At Johannesburg, February 11, 2003. Australia won by 82 runs. Toss: Pakistan.
This match provided a reminder, if any were needed, of why Australia began the tournament as prohibitively-priced favourites. Although Pakistan had spent the winter turning capriciousness into an art, the holders looked vulnerable: Darren Lehmann was suspended for racial abuse, Michael Bevan was injured and, on the morning of the game, Shane Warne announced he would be returning home to face drugs charges. But Symonds, a player many Australians would have left out of the squad after just two fifties in 54 one-day internationals, hit a free-flowing and unbeaten 143, from 125 balls, and two other lesser-known Australians, Harvey and Hogg, provided the main support act. They shared seven wickets and each made a nuggety contribution to a valuable stand. Australia commanded at every stage, except the first hour, when Wasim Akram had Gilchrist caught off a miscued pull in his second over, then struck with consecutive balls in his sixth. Symonds entered at 86 for four and, after jogging in Ponting's slipstream, revealed the range of muscular strokes he previously reserved for county cricket. Waqar Younis's dismissal from the attack in the 49th over, for a second beamer at Symonds, encapsulated his frustration; he could not bring himself to apologise. Pakistan's hopes of chasing 311, with an over docked, were gone by the halfway mark. Shahid Afridi flashed, Taufeeq Umar mis-hooked, Inzamam-ul-Haq edged lazily and the chase ground to a halt when Symonds dashed from the leg-side boundary and plunged to catch the menacing Yousuf Youhana.
Man of the Match: A. Symonds. Attendance: 27,075.