Men's Cricket World Cup 2003 – Overview
Dates: 9 February to 23 March 2003
Location: South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe
Number of teams: 14 – Namibia played in their first tournament
Overs per innings: 50
Number of matches: 54
Format: Teams were divided into two groups of six each. Each team played the other five in their group once with the top three from both groups advancing to the Super Six stage, carrying their points against the other qualifiers from the same group. The top four from the Super Six played the semi-finals.
Semi-finals: The first semi-final between Australia and Sri Lanka at Port Elizabeth was marred by rain but not before Australia had their opponents on the mat. Andrew Symonds' unbeaten 91 took Australia to 212/7. Sri Lanka had slipped to 76/7 in response when rain arrived. They finished on 123/7 in 38.1 overs, well behind the Duckworth-Lewis par score at that stage, handing Australia a win by 48 runs.
India faced the World Cup dark horses Kenya, who had qualified for the semi-final by beating Zimbabwe in the Super Six stage. But the 1983 champions strolled past their opponents, first posting 270/4 courtesy of an unbeaten 111 by Sourav Ganguly and then bowling Kenya out for 179.
Final: Australia, the defending champions, were dominant in the final. A sublime century from Ricky Ponting (140*) and his unbeaten 234-run third-wicket stand with Damien Martyn (88*) lifted them to 359/2. India lost their star batsman Sachin Tendulkar to Glenn McGrath for 4 and a collapse ensued. Barring Virender Sehwag's 81-ball 82, no other Indian batsman could pose a challenge to McGrath and co., and India were bowled out for 234, handing Australia their third World Cup title.
Top run-scorer: Sachin Tendulkar – 673 runs
Top wicket-taker: Chaminda Vaas – 23 wickets
Player of the Series: Sachin Tendulkar
Retirements: Wasim Akram, Javagal Srinath
World Cup song: Welcome to our home