At R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, September 27 (day/night). Sri Lanka won by seven wickets. Toss: Australia. Aravinda de Silva's seemingly innocuous off-spin was an unlikely spoke in the wheel as the Australian juggernaut screeched to a halt in front of an openly hostile crowd. When de Silva was brought on after six overs, the board showed an intimidating 48 for nought. Soon after, with the Australian batsmen playing as if still on the beach in the Maldives, it was 57 for four. And though Martyn, with 28, and Warne, with a determined 36, battled hard, 162 was simply not enough. On a pitch that was slow and low even by the standards of this tournament, Muralitharan took three wickets, though it was de Silva's one-for that grabbed the headlines. Australia took the field needing early wickets and, despite the best efforts of McGrath and Gillespie, they didn't get them. Jayasuriya chanced his arm for 42 before being bowled by Warne. But Atapattu and Sangakkara ensured there would be no repeat of South Africa's self-destruction as Australia were humbled with ten overs and seven wickets to spare. As in the 1996 World Cup final, they were found wanting against the turning ball. Sri Lanka had a final against big brother to look forward to, but a victory over the much-disliked Australians meant even more.
Man of the Match: P. A. de Silva.