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ICC World Cup - Final

The match is reduced to 38 overs each due to rain.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat. Gilchrist and Hayden offer a dream start: Aussies 112/0 in 17 overs. Gilchrist has now scored a half-century in three successive World Cup finals -- now that's an awesome component of any CV.

Hayden is scoring at a slow rate and playing the anchor; allowing Gilchrist to smash the hapless Sri Lankans. Only Murali is being treated with caution. The others are leaking sixes.

Damn. Murali just got hit for a six. Australia on the rampage: 135 runs off 19 overs. Sri Lanka need a wicket now.

Century for Gilchrist off 72 balls. Eight 4s, six 6s. He scored two runs combined in the last two matches. Now, he roars back on the greatest stage. In fact, this is his first World Cup hundred!

OUT. Hayden is gone for a 55-ball 38. He is the top scorer of this World Cup with 659 glorious runs. He gets my vote for Man of the Tournament.

OUT. Gilchrist leaves after scoring a 104-ball 149. Australia at 227/2 with 7 overs remaining. A total of 300+ runs is likely. Ponting and Symonds are at the crease for the late carnage.

Sri Lanka need 282 runs to win. Australia had 172 from 23 overs. They managed another 109 from the last 15 -- an under par finish to the innings. Still, their total is formidable. Had Australia been given 50 overs, they would have managed 370 runs with their run rate.

Pressure is piling up on Sri Lanka. 42/1 off 10 overs.

OH NO, RAIN. After 24.5 overs of the Sri Lankan innings, the umpires decide to stop. If the day ends without further play, then Australia will rightly win by the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Still, this sucks.

THEY'RE BACK! The Lankans lost two overs. They now need a spectacular 119 runs from 11 overs to win.

157/4. Sri Lanka need 112 runs from 60 balls. If they win, then it'll be the finest run chase in a World Cup final. If they lose, then Australia will become the greatest ODI side in history -- winning three World Cups in a row!

The Australians are victorious by 53 runs. They've defeated all three former Asian champions in three tournament finals. (Pakistan: 1999, India: 2003, Sri Lanka: today.) Not a single team beat them in their campaigns in 2003 and 2007 -- an unprecedented feat.

Of course, Gilchrist is the Man of the Match. Glenn McGrath retires from cricket by winning the Player of the Tournament award. What a fitting end to a truly peerless and glorious career.

The Aussies go home contented. They are, no question, the unmatched superpower of cricket.


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