What if Sachin dismissed on a no ball in the 2003 World Cup Final?
Australia and India locked horns against each other in the 2003 World Cup final. The Aussies beat India by 125 runs thanks to a brilliant hundred (140* off 121) from skipper Ricky Ponting.
Riding on Ponting’s hundred and fifties from Adam Gilchrist (57 off 48 balls) and Damien Martin (88* off 84), Australia posted 359-2 in 50 overs.
In reply, India lost Sachin Tendulkar (4) who was the leading runscorer in the tournament (673), 208 runs ahead of India captain Sourav Ganguly (465) in the first over. Sachin’s dismissal triggered Indian collapse though Virender Sehwag waged a lone battle (82 off 81).
What if Sachin was dismissed on a no ball in the 2003 World Cup Final?
“Ohh it’s gone high. It’s going to caught and bowled by Glenn McGrath. That’s the big one they wanted. Glenn McGrath got him again like he did in 1999”
“Wait a minute. David Shepherd called this a no ball. Huge relief for Sachin and Indian fans all over the world. What a drama we’re witnessing.”
To add insult to injury, Sachin smashed the next one through cover for a fantastic boundary. Next ball was a bouncer and he left it alone.
Sehwag upper cut Brett Lee for a superb six. He scored one more four in the over. India 19/0 after 2 overs.
The duo batted aggressively and ran hard between the wickets. Sachin was the aggressor of two and reached his 50 in 39 balls, while Sehwag reached there in 43 balls.
Sachin’s trademark straight drive against Mcgrath was a treat to the eyes. He also played his favourite flick of the wrist shot many times with good success.
Sehwag showed respect to fast bowlers while he was at his destructive best when Bradd Hogg was introduced into the attack. In Hogg’s first over, Sehwag came down the track and smashed him for two maximums and guided one through third-man.
Hogg wins the battle
Ponting trusted Hogg and gave him another over. Once again Sehwag hit him for a six in the first ball. However, he was caught at midwicket by Andrew Symonds while attempting another maximum. Sehwag walked back to the pavilion after scoring a fine 75 (65).
India 160/1 in 22.2 overs.
India need 200 in 166 balls. Sachin 80*(69)
Ganguly joined Sachin in the middle. He is in fine form as he smashed his 3rd century (111* off 114) in the tournament against Kenya in the semifinal.
Brett Lee was back into the attack to fire some short deliveries at Ganguly. Lee bowled some quick bouncers and Ganguly played each ball on its merit. He left some and when he played he made sure he played along the ground.
At the other, Sachin continued his rich vein of form and reached his hundred in 81 balls, his first in a World Cup final. What a player he has been for India, 769 runs in the tournament already.
The job was not done yet. India still need 168 from 142 balls.
Sachin perishes after reaching 100
India were cruising for a win. Sachin was batting beautifully and Ganguly was getting into the groove. However, McGrath had other ideas. He bowled a peach of a Yorker which rattled Sachin’s middle stump.
Is this the turning point Australia was looking for?
Rahul Dravid came in next and his job was to keep wickets in hand and allow Ganguly to go for his strokes. Even though Ganguly was struggled initially, he made up to his slow start. He danced down the track against Hogg and against Lee he played some elegant drives through offside.
The two experienced campaigners helped India reaching 262 with a run-a-ball 69-run stand before Ganguly perished for a well-made 59-ball 62.
India need 98 in 70 balls.
Yuvraj Singh walked in and started hitting from the word go. He was at his best against Symonds. He hit him for 3 sixes in the same over. He raced to 33 in 18 balls.
India looked all set to win.
Ponting run Yuvi out
Yuvi tucked one to the cover and tried to steal a single. Ponting dived full-length and hit the stumps with bulls-eye. Yuvraj had no chance, he was short by a couple of yards. Is there a twist in the tail?
55 needed from 41 balls. India 305-4 in 42.5 overs.
Mcgrath was back in the attack. He didn’t give any room for new batsman Kaif to free his arms. He only gave away 4 runs in the 44th over.
51 needed from 36 balls. Required rate is now 8.5 runs per over. India need boundaries. Australia need wickets.
Mcgrath has two overs left, Lee has two, Bichel and Hogg finished their quota of 10 overs. Ponting has to choose either Symonds or Darren Lehman to ball two overs and McGrath and Lee will finish the remaining 4 overs.
Lee picks up two in one over
Ponting chose to bowl Lee in the 45th over. He delivered more than his captain asked for. The right-arm fast bowler picked up the wickets of Kaif ( 2 off 6) and Dinesh Mongia (0 off 1) and conceded only 3 runs in the over.
Pressure is mounting. India could only manage 7 runs in the last 14 balls and lost 3 wickets as well.
48 needed off 30 balls.
Symonds to bowl. Dravid (32 * off 31) on strike. He defended the first ball. The second ball was a full-toss and Dravid hit it to the gap and ball raced away for four. Next ball was short and wide, Dravid cut the ball behind backfoot point, another four. Symonds bowled a slower delivery next and Dravid couldn’t pick the ball. Next was a short ball and Dravid pulled it for another boundary. He took the single in the final ball.
35 needed off 24 balls
Lee to bowl his final over. Dravid guided the first ball to third man for a single. Harbhajan Singh on strike. He tried to hit the ball out of the park, but got a thick edge, luckily for him it fell on no man’s land. They ran two. Another short ball, this time, he connected, it sailed over the ropes. Lee came back well with a wide Yorker, Harbhajan couldn’t do anything. In the penultimate bowl, he hit the wide delivery hard and got an outside edge and went for four. Dravid refused to run single in the final ball.
22 off 18 balls
Mcgrath came back to the attack. He bowled a tidy over and only six singles came in the over.
16 off 12 balls
Harbhajan took a single in the first ball. Dravid hit the ball over midwicket and ran two. He also brought up his 50 as well. Excellent innings under pressure. 51* off 42 balls.
He came down the track and smashed the ball over Symond’s head for a fine boundary. A superb slow delivery bowled next, Dravid could only manage a single. Harbhajan failed to put bat to ball in the next ball. However, he drove the next ball over mid-off and ran two.
7 runs needed in the final over, Mcgrath to bowl. Dravid on strike.
Excellent Yorker first up. No run.
Dravid made room and hit an inside-out shot in the next ball. They ran three.
Harbhjan walks back
Mcgrath bowled Harbhajan in the third ball.
India need 4 runs in 3 balls. Zaheer Khan is the new batsman.
He couldn’t put bat to ball, however, they ran for a single.
3 runs needed in 2 balls.
Mcgrath attempted a Yorker but it turned out to be a low full-toss. Dravid drove the ball between mid-off and cover for a boundary.
India win. India crown the World Cup after Kapil’s army did it in 1983. Ganguly will lift the trophy.
It was a team effort, Sachin with a brilliant hundred, fifties from Sehwag and Ganguly were important too. But the man of the moment is Rahul Dravid (63* off 46), who batted under pressure, waged a lone battle when wickets were falling at the other end.