On This Day in 2011 | Australia's 34-game unbeaten World Cup run ended by Pakistan
- Australia's magnificent World Cup run was brought to an end by Pakistan.
- Pakistan were, incidentally, the last team to have beaten them before this 34-game streak began.
Few countries have had as much of a history of dominating cricket as Australia do. The men from Down Under ended the previous century on a high by winning the 1999 edition of the ICC World Cup under Steve Waugh. Since that crowning moment, Australia would go on to establish a legacy spanning over a decade in the 50-over World Cups.
Ricky Ponting took over as the leader of the pack as they hunted down every single team they faced on cricket's biggest stage for over ten years. Three World Cups, won two of them without losing a single match, went a decade without a loss. That came up to 34 games in 2011 since they were last defeated, in a fixture against Pakistan at Leeds in 1999.
This magnificent run, though, came to a spectacular end when the defending champions took on familiar foes Pakistan in 2011. Batting first on a tricky surface in Colombo, Australia crawled their way to a mere 176 in the first innings after an incredible display from Pakistan's superb bowling attack. Each one of the six bowlers picked up a wicket and Umar Gul stood out with figures of 3 wickets for 30 runs in his 7.4 overs.
Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke were the highest scorers for the Aussies, however, they scored 42 and 34 respectively at strike rates of 57.6 and 70.8.
The chase, in theory, need not have been as tricky as Shahid Afridi's men made it appear, but they eventually made it with four wickets and nine overs to spare. Asad Shafiq top-scored for Pakistan with an 81-ball 46 and ensured that despite Brett Lee's surreal figures of 4/28, Australia's unbelievable run in the premier cricket tournament in the world finally came to an end.
They reasserted their dominance four years later when they reclaimed cricket's biggest soil on home soil. Yet, this day was still significant as Australia's historic run came crumbling down, and was also followed by a loss to India.
Australia 176 all out in 46.4 overs (Haddin 42, Gul 3/30)
Pakistan 178/6 in 41 overs (Shafiq 46, Lee 4/28)
Pakistan won by four wickets and nine overs to sparePublished 19 Mar 2020, 16:56 IST