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CRICKET WORLD CUP 2003 / AUSTRALIA
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Sunday, 23 March, 2003, 16:56 GMT

Double delight for Ponting

Captain Ricky Ponting was full of praise at a job well done after Australia went undefeated in clinching their third World Cup crown.

No other team in World Cup history has gone through a tournament undefeated, and the eighth World Cup was the longest ever, requiring 11 consecutive victories.

Ponting was named man of the match after smashing 140

"It's been an outstanding effort from the whole team," said Ponting.

"It's says a lot about the team that we've known for a long time.

"But when a World Cup comes around you've got to play at your best when it counts, and we've managed to do that."

Ponting took the man of the match award for his unbeaten 140 that led Australia to 359 for two - the fourth-highest total in World Cup history and the highest ever in a final.

And it was all the more sweet for Ponting as he managed to pass 40 only once before in the tournament.

"It was a little bit overdue," he admitted. "I didn't get many in the lead-up games but I saved them up for the final.

"We have been building for this.



"The batsmen took it upon themselves to make sure we got a good total - 359 was an outstanding effort by everyone."

Ponting admitted it had been difficult to bat early on, explaining counterpart Sourav Ganguly's decision to bowl first having won the toss.

Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden made a mockery of the India skipper's call with an opening stand of 105 - their highest of the tournament.

"There was a bit of sideways movement for the bowlers," said Ponting.

"The batters played well to get through, we kept wickets in hand and cashed in at the end."

The victorious Australian side will be greeted by a public reception in Perth on Tuesday.



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