Pool A - 2003 World Cup

Australia v Holland

At Potchefstroom, February 20, 2003. Australia won by 75 runs (D/L method). Toss:Holland.

Holland, 1,000 to 1 for the tournament, met the 5 to 4 favourites, and there were no prizes for guessing the outcome. The biggest threat to Australia came from the weather, which constantly looked poised to snatch away victory. Australia's innings was twice interrupted, leaving Holland an inflated target of 198 in 36 overs, and as Dutch wickets clattered, ominous dark clouds loomed. In a desperate effort to rattle through 25 overs - the minimum needed to ensure a result - before the heavens opened, Ponting ignored ideal seam conditions and had his part-time spinners on by the seventh over. That he could pay more attention to the length of a bowler's run than his effectiveness said it all about the gulf between the teams. Earlier, play had begun an hour late after the ground staff slopped rainwater on to the pitch as they removed the covers, prompting the police to help with a blow-dry from the rotor blades of their helicopter. On a greasy strip the ball darted wickedly, and even the fearsome Australian batting line-up laboured. Helped by Smits, razor-sharp standing up to the seamers, Lefebvre bowled eight overs for 19. But Martyn blocked the straight and swung at the wide for an unbeaten 67, the rain held off long enough, and the Australians ploughed relentlessly onwards.

Man of the Match: D. R. Martyn. Attendance: 4,376.

© John Wisden & Co