Australia completed a World Cup hat-trick on this day in 2007, winning the tournament’s ninth edition after defeating Sri Lanka at the final. Australia is the only team to win three straight World Cups to date. The team led by Ricky Ponting beat Sri Lanka with 53 runs in Duckworth–Lewis Method), leading Australia to a historic fourth World Cup triumph.
In a game shortened by rain, the Australian hero Adam Gilchrist scored 149 off with just 104 balls. Gilchrist gave the Aussies an electrifying start in a 38-over match, which was further cut-short to 36 due to more showers during the Sri Lankan innings, placing the Sri Lankans under early pressure.
Gilchrist had reached his century by the time the first Aussie wicket fell in the 23rd over at 172. He slammed eight fours and six sixes en route the ton in 72 deliveries, reaching the three-figure mark. Gilchrist raised his left hand as he celebrated the moment and showed off his gloves. At the time, the fans were justifiably confused, but later, Gilchrist revealed he had stuck a squash ball into the glove.
Gilchrist said that he had taken the advice from his coach to use the squash ball in his bottom hand in an interview with ICC. It’s basically putting a squash ball in the glove and putting it on.
Sri Lanka was cruising in the 282-run chase with Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara building a threatening partnership, but the former wicket triggered a collapse for the Lankans.
Sangakkara was dismissed on 54, and the part-time spinner, Michael Clarke, removed Sanath Jayasuriya just three overs later. The Sri Lankan dream of winning a second World Cup was shattered with Mahela Jayawerdene, Chamara Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan all setting out cheaply. The side eventually finished in 36 overs, with 215/8.
Australia ended the undefeated competition, and also won an unbeaten 29-game World Cup streak. The Man of the Match was Adam Gilchrist.
In the next edition, Sri Lanka will face another heartbreak in the World Cup final, as India defeated the team by six wickets in 2011. In the quarterfinals of the edition, Australia also suffered a loss to India. Still, the Aussies did win the 2015 World Cup at home.