's coffers, the final is not played in a stadium with a retractable roof.

10.30am The off-on-off nature of the day continues. The rain has eased and the covers are coming off. The players remain in the dressing-rooms.

10.25am A bit depressing. Everyone has deserted the outfield and is seeking shelter. No sign of any relief, either. In view of that, email us and say what you think of the tournament ... good, bad or downright ugly? Send in your views.

Otherwise, check out Sambit Bal's blog from the final. He likes blogs, does our Sambit.

10.20am Sadly for the ICC, the delay is giving several TV stations the chance to savage the format of the competition. And they are really piling in. Back at the ground, the crowd are being pretty patient. Lots of beach-balls bouncing around the Aussie contingent. They are probably seeking asylum from the Gabba fun police.

If there is no play today, aside from the entire Cricinfo staff resigning, the captains toss again and they can change their team selections.

10.15am It's really rather nasty now, people huddled under umbrellas and most trying to find shelter under the stands. The only people dry (on the outside) are those packed in the corporate boxes. If we don't start soon then we will have to begin docking overs ... and if we don't start soon then Percy Sonn may start singing.

Just to clarify. If it continues raining then overs get knocked off as the rules are that we have to get the game finished today. The only time we spill over is if each side cannot get 20 overs in today.

10.10am The rain is now heavy and all the covers have been rushed back into place. We won't start at 10.15am, that's certain. One sky beyond one side of the ground is bright, the other dark.

10.05am As Supertramp once sang, it's raining again. Not that heavy but the main cover is back on. Looks no more than a brief squall, but the sky is very dark.

Mad V emails to point out that Channel 9 and Fox delayed showing the toss while their experts predicted that Australia would bat if they won it. And, lo and behold, when they showed the delayed transmission, that's what happened.

10.00am Experts analysis can't decide if this is a good toss to win or lose! The pitch was covered throughout the downpours, so it should still be true.

9.55am The captains on their way, the trophy is joining them as well . We have the toss. Australia win the toss and bat. Ponting called heads, and heads it was. A massive cheer from the stands.

Ricky Ponting: "We're going to have a bat first. The wicket, ah, looks nice with a bit on top. The team's up and ready. We've been looking forward to this moment for a long time. Aw, there will be a few nerves, but we've got a lot of experienced guys there. It's a big day for them."

Mahela Jayawardene. "Ah, it looks pretty flat for me. We were thinking of batting first but after seeing the conditions we were unsure what to do. I am happy losing the toss, basically! It's a brilliant atmosphere for us and we're here to have some fun."

Australia 1 Matthew Hayden 2 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Andrew Symonds, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Shane Watson, 8 Brad Hogg, 9 Nathan Bracken, 10 Glenn McGrath, 11 Shaun Tait.

Sri Lanka 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 5 Chamara Silva, 6 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 7 Russel Arnold, 8 Chaminda Vaas, 9 Dilhara Fernando, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.

9.50am The toss remains imminent. The stumps are in the pitch and the players are looking more and more ready to rumble.

9.45am We are told the toss is imminent ... the covers are almost all off. Andrew Miller says that the pitch looks "hard and full of runs ... but I would still bowl if I won the toss". The charming tournament mascot, Mello, soggy and probably very smelly after seven weeks, is terrorising small children in the stands ...

9.40am Sorry that this is becoming more like the Meteorological Office website ... rain has stopped, covers being unpegged in preparation for the toss ... but although there has been no announcement, it's been delayed as it should be happening now. But we are told the start will now be at 10.15am.

"This is so frustrating and irritating," emails Hital. "I feel like banging a watermelon on Malcolm Speed's head." We've just sent someone down to the shops ...

9.35am Bad news. It's started raining again. Not heavy, just a shower, and everyone is remaining Canute-like in the middle. The groundstaff are continuing to drag the rope across the outfield to remove excess moisture. A spectator says: "One side of the ground we have blue sky with white clouds, and the opposite at the other side from where the rain is coming."

9.25am Both teams are out warming up. The main cover is still there, guarded by the all-yellow groundstaff, but that's a precaution. It will come off just before the toss. Andy Atkinson, the head groundsman, is pacing like an expectant father.

Looks like we're about 45 minutes from play starting...but, donning your anorak, you can keep an eye on the satellite above Barbados.

9.20am Oh fiddle. The big cover is coming back on again. It's not raining but the groundstaff are looking towards the heavens suspiciously. Despite that, the powers that be say the toss will be at 9.40am and we will start, rain permitting, at 10.10am. Lunch will be half an hour and, as yet, there are no over deductions, so it's still 50 a side. "An excess of Aussie fans at midwicket. The entire stand is yellow," notes Andrew Miller.

Someone chips in with some trivia: "This is the second World Cup final delayed by rain. The 1999 Lord's game was delayed by half an hour. Also, the 1996 final between the two teams saw some early rain though there was no delay at Lahore." I had to sell my ticket for the 1999 final as my daughter rather selfishly decided to be born in the early hours. I did watch the 1979 and 1983 finals though ... enough of that.

9.15am Some of the players are heading out onto the outfield and the tarpaulins are slowly being removed. The sky remains gray but it's stopped raining ...

"Your reports say it's raining," Scott Latham says, "but the TV commentary we're getting in Australia shows blue skis with no sign of rain, which is apparently live from the ground." This is completely wrong. The skies are about as blue as lump of coal. Forty minutes ago it was lovely, but less so now. You are watching pre-recorded stuff.

9.10am "Ooh, now it's lovely bright sunshine again. This weather is as schizophrenic as my first girlfriend," says the always sensitive Miller. But, in fairness, she was a bit strange. The groundstaff are stirring ...

Meanwhile, a fun article in The Daily Telegraph where Jim White lays into Malcolm Speed, and why not, He is paid more than US$550,000 a year and should have broad shoulders ... "Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, despite presiding over the most over-stretched, bloated shambles of a competition, despite his organising committee redefining the term criminally short-sighted, is to carry on, refusing so much as to contemplate handing over to someone else."

We've only been on air 30 minutes and already we've provoked somebody. And we haven't even mentioned the ICC yet. "It's not raining there," screams and blasphemes a furious Bruce Freedman. "What kind of stunt are you trying to pull?" Yes it is raining, Bruce, unless you disagree with our man at the ground, Andrew Miller. Careful: we'll set him on you.

9.07am Andrew Miller: "It's streaking in from the South East, apparently. A big fat lurking cloud that really doesn't like the ICC ... Ok, now this is properly damp now ... like utterly minging."

9.05am Covers in place, low and leaden clouds in place. Andrew Miller adds to the gloom. "And now it's hammering down again ..." All a bit depressing. To reiterate ... rules for the final are the same as with earlier rounds, so a late start means that overs are docked off, even though we have a reserve day.

9.00am Here are the teams then ...

Australia 1 Matthew Hayden 2 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Andrew Symonds, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Shane Watson, 8 Brad Hogg, 9 Nathan Bracken, 10 Glenn McGrath, 11 Shaun Tait.

Sri Lanka 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 5 Chamara Silva, 6 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 7 Russel Arnold, 8 Chaminda Vaas, 9 Dilhara Fernando, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.

8.55am "Stopped raining, but the clouds are still lurking," chirps Miller, happy for about three seconds ... then he says: "Actually, it's just started raining again. That's it, I quit." Another victim of the ICC's never-ending tournament ... Now, not wishing to add to the gloom, but at the other Oval, the one in Kennington, it's hovering around 80 degrees and Shane Warne is bowling in quite glorious sunshine.

Teams confirmed, as expected, Fernando keeps his place.

8.50am Brightening up a little but still damp. Rules for the final are the same as with earlier rounds, so a late start means that overs are docked off, even though we have a reserve day. So the ICC could have their Twenty20 final a few months early if this carries on.

8.40am Puddles now forming on the covers ... still raining. " Doom and gloom pervading the echoing stadium," reports Miller. He is a glass-half-empty man on a good day. We will try to ignore him. If you have any comments, send them in and it will help pass the time as the rain falls.

8.35am Andrew Miller send this gloomy report. "A touch overcast this morning. A stiff breeze coming across the ground, and some ominous black clouds out behind the media centre. In fact, it's just started to rain. Only a passing shower, but I think we can expect more of the same as the day goes on."

So, some 47 days since the tournament started ... it seems like it was only yesterday ... and we have finally reached the final. Unlike so many other games, however, this should be a cracker.

8.30am Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the ninth World Cup final. Teams, toss and all that stuff to follow shortly. We have all our commentary team in action today, so it will be a mix of me, Martin Williamson, Sriram Veera, Will Luke, George Binnoy, Jenny Thompson and Siddhartha Vaidyanathan. If this was a group stage match we would outnumber the crowd.


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, Vaas right on the button, a bit full, and Gilchrist drives to mid-off


Vaas to Gilchrist, 1 run, Vaas strays to leg, Gilchrist flicks it into the on side, Fernando coming round from long leg misfields but no chance of a second


Vaas to Hayden, no run, good line and length, firmly played back to Vaas who cannot get down quickly enough, mid-on ambles round to intercept

Second slip comes out and is on the drive


Vaas to Hayden, no run, Hayden hits back firmly and Vaas stops around his feet


Vaas to Hayden, 1 run, again Vaas drifts to leg, Hayden shimmies towards the off and clips the ball to long leg


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, good ball - almost 80mph - and Hayden takes no risks and defends solidly

End of over 1 (2 runs) Australia 2/0 (RR: 2.00)

    • AC Gilchrist 1 (3b)
    • ML Hayden 1 (3b)
    • WPUJC Vaas 1-0-2-0

Lasith Malinga will share the new ball, opening from the Malcolm Marshall End with two slips. "What's happening?" asks an incredulous Cal from Australia. "There seem to be... people throwing a small white ball about. What is this?" That'll be the cricket (we think).


Malinga to Hayden, no run, right on target - 85mph - Hayden solidly into line


Malinga to Hayden, 1 run, Hayden drops the ball into the leg side and scurries through for a quick single. Good calling, no danger as midwicket misfielded


Malinga to Gilchrist, no run, Gilchrist whips it off his toes but slap-bang to midwicket. 86mph, he's cranking up the pace ...


Malinga to Gilchrist, 1 run, leg-side, off Gilchrist's bat and then rump, long leg mops up


Malinga to Hayden, no run, better line, pushed into the covers, a loud and quick "no"


Malinga to Hayden, no run, Hayden fends rather uncertainly into the leg side, midwicket in very quickly to prevent the run. That was more about self preservation than the single

Good start from both bowlers.

End of over 2 (2 runs) Australia 4/0 (RR: 2.00)

    • ML Hayden 2 (7b)
    • AC Gilchrist 2 (5b)
    • SL Malinga 1-0-2-0
    • WPUJC Vaas 1-0-2-0

Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, Gilchrist back and defends into the covers


Vaas to Gilchrist, FOUR, the fireworks start ... Gilchrist flicks that dismissively off his legs, it was in the air but to the right of long leg, one bounce for four


Vaas to Gilchrist, SIX, and again ... this time Gilchrist hits it on the up over wide mid-on and it carries the rope by a couple of yards

Sangakkara calls for the helmet and will stand up to prevent Gilchrist using his feet.


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, Vaas pegs the batsman back with that one


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, again Gilchrist kept cramped, all he can do is push to point


Vaas to Gilchrist, 2 runs, run down to third man, good running gets them two despite a good throw

Right, After three overs in four hours I am off for a lie down. Jenny will take things over for the next bit ... Thanks Martin, great spell. Hello everyone, good patience from you all, and already there's a cracker in store. Gilchrist seems to be adapting to this ThirtyEight38 cricket all right

End of over 3 (12 runs) Australia 16/0 (RR: 5.33)

    • AC Gilchrist 14 (11b 1x4 1x6)
    • ML Hayden 2 (7b)
    • WPUJC Vaas 2-0-14-0
    • SL Malinga 1-0-2-0

Malinga to Hayden, no run, right up there, on off, and Hayden defends that down off the back foot, picking up his chewing-gum chewing momentum to boot

Leg slip in, interesting


Malinga to Hayden, no run, straighter and that's defended down into short leg


Malinga to Hayden, no run, back of a length again, good pace, and that's defended down in front of him once more


Malinga to Hayden, no run, Malinga bounces in, as does his hair, and again plants that on a very good length, leaving Hayden little option but to defend

Hayden rehearses the straight-bat defence shots, well done


Malinga to Hayden, no run, a touch outside off and that's cut down, defensively, into the off side


Malinga to Hayden, no run, over the wicket, by the way, and he shoots that one across Hayden, on a great length, and Hayden shoulders arms with a whirly-bat motion

Great maiden from Malinga; he's been really on the money so far

End of over 4 (maiden) Australia 16/0 (RR: 4.00)

    • ML Hayden 2 (13b)
    • AC Gilchrist 14 (11b 1x4 1x6)
    • SL Malinga 2-1-2-0
    • WPUJC Vaas 2-0-14-0

Vaas to Gilchrist, FOUR, on leg and that's immediately tucked off the hips and turned through fine leg

Any pressure building from Malinga has been punctured at this end


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, outside off, nips away off the seam, a hint of extra bounce surprises Gilchrist who tries to cut, but plays under the ball

..and then Gilchrist smiles


Vaas to Gilchrist, 1 run, cheeky single, into short midwicket, and "Yeahyeahyeahyeahyeah" - I think they want a run - they shuffle through


Vaas to Hayden, no run, on off, up there, and that's defended on the back foot


Vaas to Hayden, 1 no ball, on off and Hayden crouches over that one in defence, like shooing at a spider with a broom


Vaas to Hayden, FOUR, outside off, a touch too short and that's helped on its way through cover - Hayden quick to drive uppishly over the inner ring


Vaas to Hayden, no run, up there, a quiet defence

Marcus and Ian are "two Poms watching in Sydney being driven insane by the same advertisements between each over on Channel 9. One of the jingles sounds like a drunken (and talentless) cat stumbling across a xylophone or is that a glockenspiel?" Drunken, talentless cats are the worst thing, we quite agree.

End of over 5 (10 runs) Australia 26/0 (RR: 5.20)

    • ML Hayden 6 (17b 1x4)
    • AC Gilchrist 19 (14b 2x4 1x6)
    • WPUJC Vaas 3-0-24-0
    • SL Malinga 2-1-2-0

Malinga to Gilchrist, no run, strange kind of shot, taken from off and driven to mid-off with a crouching drive


Malinga to Gilchrist, 1 run, quick single, well taken, and it's Hayden to face


Malinga to Hayden, no run, straight and Hayden defends tidily back


Malinga to Hayden, no run, forces him onto his back foot and he defends back down


Malinga to Hayden, no run, Malinga allows no room once more, and that's planted on a familiarly good length, Hayden just defending down


Malinga to Hayden, no run, just the slightest hint of width, a hintette, and Hayden tries to force that into the covers, but it's on a very good length, and he can't get the ball away

Plenty of horns and drums, the atmosphere is building.

Fernando to replace Vaas at the Joel Garner End.

"38 Overs? How embarrassing," spits Joseph Kirk from France. "Can you imagine the football World Cup being cut to 70 minutes? A baseball World Series game being reduced to six innings? A rugby World Cup game played in one half?"

End of over 6 (1 run) Australia 27/0 (RR: 4.50)

    • ML Hayden 6 (21b 1x4)
    • AC Gilchrist 20 (16b 2x4 1x6)
    • SL Malinga 3-1-3-0
    • WPUJC Vaas 3-0-24-0

Fernando to Gilchrist, no run, a hint of width first up and that's deceived the crowd - gully parrying up the ball to the lurking point behind, but it was a bump ball, thumped into the ground


Fernando to Gilchrist, no run, driven straight to the man at cover


Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 run, a touch short, on off, and Gilchrist pulls that from outside off in front of midwicket, Maharoof doing well, diving to his left, to cut the ball off


Fernando to Hayden, no run, oh, a swing and a miss, Hayden rushing what would have been a huge off-drive at one which flicked past his outside edge, with a hint of swing


Fernando to Hayden, no run, comes a touch wider from his crease, and that's a tighter angle in at Hayden, who drives that back to mid-off


Fernando to Hayden, FOUR, too short and too wide, too, just outside off and that's pulled strongly in front of midwicket and there was no need to run for that, as Hayden immediately realised

"That's just a filthy mow," spits Andrew Miller. "Shows how true the pitch is, though."

Here's Malinga again

End of over 7 (5 runs) Australia 32/0 (RR: 4.57)

    • ML Hayden 10 (24b 2x4)
    • AC Gilchrist 21 (19b 2x4 1x6)
    • CRD Fernando 1-0-5-0
    • SL Malinga 3-1-3-0

Malinga to Gilchrist, 2 runs, on leg and Gilchrist tucks that tidily off his hips through midwicket - and they run both of those very quickly


Malinga to Gilchrist, no run, plays right over that one, which is straighter, in defence


Malinga to Gilchrist, no run, on leg this time, Gilchrist tucks it off his hips and will they run? "Nooo!"


Malinga to Gilchrist, no run, outside off, some lesser-spotted width from Malinga, and that's driven slowly into the covers


Malinga to Gilchrist, 1 run, worked away off the hips but there's cover at deep square leg

Malinga's bowling consistently around135kph, that's 84 of your English mph


Malinga to Hayden, no run, pushed right up there, straight, and defence is the best form of defence

End of over 8 (3 runs) Australia 35/0 (RR: 4.37)

    • ML Hayden 10 (25b 2x4)
    • AC Gilchrist 24 (24b 2x4 1x6)
    • SL Malinga 4-1-6-0
    • CRD Fernando 1-0-5-0

Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 run, on leg, asking to be tucked off the toes, and the batsman obliges with a sweet dink


Fernando to Hayden, 1 run, up there and Hayden looks to thump that through midwicket, but hasn't timed that properly, and it just crashes into the ground

Hayden's not quite in his groove yet


Fernando to Gilchrist, no run, outside off, and that's driven straight to the covers


Fernando to Gilchrist, 2 runs, short and Gilchrist is quick to pull that high over midwicket, but it's picked up inside the boundary


Fernando to Gilchrist, no run, outside off, and that's a cracking drive to gully, and some equally tidy fielding by Arnold, picked up snappily. Well done everyone


Fernando to Gilchrist, FOUR, tracer bullet stuff, Gilchrist's hand and eye coordinating well as usual with an aerial off-drive that races

A gentle breeze ruffling the pyjamas as Vaas charges in

End of over 9 (8 runs) Australia 43/0 (RR: 4.77)

    • AC Gilchrist 31 (29b 3x4 1x6)
    • ML Hayden 11 (26b 2x4)
    • CRD Fernando 2-0-13-0
    • SL Malinga 4-1-6-0

Vaas to Hayden, no run, decent delivery, up there on off and that's simply defended forward by Hayden


Vaas to Hayden, no run, cramped him for room there, Hayden would have liked to have driven that through the covers, but his wish wasn't granted


Vaas to Hayden, no run, cutting in at him on off and Hayden drives that straight, Vaas doing well to get hand on it to stop it


Vaas to Hayden, 2 runs, on off and that's in the air but away from the cover fielder

Ring of four in the circle on the off side, plus a spare man at gully, almost tempting Hayden to try and knock him over


Vaas to Hayden, 1 run, slowish delivery dug out and then lifted over mid-on for a quick single

It's hot work out there, as Hayden shows with a squeeze of his helmet


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, up there and that's tucked into short midwicket without much power

Australia will be happy with their start and that's the end of the first Powerplay.

End of over 10 (3 runs) Australia 46/0 (RR: 4.60)

    • AC Gilchrist 31 (30b 3x4 1x6)
    • ML Hayden 14 (31b 2x4)
    • WPUJC Vaas 4-0-27-0
    • CRD Fernando 2-0-13-0

Fernando to Hayden, 1 run, low full toss and, like an unruly ASBO holder, they're not the easiest to deal with - but he gave it the treatment with a sweet spank to long-off


Fernando to Gilchrist, no run, dropped. Hard, but it's got to go down as a chance, as they say - slapped straight to the bowler's ankles. He clutches, vainly


Fernando to Gilchrist, FOUR, full toss on leg and that's swiped through midwicket - where the fielder nearly stops the boundary, but can't quite


Fernando to Gilchrist, FOUR, the beast is unleashed. A half-volley and that's lashed through long-on


Fernando to Gilchrist, SIX, that's big. Gilchrist just steps down and takes the ball from short on off and launches it over long-on

Fabulous batting, very entertaining indeed


Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 run, outside off, too wide, and Gilchrist eases that into the off side off the back foot

The Powerplay's not been taken, by the way. Cricinfo's mine of knowledge, Robin, tells us that there will be two Powerplays and that three bowlers are permitted eight overs; two allotted seven. Here's another Cricinfo mine... this one contains wit and sometimes wisdom. It's Will

End of over 11 (16 runs) Australia 62/0 (RR: 5.63)

    • AC Gilchrist 46 (35b 5x4 2x6)
    • ML Hayden 15 (32b 2x4)
    • CRD Fernando 3-0-29-0
    • WPUJC Vaas 4-0-27-0

Here's Murali, with one slip, over the wicket

Hello everyone, super to be with you here. We've just had 10 overs of Ranjit Fernando's remarkably predictable commentary. Lovely chap but, my word, he does rather state the bleeding obvious. Apologies if I fall into the same trap in the coming overs; I would certainly not want to be doing tha.


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, no run, ooh quick and straight, rapping Gilchrist on the pads and the ball bobbles out to into the off side


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, no run, a quicker one, fuller too, which Gilchrist again misreads, rapped on the pads. The ever erudite, enthusiastic Sangakkara roars an unlikely appeal


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 wide, down the leg side, but only just...harshly wided by the umpire


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, no run, ooh I'll have that - rapped on the pads, much straighter this time and Murali likes the appeal. The umpire does not


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, whipped through midwicket for a cheeky two


Muralitharan to Hayden, 1 run, too short, Hayden is back onto his stumps and whipping it with a crack through midwicket


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, no run, Murali roars the day's most angry appeal, demanding that the umpire raises his finger, but it pitched well outside leg

Marvellous, raucous appeal from Murali there. Ah, here's Dilshan from the other end and he's going around the wicket.

End of over 12 (3 runs) Australia 65/0 (RR: 5.41)

    • AC Gilchrist 47 (40b 5x4 2x6)
    • ML Hayden 16 (33b 2x4)
    • M Muralitharan 1-0-3-0
    • CRD Fernando 3-0-29-0

Andrew Miller clears his throat and pours forth this: "Gilchrist's got half-centuries in each of the last two World Cup finals - 54 from 36 against Pakistan in 1999, and 57 from 48 against India in 2002-03."


Dilshan to Hayden, 1 run, too short, he skips back and cuts it hard behind point


Dilshan to Gilchrist, 1 run, very neatly played by Gilchrist, taking one fleet-footed step down the pitch and timing it without trying to hit it too hard, down to long-on for a single


Dilshan to Hayden, 1 run, straighter - better from Dilshan, cramping the batsman for room, and it's cut, without power, into the covers


Dilshan to Gilchrist, 1 run, no no no, too short, Gilchrist clunks it off the back foot down the ground


Dilshan to Hayden, no run, squirted on the front foot out into the leg side - a spongy, squirty sort of shot, never getting hold of it


Dilshan to Hayden, no run, and a better line from Dilshan with which to finish the over, straight, forcing him forward and it's defended on the front foot

End of over 13 (4 runs) Australia 69/0 (RR: 5.30)

    • ML Hayden 18 (37b 2x4)
    • AC Gilchrist 49 (42b 5x4 2x6)
    • TM Dilshan 1-0-4-0
    • M Muralitharan 1-0-3-0

Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, in the air - ooh, just short of mid-off there, and such was its timing (and the rather sloppy fielding) that he picked up a single

And there's his fifty, from 43 balls (his 51st one-day fifty)


Muralitharan to Hayden, 1 run, swept to deep backward square


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, not very convincing from Gilchrist there, waiting, waiting and waiting for it off the back foot before, at the very last moment, guiding it to point

Reasonably safely played in fact. I'll shut up


Muralitharan to Hayden, 1 run, too short from Murali and it's cracked into the covers


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 2 runs, and Hayden goes for his first big Murali-mow over midwicket but it's too full, and he gets an inside edge down to Jayasuriya at fine-leg. Super running brings them two


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, clunked down the ground

End of over 14 (7 runs) Australia 76/0 (RR: 5.42)

    • AC Gilchrist 54 (46b 5x4 2x6)
    • ML Hayden 20 (39b 2x4)
    • M Muralitharan 2-0-10-0
    • TM Dilshan 1-0-4-0

Dilshan to Gilchrist, SIX, huge from Gilchrist, absolutely vast six, skipping down the pitch and smacking him dead straight back over Dilshan's head


Dilshan to Gilchrist, no run, bat-padded away; Dilshan skips to his left to field and, before doing so, raises his arms in an appeal before realising how daft it was


Dilshan to Gilchrist, no run, quicker and flatter, pushed back to him


Dilshan to Gilchrist, 1 run, a leg-side drifted which is nicely, easily nudged off his pads for a single


Dilshan to Hayden, 5 wides, oh, that's poor from Sri Lanka. A dreadful ball down the leg side, Sangakkara can't do anything to stop it and nor can fine leg


Dilshan to Hayden, 1 run, Hayden comes irritably down the pitch, desperately trying to clunk his way into rhythm


Dilshan to Gilchrist, SIX, oh it's gone. It's gone long, very long - into the second tier of the stand over Dilshan's head. That was massive. A calm skip down the pitch, and a ferocious swing of the bat, the ball very nearly smacking into the camera in the stands

End of over 15 (19 runs) Australia 95/0 (RR: 6.33)

    • AC Gilchrist 67 (51b 5x4 4x6)
    • ML Hayden 21 (40b 2x4)
    • TM Dilshan 2-0-23-0
    • M Muralitharan 2-0-10-0

Muralitharan to Hayden, 1 run, swept around the corner


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, no run, full, flat, quick and defended off the back foot


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, but Murali loses his line once again, down the leg side, and Gilchrist sweeps

Marcus and Ian are back: "The power of Cricinfo... you will all be relieved to know that we are now seeing new advertisements on Channel 9 here in Sydney between the overs... funeral plans mostly!"


Muralitharan to Hayden, no run


Muralitharan to Hayden, no run, beaten! The doosra from Murali, turning back into Hayden who completely misread it, coming forward and trying to smack it down the ground. The ball crept through his bat and pad, very nearly knocking out his off stump


Muralitharan to Hayden, 1 wide, again wided down the leg side


Muralitharan to Hayden, no run, smacked back to him but Murali does well, diving to his right

End of over 16 (3 runs) Australia 98/0 (RR: 6.12)

    • ML Hayden 22 (44b 2x4)
    • AC Gilchrist 68 (53b 5x4 4x6)
    • M Muralitharan 3-0-13-0
    • TM Dilshan 2-0-23-0

Right here's Fernando


Fernando to Gilchrist, no run, nearly! Very nearly bowled him there, super effort from Fernando, a slower ball which Gilchrist completely failed to pick


Fernando to Gilchrist, SIX, catch, catch it, a catch is on for long-off - but no! It sails over his head for six to bring up the pair's hundred partnership


Fernando to Gilchrist, FOUR, magnificent shot - quite beautifully timed, on-driving it with ominous power back past the vainly-diving Fernando for four


Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 wide, that's poor - Sri Lanka are beginning to lose control here. It's down the leg side and rightly wided

Not a bad day to deliver yet another century stand. That's the 16th time in ODIs they've done that, equalling India's Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, and with that partnership they've moved one ahead of Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge.


Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 run, another leg-side gift which Gilchrist accepts with glee, flicking it with a turn of the wrists through midwicket

He's on the charge now, Gilchrist


Fernando to Hayden, 1 run, good one to Hayden - a slower ball which Hayden, so heavily footed, is almost beaten by, defending it with an ugly poke away from his body


Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 run, cracked to long-off to end another expensive over

Cripes. Australia really are on the march here. But good news for Cricinfo's finest: Gnasher's ordered us a Thai curry for our dinner/supper/food. Well done him

End of over 17 (14 runs) Australia 112/0 (RR: 6.58)

    • AC Gilchrist 80 (58b 6x4 5x6)
    • ML Hayden 23 (45b 2x4)
    • CRD Fernando 4-0-43-0
    • M Muralitharan 3-0-13-0

Slip in place for Murali


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, and he goes for it, down on one knee, swinging it through midwicket

Gilchrist is like a cat on a hot tin roof. Desperate to just pulverise Sri Lanka...he's got the taste; he's enjoyed the starter, and now he wants the pudding


Muralitharan to Hayden, 1 run, swept once more


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, no run, quicker and flatter, defended off the back foot


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, no run, a touch more flight, Gilchrist is back and across, defending it fairly certainly


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, SIX, but there he goes, and it's another huge slog-sweep over midwicket, in front of square. It's gone 10 rows back - a vast hit


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 2 runs, clunked through midwicket for a single. Oh no, they're coming back for two - but Gilchrist has slipped mid-pitch...but no alarm, the fielder can't quite get it back in time

End of over 18 (10 runs) Australia 122/0 (RR: 6.77)

    • AC Gilchrist 89 (63b 6x4 6x6)
    • ML Hayden 24 (46b 2x4)
    • M Muralitharan 4-0-23-0
    • CRD Fernando 4-0-43-0

Fernando to Hayden, FOUR, oh, that's poor luck for Sri Lanka. Hayden has looked remarkably scratchy so far today, almost nervous - and he is given another slice of fortune with a careless slap which takes a thick outside edge down to the vacant third man


Fernando to Hayden, 1 run, again outside-edged to third man


Fernando to Gilchrist, FOUR, brilliant...brilliant shot, staying back in his crease and late-cutting it just beyond the scrambling Sangakkara. Perhaps fortunate...but it looked deliberate enough to me


Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 run, good comeback from the bowler, pitching it up and daring the batsman...who drives it cleanly through to cover


Fernando to Hayden, 1 wide, nice idea, poorly executed. Oh poor old Sri Lanka, they're not they're usual chipper selves and it's all rather going wrong for them. Wided outside the off stump


Fernando to Hayden, 1 run, full, straight, guided down to third man

In comes Fernando...but Gilchrist pulls away. He's not ready. Pah. Well here comes Fernando once more


Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 run, and Gilchrist flays it, absolutely lacing it down to third man

Here's Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

End of over 19 (13 runs) Australia 135/0 (RR: 7.10)

    • AC Gilchrist 95 (66b 7x4 6x6)
    • ML Hayden 30 (49b 3x4)
    • CRD Fernando 5-0-56-0
    • M Muralitharan 4-0-23-0

Thanks Will. This is turning out to be a carnage now. Jenny's equally geeky fiancé Dan notes that Gilchrist is nearing 9000 one-day runs. He needs 111 today to do it.

Please help Adam this eve - does anyone know anywhere showing the game in Denver? "The Aussies here are desperate to see the thrashing live!"

Rahul says "Good news for Bangladesh! First Pakistan (1999) then India (2003) and now Sri Lanka (2007). Australia going one by one against Asians. My prediction Australia VS Bangladesh (2011).. of course Gilchrist making half century"

In the 1979 World Cup final Brearley and Boycott added 129 in 38 overs in 1979. Now that must have been a snore. Sri Lanka have taken the Powerplay and Vaas is back


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, Vaas over the wicket to Gilchrist, short of a length, pushed back to the bowler on the back foot


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, pushed to cover, quiet start here


Vaas to Gilchrist, 1 run, on the pads and that's flicked away to the deep square fielder for a single


Vaas to Hayden, 1 run, on the off stump, Hayden backs away and tries to bludgeon it to the off side, it's a slower ball and there's a little bottom edge to short fine leg for a single. That could have easily gone onto the stumps. The fact is it didn't


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, full ball, on off and middle, Gilchrist within striking range of a century, pushes it back tentatively to the bowler


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, slightly slower it seems again, on the pads, Gilchrist chips it dangerously and .. oh .. that could have easily gone to the short midwicket fielder but drops just short. Lady luck?

David applauds Hayden who's been dormant in this partnership. "This is a good example of working in partnership ... while Hayden seems to be scratching around, he at least has the sense to give Gilchrist as much of the strike as possible: Gilchrist has faced 3 overs more than Hayden."

End of over 20 (2 runs) Australia 137/0 (RR: 6.85)

    • AC Gilchrist 96 (71b 7x4 6x6)
    • ML Hayden 31 (50b 3x4)
    • WPUJC Vaas 5-0-29-0
    • CRD Fernando 5-0-56-0

Malinga is back. In the Powerplay


Malinga to Hayden, SIX, That is too imposing. Full ball on off, Hayden backs away and shows his brute force. Rocky and Hulk Hogan in one body, unleashes a mighty hoick over long-off and watches it sail over long-off for a six. One can say it wasn't well timed but it's maximum all the same


Malinga to Hayden, 1 run, yorker length almost and Hayden digs it out for a push through the leg side for a single


Malinga to Gilchrist, FOUR, What a way to bring it up! Full ball outside off and it's slapped ferociously over mid-offf for a four. A century off 72 balls in a World Cup final. Adam Gilchrist take a bow! This has been a sensational effort and Kensington salutes him in admiration. Eight fours and six sixes. Take that


Malinga to Gilchrist, no run, Oh! Edged and a sensational catch from Sangakkara, or so it looked. Full ball, thick edge that flies to Sanga's left and he dives full length to pull off a stunner but the ball just couldn't say in the gloves when he hit the ground. That was an almost superb catch. Almost


Malinga to Gilchrist, no run, full ball, slapped to the cover fielder


Malinga to Gilchrist, 1 run, full on middle and leg, Gilchrist tries to flay it through the on side but the thick edge flies to third man. Drops short of the fielder again. He's edging them, they're going close but nothing more than that. What was that about fortune and the brave?

Kaminga, despite the hammering Australia are dishing out, remains optimistic. "Well, wait some time, you will see a complete turn around of this match. Sri lanka will come back strongly."

End of over 21 (12 runs) Australia 149/0 (RR: 7.09)

    • AC Gilchrist 101 (75b 8x4 6x6)
    • ML Hayden 38 (52b 3x4 1x6)
    • SL Malinga 5-1-18-0
    • WPUJC Vaas 5-0-29-0

Vaas to Gilchrist, FOUR, On the back foot, onto it in a flash, not that short but it's pulled away with utmost contempt. That shot had ruthlessness written all over it. Speeds away to the midwicket fence for a chilling four


Vaas to Gilchrist, 5 wides, Vaas losing his bearings here, down the leg side and Sangakkara is standing up. He can't get to it and that's another four down the leg side. Wides, five of them


Vaas to Gilchrist, FOUR, short and again down the leg, Gilchrist needs no second invitation to pull it away. Thick under edge flies past the keeper for a four. This was off the bat and Vaas bleeding runs here. Too much for Sri Lanka's comfort


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, fuller and on off, much better, no room to work on and that's dug out to the off side


Vaas to Gilchrist, 1 run, that's much better again, another yorker length delivery on middle and that give Gilchrist no place to free his arms. Dug out back down the ground


Vaas to Hayden, no run, Sangakkara is back upto the stumps now that Vaas has found his line. Slightly full and wide outside off and Hayden lets it go unharmed


Vaas to Hayden, no run, similar delivery, much better end to the over from Vaas and Hayden lets it through

End of over 22 (14 runs) Australia 163/0 (RR: 7.40)

    • ML Hayden 38 (54b 3x4 1x6)
    • AC Gilchrist 110 (79b 10x4 6x6)
    • WPUJC Vaas 6-0-43-0
    • SL Malinga 5-1-18-0

Malinga to Gilchrist, no run, some swing for Malinga, that's a good sign. Full and on middle, he's kept it tight for most of the day. Driven confidently but straight to cover


Malinga to Gilchrist, FOUR, where did that come from? Backing away to a full ball on leg stump and lofts it over mid-off for yet another four. Cool and easy, the bat handle seems to have turned in his wrists but what adjustment that was


Malinga to Gilchrist, FOUR, That is a cracker, an explosive hoick off a slower ball. Gilchrist takes a mighty swipe at a full ball on off and though he doesn't get the timing manages a four to midwicket, probably the longest boundary


Malinga to Gilchrist, 1 run, drifting on the pads and pelted away to deep square for a single. This is Gilchrist's first ever World Cup hundred. He was run-out on 99 in the league game against Sri Lanka in 2003


Malinga to Hayden, OUT, Finally! Mahela Jayawardene pulls off a smart catch at cover and Hayden has to go. He tried to club it over the short extra-cover fielder but Mahela was waiting there. He timed his jump well and pulled off a double-handed take while in mid-air. Hayden's useful hand comes to an end. It was a 55-ball 38 but nobody will complain when your partner is going bananas at the other end.

ML Hayden c Jayawardene b Malinga 38 (100m 55b 3x4 1x6) SR: 69.09

Andrew is trying to refrain from celebrating too early. "Sure it was a different scenario but Sri Lanka scored 322 to beat England last year ... with 12 overs to spare. So, 322 off 38. I like our start, but there'll be no counting chickens just yet!"

Ricky Ponting, hero of the previous World Cup final and currently the best batsmen on the planet, enters


Malinga to Ponting, no run, Good first ball to get. Yorker length on middle and off. He somehow gets bat and pad together to keep it out

End of over 23 (9 runs) Australia 172/1 (RR: 7.47)

    • RT Ponting 0 (1b)
    • AC Gilchrist 119 (83b 12x4 6x6)
    • SL Malinga 6-1-27-1
    • WPUJC Vaas 6-0-43-0

Vaas to Gilchrist, 1 run, yorker length from Vaas, Gilchrist digs it out and drives it to mid-off for a single. He is on 119 and seems as if he's just getting set. A double-hundred in a 38-over clash? Who knows


Vaas to Ponting, 1 run, on the pads and flicked away for a single. Ponting off the mark. Sangakkara is switching between standing up and standing back.


Vaas to Gilchrist, no run, good length outside off, back cut straight to short third man.


Vaas to Gilchrist, 1 run, another good yorker, Sri Lankans bowling as if it's the end overs now. They need to. Gilchrist has no room to free his arms and squeezes it out for a single to fine leg


Vaas to Ponting, 1 no ball, over-stepping this time, nothing much has gone right for Vaas. Good length on the off stump and defended confidently to the covers


Vaas to Ponting, no run, similar delivery, no over-stepping this time and Ponting pushes to the off side looking for a single. Can't pierce the gap, though


Vaas to Ponting, no run, Good end to the over, Ponting glides it straight to point.

End of over 24 (4 runs) Australia 176/1 (RR: 7.33)

    • RT Ponting 1 (5b)
    • AC Gilchrist 121 (86b 12x4 6x6)
    • WPUJC Vaas 7-0-47-0
    • SL Malinga 6-1-27-1

That's the end of the Powerplay. Sri Lanka can send fielders to Galle and Colombo now. I mean, to the boundary line. Sanath Jayasuriya has been introduced to the attack.


Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, 1 run, Fast and full on off, pushed back down the ground


Jayasuriya to Ponting, 1 run, around the wicket to the right-hander and Ponting takes the cautious approach, pushing to the covers and taking an easy single


Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, no run, fast and furious, Gilchrist pushes it back and the ball deviates off Ponting behind the bowler. The batsmen don't take a run


Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, no run, dot ball to Gilchrist, now that's a surprise. Driven back to the bowler


Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, 1 run, swept away to square for a single, Jayasuriya keeping it tight


Jayasuriya to Ponting, 1 run, pushes his front foot forward and drives to the leg side

The partnership between Hayden and Gilchrist was the third 100-run stand for the first wicket in a World Cup final. These two did it against India in 2003, and Mike Brearley and Geoff Boycott added 129 against West Indies in 1979.

End of over 25 (4 runs) Australia 180/1 (RR: 7.20)

    • RT Ponting 3 (7b)
    • AC Gilchrist 123 (90b 12x4 6x6)
    • ST Jayasuriya 1-0-4-0
    • WPUJC Vaas 7-0-47-0

Murali is back. 13 overs left in the innings and a slip is in


Muralitharan to Ponting, 1 run, he starts around the wicket to the right-hander, as he has so often in this tournament. Full ball on middle and leg, driven to long-on for a single


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, over the wicket to the left-hander, full ball on middle, Gilchrist on his knees and sweeping powerfully to backward square leg


Muralitharan to Ponting, no run, good ball, offspinner pitching on off and Ponting, on the back foot, can only get a thick edge to the off side. Well deceived that time


Muralitharan to Ponting, 1 run, patted away to the off side for a simple single


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, beauty of a ball from Murali, sharp chance for Mahela at slip but he can't get to it. Sharp offbreak to Gilchrist and prods tentatively. The edge flies to Mahela's left and it's low. Super ball, deceived


Muralitharan to Ponting, 2 runs, Again! This time Ponting has no clue against the doosra, another edge and again wide of Mahela. That was slightly wider

End of over 26 (6 runs) Australia 186/1 (RR: 7.15)

    • RT Ponting 7 (11b)
    • AC Gilchrist 125 (92b 12x4 6x6)
    • M Muralitharan 5-0-29-0
    • ST Jayasuriya 1-0-4-0

Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, SIX, Awwwww! Jayasuriya fires it in but Gilchrist is waiting, on his knees with that broadsword, and unleashes a most awesome hoick over midwicket for a soaring six. That was huge and simply mighty


Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, 1 run, flicked away for a single


Jayasuriya to Ponting, no run, fast and full, patted to the off side


Jayasuriya to Ponting, no run, good faster one again, Ponting doesn't get the freedom to do much with it


Jayasuriya to Ponting, no run, tapped away to the off side


Jayasuriya to Ponting, 1 run, pushed to the leg side for a single. Ponting struggling to get the score ticking in this over but does it matter with Gilchrist going such great guns at the other?

End of over 27 (8 runs) Australia 194/1 (RR: 7.18)

    • RT Ponting 8 (15b)
    • AC Gilchrist 132 (94b 12x4 7x6)
    • ST Jayasuriya 2-0-12-0
    • M Muralitharan 5-0-29-0

Muralitharan to Ponting, FOUR, outside leg stump and Ponting brings out a cute sweep to fine leg. Malinga can't cut it off and that's his first boundary


Muralitharan to Ponting, 1 run, works away the offbreak to the leg side for a single

George Binoy points out that Australia have never lost a ODI when Gilchrist has made a hundred. He has 14 ODI centuries


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 2 runs, Whack! Slog sweep on his knees, high, very high, soaring to midwicket and two fielders converging but neither can get to it. It falls between them and they complete two


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, swept away efficiently for another single. This is a motoring


Muralitharan to Ponting, no run, Ponting tries to sweep the offbreak but gets his front pad outside the line of off stump. Murali lets out an appeal but that can't be given


Muralitharan to Ponting, 1 run, down the track this time and driven to midwicket for a single

End of over 28 (9 runs) Australia 203/1 (RR: 7.25)

    • RT Ponting 14 (19b 1x4)
    • AC Gilchrist 135 (96b 12x4 7x6)
    • M Muralitharan 6-0-38-0
    • ST Jayasuriya 2-0-12-0

Jayasuriya to Ponting, no run, full on middle and off, defended carefully to the off side


Jayasuriya to Ponting, 1 run, down the ground and tries to flay it over the bowler's head but the low trajectory allows only a thick inside edge to the leg side for a single


Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, 1 run, full on middle, Gilchrist on the back foot and thumps it to midwicket for a single


Jayasuriya to Ponting, 1 leg bye, full ball on middle, good bounce and Ponting tries to sweep it. Rapped on the pads and that's an appeal but it was probably too high


Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, SIX, Brutal. Power and timing all the way to midwicket. Gilchrist down the ground in a twinkling flash and blitzes a smooth pendulum swing that soars the ball way over midwicket for a maximum


Jayasuriya to Gilchrist, FOUR, this is getting too easy. Full toss outside leg stump and paddled away cheekily past short fine for another four. What else can this man do? Anything actually

End of over 29 (13 runs) Australia 216/1 (RR: 7.44)

    • AC Gilchrist 146 (99b 13x4 8x6)
    • RT Ponting 15 (22b 1x4)
    • ST Jayasuriya 3-0-24-0
    • M Muralitharan 6-0-38-0

Muralitharan to Ponting, 1 run, Swept away crisply to backward square leg


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, on leg and spinning away, Gilchrist swivels around and angles it to backward square for a single


Muralitharan to Ponting, 2 runs, on the front foot and flicking with the spin for a scampered couple. Malinga makes good ground but can't stop the brace


Muralitharan to Ponting, 1 run, short and wide outside off, turning in, tapped away to the off side


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, no run, goes for the launched slog sweep again but can't get the timing, ball strikes him on the back foot


Muralitharan to Gilchrist, 1 run, slog swept to deep square leg to bring up the fifty partnership.

That's it from me for the moment. Over to George Binoy for the final leg of this innings.

End of over 30 (6 runs) Australia 222/1 (RR: 7.40)

    • AC Gilchrist 148 (102b 13x4 8x6)
    • RT Ponting 19 (25b 1x4)
    • M Muralitharan 7-0-44-0
    • ST Jayasuriya 3-0-24-0

Thanks Sid. Dilhara Fernando returns for another spell. Can he control the damage? Gilchrist and Ponting are tied on most sixes in a World cup innings, 8.


Fernando to Gilchrist, 1 run, full ball angling into Gilchrist from round the wicket, he drives it through covers for a single


Fernando to Ponting, 1 run, Fernando fires a full toss into Ponting's pads, he flicks but can;t beat the man at short fine leg, Gilchrist calls for the single, it was risky, had there been a direct hit he would have been out


Fernando to Gilchrist, OUT, finally finally they get Gilchrist out, Fernando bangs one short, Gilchrist swivels and tries to pull even though the length isn't short enough for the stroke, he gets a top edge and skies it straight to midwicket where Chamara silva takes an easy catch, Gilchrist leaves to a rousing ovation, he;s played one of the great World Cup innings

AC Gilchrist c Silva b Fernando 149 (129m 104b 13x4 8x6) SR: 143.26

Exit Gilchrist, enter Andrew Symonds.


Fernando to Ponting, 2 runs, fullish delivery on the pads, Ponting moves across his stumps and flicks to deep midwicket


Fernando to Ponting, no run, angled into the pads once more, Sangakkara collects it behind the stumps


Fernando to Ponting, 1 run, good length ball but the line is poor, down leg side, Ponting flicks to deep backward square leg for one more

Gilchrist's 149 is the highest score in World Cup finals, beating Ricky Ponting's 140 in 2003. It's also the highest score by a wicketkeeper-batsman in World Cups, beating Rahul Dravid's 145 at Taunton in 1999.

End of over 31 (5 runs) Australia 227/2 (RR: 7.32)

    • RT Ponting 23 (29b 1x4)
    • A Symonds 0 (0b)
    • CRD Fernando 6-0-61-1
    • M Muralitharan 7-0-44-0

Jayasuriya to Ponting, 1 run, dabbed with soft hands towards cover for a sharp single


Jayasuriya to Symonds, 1 run, Jayasuriya fires that flat and fast into off stump, Symonds goes on the back foot and drives to long off


Jayasuriya to Ponting, no run, fullish delivery outside off stump, Ponting drives firmly to cover where Dilshan dives to his left and makes an excellent save


Jayasuriya to Ponting, 1 leg bye, Jayasuriya bowls it quick into Ponting's pads, he tries to flick but misses, Jayasuriya appeals for lbw but it was missing leg


Jayasuriya to Symonds, 1 run, full toss outside off, Symonds thumps it down the ground for a single, it all seems rather quiet now that Gilchrist is out


Jayasuriya to Ponting, no run, fired into the pads once more, Ponting tries to sweep but doesn't make contact

End of over 32 (4 runs) Australia 231/2 (RR: 7.21)

    • RT Ponting 24 (33b 1x4)
    • A Symonds 2 (2b)
    • ST Jayasuriya 4-0-27-0
    • CRD Fernando 6-0-61-1

Fernando to Symonds, no run, Fernando finds the blockhole outside off stump, Symonds squeezes it towards cover on the front foot


Fernando to Symonds, 1 run, lucky break for Symonds, he tried to heave it down the ground but got an inside edge past the stumps and down to fine leg


Fernando to Ponting, 2 leg byes, slowish delivery from fernando, Ponting aims to heave it on the leg side but gets an outside edge down to third man


Fernando to Ponting, 1 wide, poor ball, full toss down leg side, wide called but he's lucky that Ponting didn't put that away


Fernando to Ponting, 1 run, fullish length outside off stump, Ponting drives but the timing isn't good, he collects one to mid off


Fernando to Symonds, 1 run, tight line from Fernando, keeping it on a good length outside off stump, Symonds drives to mid off for one more


Fernando to Ponting, no run, oh Fernando finishes with a slower ball that's a bouncer as well, Ponting gets into position for the pull but realises that he's far too early for the shot and bails out at the last moment

End of over 33 (6 runs) Australia 237/2 (RR: 7.18)

    • RT Ponting 25 (36b 1x4)
    • A Symonds 4 (5b)
    • CRD Fernando 7-0-65-1
    • ST Jayasuriya 4-0-27-0

Jayasuriya to Symonds, 1 run, Symonds jumps down the track and hammers a full toss back past Jayasuriya, it technically was a catch but you'd have to be extremely brave to try to catch that


Jayasuriya to Ponting, 1 run, played to midwicket for a single


Jayasuriya to Symonds, FOUR, effortless from Symonds, he steps down the track again, gets to the pitch of the ball and hits through the line, he lofts that clean back over the bowler's head, superb placement


Jayasuriya to Symonds, no run, defended to midwicket, that was very quick from Jayasuriya and in the blockhole


Jayasuriya to Symonds, no run, another one in the blockhole, that's two yorkers in a row, Symonds drives this to cover


Jayasuriya to Symonds, no run, flat and fast outside off stump, Symonds pulls out the reverse sweep but can't beat short fine leg

End of over 34 (6 runs) Australia 243/2 (RR: 7.14)

    • A Symonds 9 (10b 1x4)
    • RT Ponting 26 (37b 1x4)
    • ST Jayasuriya 5-0-33-0
    • CRD Fernando 7-0-65-1

Four overs to go. Australia will certainly push for 300. They have plenty of power waiting in the dressing-room as well. Clarke, Hussey and Watson to be precise. The umpires are changing the ball. Out comes Billy Bowden with the box.

Lasith Malinga gets a final burst.


Malinga to Ponting, 1 run, fired into off and middle stump, Ponting makes room and drives down to long on for a single


Malinga to Symonds, FOUR, streaky stuff but Symonds will take it, he gets his front foot out of the way and tries to loft it over cover, the outside edge flies down to the third man fence, Malinga winces


Malinga to Symonds, 1 run, full and fast, homing in on middle and leg stump, Symonds plays it through midwicket


Malinga to Ponting, SIX, awesome strike, that's not as full as the others, Ponting uses the length to free his arms, he lofts that effortlessly over midwicket for six, outstanding timing


Malinga to Ponting, 1 run, full toss on leg stump, Ponting turns it to short fine leg for one


Malinga to Symonds, 1 run, Malinga strays on to the pads once more, dangerous line while fine leg is in the circle, Symonds flicks off his toes but straight to the man at fine leg

End of over 35 (14 runs) Australia 257/2 (RR: 7.34)

    • A Symonds 15 (13b 2x4)
    • RT Ponting 34 (40b 1x4 1x6)
    • SL Malinga 7-1-41-1
    • ST Jayasuriya 5-0-33-0

Jayawardene throws the ball to Vaas.


Vaas to Symonds, 1 run, full and straight on off and middle stump, Symonds backs away and drives to long off for one


Vaas to Ponting, 2 runs, whoops, that's nearly a waist high full toss, Ponting makes room and drives through cover point for two more, Bucknor has warned someone for running on the pitch, looks like it's Ponting


Vaas to Ponting, 1 run, driven down to long off for one


Vaas to Symonds, OUT, direct hit runs out Ponting! Symonds stepped down to a full toss and hit it hard to Jayawardene at cover, he called for the single and Ponting responded, Jayawardene took his time, aimed the throw at the batsman's end and hit the stumps, Ponting didn't wait for the umpire's decision, he was short by a long way

RT Ponting run out 37 (53m 42b 1x4 1x6) SR: 88.09

Shane Watson gets a promotion ahead of Clarke and Hussey.


Vaas to Watson, 1 run, driven down to long off for a single


Vaas to Symonds, 2 runs, sloppy stuff from Malinga who dives over Symond's paddle-sweep at short fine leg to allow the batsman two runs when there should have been just one or ideally none

End of over 36 (7 runs) Australia 264/3 (RR: 7.33)

    • A Symonds 18 (16b 2x4)
    • SR Watson 1 (1b)
    • WPUJC Vaas 8-0-54-0
    • SL Malinga 7-1-41-1

We're into the penultimate over now. Malinga to Watson.


Malinga to Watson, 2 runs, excellent yorker, Watson jams his bat down in the nick of time and squeezes it towards mid on, the fielder is in the deep at long on and Symonds pounces on the chance to take two runs, superb running


Malinga to Watson, OUT, bowled him! Shane Watson moves across and tries to play a cheeky paddle sweep over short fine leg, he played it extremely well against New Zealand, but Malinga is too quick for him, Watson doesn't make contact and the ball hits middle and leg stump

SR Watson b Malinga 3 (3m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 100.00


Malinga to Clarke, no run, Clarke drives it to cover and sets off for an easy single, but hang on, Aleem Dar signals dead ball and asks the batsmen to go back, I think he's penalising Clarke for running on the pitch


Malinga to Clarke, 1 run, full and straight on middle and leg stump, Clarke drives it firmly down to log on and nearly bumps into Symonds while trying to avoid running on the pitch


Malinga to Symonds, 1 run, screaming yorker from Malinga, Symonds jabs down at it in the nick of time and sneaks a single towards cover


Malinga to Clarke, FOUR, Malinga tries to find the blockhole once more and strays down leg side, Clarke tries to flick but gets more of an inside edge that beats the man at short fine leg and runs down to the fence

End of over 37 (8 runs) Australia 272/4 (RR: 7.35)

    • MJ Clarke 5 (3b 1x4)
    • A Symonds 19 (17b 2x4)
    • SL Malinga 8-1-49-2
    • WPUJC Vaas 8-0-54-0

300 looks out of reach now. Fernando to bowl the final over.


Fernando to Symonds, 1 run, full and straight, very hard to hit, Symonds drives down to long off for a single


Fernando to Clarke, 1 wide, Fernando bowls a slower bouncer, Clarke is beaten by the change of pace but the umpire signals wide because that was too high, that's pretty harsh


Fernando to Clarke, 1 run, full toss outside off stump, Clarke backs away, frees his arms and lashes it through point for one


Fernando to Symonds, (no ball) 1 run, excellent yorker from Fernando but he's overstepped


Fernando to Clarke, 1 run, what's going on here, Fernando bowls another yorker, Clarke digs it out and back to the bowler, Symonds sets off for the run but realises that Fernando has the ball, Fernando turns around and only has to roll the ball on to the stumps to dismiss Symonds, he misses and the Australians run an overthrow


Fernando to Symonds, 1 run, short ball, that was the slower bouncer once again, Symonds pulls it with one hand to midwicket


Fernando to Clarke, 1 run, good length ball outside off stump, Clarke drives to long off for a single


Fernando to Symonds, 1 run, excellent ball to finish, the yorker homes in on leg stump, Symonds backs away and digs it out, they run a single to short fine leg to finish tthe innings

Right Australia have powered their way to 281 for 4. Adam Gilchrist, who's had a poor tournament so far, smashed 149 off 104 balls. Sri Lanka have hardly anytime to recover from this pounding and begin the run chase.

Farooq remains optimistic: "Tell you what, The game is not yet over. We need from Jayasuriya what Gilchrist has done. A 150 off 100 balls and Sri Lankans are World Champs." Over to Sid V for some more comments.

Thanks George. Now that was quite something. What Ponting did in 2003, Gilchrist managed today. He has never failed in a World Cup final and produced one of the great one-day knocks of all time today. Viv Richards, Aravinda de Silva and Ponting have made statements on the biggest stage and Gilchrist matched them, if not bettered them, at the Kensington Oval today.

The crucial phase of the innings was probably between overs 11 and 22, when Australia clattered 117. Dileep reports from Kensington: "The volunteers taking their bow at the break and getting cheered by the crowd"

Bikram chimes in: "Sri Lanka did well to 'restrict' Australia to only 78 runs in the last 10. They have given themselves a decent - I would say 5% chance of winning. They need to have a solid partnership, though. Either Jayasuriya or Jayawardene have to score a century. Well, let's see..."

The players are back on the field now. It may all be down to Jayasuriya. Bracken to start proceedings

End of over 38 (9 runs) Australia 281/4

    • A Symonds 23 (21b 2x4)
    • MJ Clarke 8 (6b 1x4)
    • CRD Fernando 8-0-74-1
    • SL Malinga 8-1-49-2





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Hours of play (local time) 12.15 start, First Session 12.15-14.55. Interval 14.55-15.05, Second Session 15.05-17.45

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