CRICKET WORLD CUP FINAL: As the cricketing world braces itself for the pinnacle of the sport – the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final between five-time winners Australia and hosts India – a wide range of statistics and records set the stage for what promises to be a thrilling encounter. Let’s delve into the numbers that define the narrative ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Most Appearances – Australia (8)
Australia’s relentless pursuit of cricketing excellence has seen them make the most appearances in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final, with Sunday’s Final marking their eighth appearance. Notable finals include their triumphs in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015 where legendary players like Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, and Adam Gilchrist played pivotal roles in securing Australia’s dominance on the world stage.
Highest Team Total – Australia (359/2)
The 2003 Cricket World Cup final, held at Wanderers Stadium in South Africa, was a high-octane clash between this Sunday’s finalists – Australia and India. Ricky Ponting’s spectacular innings of 140* and Damien Martyn’s unbeaten 88 powered Australia to a formidable 359/2, which to this day remains the highest team total in the history of World Cup Finals. This score proved insurmountable for India, as Australia clinched the title with a convincing 125-run victory to lift their third World Cup trophy.
Highest Individual Score – Adam Gilchrist (149)
The 2007 final between Australia and Sri Lanka, hosted at Kensington Oval in Barbados, is remembered for Adam Gilchrist’s blistering and record-breaking knock. In a rain-affected match, Gilchrist’s explosive innings of 149 off 104 balls set the tone for Australia’s successful chase in the revised target, and also set the record for the highest individual score in World Cup Finals. The Aussie keeper crunched 13 fours and 8 sixes, making it one of the most memorable performances in the tournament’s history.
Best Bowling Figures – Joel Garner (5/38)
The 1979 final at Lord’s between West Indies and England witnessed Joel Garner’s bowling masterclass. His remarkable figures of 5/38 played a pivotal role in restricting England to 194 runs as the West Indies, led by captain Clive Lloyd, secured their second consecutive World Cup title. Garner’s key wickets, including the prized scalp of English captain Mike Brearley, played a crucial role in his nation’s success, and those figures remain the best by any bowler in World Cup Finals.
Most Wickets – Glenn McGrath (6)
Few bowlers will ever have left as big of a mark on Cricket World Cup tournaments than Australian legend Glenn McGrath. As a linchpin of Australia’s dominant era, McGrath’s exceptional pace, pinpoint accuracy, and ability to thrive in high-pressure situations made him a key figure in multiple World Cup triumphs. To this day, no bowler has ever picked up more wickets in World Cup Finals than McGrath’s six, including the winning wicket in the 2003 final of Zaheer Khan.
Lowest Team Score – 132 All Out (Pakistan)
The 1999 final at Lord’s, contested between Pakistan and Australia, turned out to be a forgettable day for Pakistan. Australia’s imposing total of 359/2, anchored by a brilliant century from Adam Gilchrist, proved too formidable for Pakistan. Australia’s bowlers, led by their talismanic pacer Glenn McGrath, tightened the noose, leaving Pakistan’s batting lineup in disarray. McGrath’s controlled aggression and accuracy epitomised the dominance of the Aussie bowling attack. Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 132, which to this day remains the lowest score in World Cup Final history.