On this day in 1999, Steve Waugh-led Australia beat Pakistan by eight wickets in the World Cup final at Lord’s, London. Pakistan, who were led by Wasim Akram, stood no chance as spinner Shane Warner’s trickery proved to be too good as Australia bowled out Pakistan for a low total of 132 in 39 overs.
Warne claimed four in the match and the combined effort of the top order saw Australia win the title by eight wickets in just 20 overs which was also their second ever World Cup title.
As it turned out, it was the first of three straight ODI World Cup titles for the all-conquering Australians.
Australia put edged South Africa in the second semi-final to enter the finals, whereas Pakistan beat New Zealand by 9 wickets to book their place in the finals at Lord’s. Coming into the clash, Pakistan boasted of players who could individually make a difference and were real title contenders.
Pakistan won the toss at Lord’s and opted to bat against Australia on a day where it showered before the match. But the decision turned out to be in Australia’s favour, especially with the weather creating a different atmosphere. It would have been an ideal decision to bowl first and allow the seamers to have a field day, however, Australia were practically handed a boost by giving them the chance to bowl.
Wajahatullah Wasti was the first player to be dismissed for one by Glenn McGrath. A smooth swinging delivery, Wasti tried to glide it to third man, but the shot was caught remarkably by Mark Waugh at second slip. From there on, it was downhill for Pakistan as wickets fell one after the other. There was no substantial partnership being built as Australia already added pressure with their attacking unit.
The dismissal of Saeed Anwar was crucial for Australia and Damien Fleming managed to get the job done as the swashbuckler had scored centuries in his previous two matches. Other than defending and taking their time, Pakistan self-destructed. Looking to smash the ball whenever they could, Australia outplayed them, especially once Warner was introduced.
By the 38th over, Pakistan were 129/9, and an ill-timed shot by Akram on Warne’s delivery summed up Pakistan’s performance in the finals. Warne ended with figures of 4/33 with an economy of 3.66. The lowest economy? Glenn McGrath with 1.44 in 9 overs bowled.
133 on the board for Australia to chase, the Steve Waugh led side wasted no time to get the job done as quickly as possible. Their only concern? The likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Akram bowling to them. But the two bowlers were no concern for Adam Gilchrist as the wicketkeeper batsman smashed a century in the first ten overs of the clash. Saqlain Mushtaq removed Gilchrist for 54, but the job was done for Australia.
Ricky Ponting added 24 before Darren Lehmann scored the winning runs with a boundary which saw Australia beating Pakistan by 8 wickets and clinching the 1999 Cricket World Cup, and their second title.