Probably the most entertaining edition of all time, the 2003 ICC World Cup had it all - the drama, the excitement, the ecstasy, the rage, the anguish, the euphoria and at the end a deserving winner.
The International Cricket Council organized the eighth edition of the World Cup from 9th February to 23rd March 2003. This tournament was the first to ever be played in Africa, with South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya hosting it.
14 teams participated in the 2003 World Cup playing a total of 54 matches, making it the highest number of nations featuring in the tournament's history until then.
After a few shocking results in the group stage fixtures, Australia, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya made it to the semi-finals. The first semi-final saw Australia taking on Sri Lanka at Port Elizabeth where Andrew Symonds played a match-winning 91*-run knock to take his team to 212/7, in reply to which Sri Lanka could only manage 123/7 in 38 overs.
India and Kenya met in the second semi-final in which India registered a comprehensive 91-run win over the co-hosts. Sourav Ganguly remained unbeaten on 111, helping India post 270 runs on the board, before Kenya succumbed to the pressure and were bowled out for 179.
India and Australia locked horns in the most anticipated match of the tournament but it turned out to be a one-sided affair. The reigning champions scored a mammoth 359/2 in the first innings courtesy Ricky Ponting (140*) and Damien Martyn (88*). The iconic duo added 234 runs for the third wicket, ensuring that there was no let-up for the bowlers.
India could manage just 234 runs in reply despite Virender Sehwag’s valiant knock of 82.
Sachin Tendulkar emerged as the highest run-scorer in that tournament, scoring 673 runs, which still remains the record for most runs in a single World Cup. The Little Master scored those runs at an average of 61.18 with six fifties and one century. He was also named the ‘Player of the Series’ for his outstanding campaign.
Chaminda Vaas finished with 23 wickets, making him the highest wicket-taker of the 2003 ICC World Cup. The left-arm pacer also bagged the only hat-trick of the World Cup against Bangladesh.
2003 World Cup Records
Most Runs: Sachin Tendulkar (IND) – 673 Runs
Highest Score: Craig Wishart (ZIM) – 172* vs Namibia
Most Centuries: Sourav Ganguly (IND) –3
Most Fifties: Sachin Tendulkar (IND) – 6
Highest Average: Andrew Symonds (AUS) – 163.00
Highest Strike-Rate: Adam Gilchrist (AUS) – 105.42
Most Sixes: Sourav Ganguly (IND)- 15
Most Wickets: Chaminda Vaas (SL) – 23
Best Bowling Figures: Glenn McGrath (AUS) - 7-4-15-7
Best Average: Andy Bichel (AUS) – 12.31
Best Economy Rate: Andrew Flintoff (ENG) – 2.87
Most 5-wicket Hauls: Vasbert Drakes (WI) – 2
Most Catches: Ricky Ponting (AUS) – 11