First Final Match

VB Series

Soumya Bhattacharya

At Melbourne, February 6, 2004 (day/night). Australia won by seven wickets. Toss: India.

Australia imposed themselves on India, proving - as so often in the recent past - that they were the team for the big occasion. The seam attack bowled intelligently on a largely unresponsive pitch by varying their line, length and pace, and reduced India to 75 for six before a spirited 102- run stand between Agarkar and Badani helped them to pass 200. In reply, the Australian batsmen made their intentions clear right away, crashing 12 boundaries in the first 12 overs. Gilchrist began the onslaught at a rate of around two runs a ball; Ponting then scored 88 off 80 balls with consummate ease. The bowlers were simply incapable of defending a modest total, and defeat came with almost ten overs to spare; in this sort of mood, Australia would have threatened a total of 300 or more.

Man of the Match: R. T. Ponting. Attendance: 44,737.

© John Wisden & Co