World Cup 1999, first Super Six match

Australia v India

At The Oval, June 4. Australia won by 77 runs. Toss: India.

Four exquisite overs from McGrath put this crucial game beyond India's reach. Bowling with unstinting menace and significant seam movement, he reduced India to a pitiable 17 for four. The first of McGrath's victims was Tendulkar, who followed three successive one-day hundreds against Australia with a duck, his first in 22 meetings. Jadeja, with a century - the tournament's fifth, all by Indians - and Singh rallied, putting on 141 for the fifth wicket. Despite their valiant efforts, the outcome was never in question, though the tumultuous Indian supporters appreciated one over, Warne's sixth, which yielded 21 runs.

Australia had earlier set a target of 283 - never overhauled in a 50-over international in England. A sparkling 83 from Mark Waugh was the highlight, but everyone joined in. Both teams had scraped into the Super Six without any points, so defeat for India made progress to the semi-finals highly unlikely. Two pigeons met untimely deaths during their innings. The first was shot down in mid-flight by Reiffel when he drilled the ball back from the outfield; the second, pecking the ground at short third man, was walloped by a thick edge from Jadeja's bat, leading to speculation that pigeons also had problems seeing the white ball in the evening gloom.

Man of the Match: G. D. McGrath. Attendance: 18,191.

© John Wisden & Co