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Looking back at Adam Gilchrist's 149 in 2007 World Cup Final that blew Sri Lanka away

ANALYST
Feature
319   //    07 May 2019, 01:53 IST

At his sublime best, Gilchrist can be devastatingly brutal and, at the same time, delightfully pristine.
At his sublime best, Gilchrist can be devastatingly brutal and, at the same time, delightfully pristine.

Adam Gilchrist possesses a unique blend of two extremely opposite virtues. At his sublime best, Gilchrist can be devastatingly brutal and, at the same time, delightfully pristine. That is what endeared Gilchrist to the cricketing world.

On the 28th of April 2007, at the Kensington Oval, Barbados against Sri Lanka, in the final of the 9th edition of the World Cup, Gilchrist pulverised the Sri Lankan bowling attack on his way to an ethereal 149 off just 104 balls.

Sri Lanka boasted of a very good bowling attack. But on that day, nothing mattered. The ever-accurate Vaas was dispatched to the boundary with ease and the vicious Fernando was bludgeoned to all parts of the ground. Even the magic of Muralitharan could not stop Gilchrist on that day.

There is something about great players that sets them apart from the rest. They have a mental make-up incomparable with that of the lesser mortals of the sport. And the bigger the stage, the grander their performance.

Gilchrist could not have chosen a better day to return to his swashbuckling best and pulverise the opposition. It was the final of cricket’s marquee event, and the last World Cup match of his illustrious career. His vicious onslaught set the tone for the rest of the batsmen to follow, and allowed Australia to score 281/4, in their allotted 38 overs.

It was a complete one-man show as far as the batting was concerned. The Australian batting line-up boasted of some illustrious names, including the likes of Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting, but on that day, they were reduced to playing the role of supporting artists as Gilchrist took centre stage.

The iconic wicketkeeper-batsman smashed 13 fours and 8 towering sixes in a masterclass that just rattled the Sri Lankans.

This gem from the willow of one of Australia’s greatest batsmen will certainly go down as one of the greatest knocks in the history of World Cup cricket. And, all that the opposition could do was gape at him in awe.

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