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Sri Lanka President pats players after finishing runners-up

Despite their 53 run defeat in the World Cup final against Australia, the team received a pat on the back from President Mahinda Rajapakse, who congratulated them for finishing second best in the tournament.
Rajapakse, who travelled to Barbados to watch the final match, said even though they missed the title, Mahela Jayawardene and his team mates had done a wonderful job. "I congratulate the captain and members of the Sri Lanka cricket team on the success in finishing runners-up in the ICC World Cup 2007 tournament. "I take this occasion to renew my government's intention to the continued success of Sri Lankan cricket," he said, wishing the team more success "in the days ahead."
Rajapakse had earlier appeared on the national television before the final got underway and said he was confident for Lanka, being a "balanced team", would win the cup.

World Cup Final, AUS vs SL: Australia lift World Cup 2007

Australia Cricket team Sri Lanka Cricket team Australia lifted the World Cup trophy for a record third successive time after claiming victory over Sri Lanka in a rain-shortened final on Saturday.
Adam Gilchrist smashed 149, the highest individual score in a World Cup final to propel Australia to 281-4 from their allotted 38 overs before the champions restricted Sri Lanka to 215, thereby winning by a margin of 53 runs (D/L method). Sri Lanka, champions in 1996, were set a revised target of 269 off 36 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis system after rain halted play for 12 minutes during their run chase. Reported Earlier:Australia made 281 for four in a rain-truncated 38 overs match against Sri Lanka in the 2007 Cricket World Cup final at the Kensington Oval, Barbados on Saturday.
Australia got off to a ballistic start as Adam Gilchrist came good with the bat and smashed his 15th ODI hundred off just 72 balls after skipper Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat. He put on 172 runs for the opening wicket with Matthew Hayden before the latter was dismissed by Lasith Malinga. Mahela Jayawardene held on to a good catch at cover to send back Hayden. He made just 38 off 55 deliveries while his partner plundered at the other end.
Gilchrist cut, pull and drove savagely. He was in such fine nick that even his mistimed shots cleared the ropes. He put on 52 runs with Ponting before a top edge landed in the palms of Chamara Silva. The much tormented Dilhara Fernando was the successful bowler. Gilchrist played 104 balls and hit 13 boundaries and eight sixes. The match started after an almost three-hour delay due to rain and has been reduced to a 38-over-a-side contest. Three bowlers will be allowed to bowl eight overs each, while two will be allowed seven each. The third power play will not come into effect. Reported Earlier:Australia captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first in the rain-delayed World Cup final at Barbados. Reported Earlier: Early morning rain has delayed start of the 2007 Cricket World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Kensington Oval, Barbados on Saturday.
Groundstaff pulled the covers on as rain clouds drifted over the ground from the east of the Caribbean island. Weather forecasts predicted showers and sunny periods over Bridgetown throughout the day.
Reigning champions Australia will be eyeing their third consecutive World Cup title, while the Lankans will be hoping to stop the Aussie juggernaut. The two teams had met in the 1996 finals where the Lankans had defeated the Aussies for their maiden World Cup title. Australia team: M L Hayden, A C Gilchrist, R T Ponting, M J Clarke, A Symonds, M E K Hussey, S R Watson, G B Hogg, S W Tait, G D McGrath, N W Bracken Sri Lanka team: S T Jayasuriya, W U Tharanga, K C Sangakkara, D P M D Jayawardene, L P C Silva, T M Dilshan, R P Arnold, W P U J C Vaas, C R D Fernando, S L Malinga, M Muralitharan
World Cup Final, Barbados: Australia 281 for 4 (38.0 overs) beat Sri Lanka 215 for 8 (36.0 overs) by 53 runs (D/L)
Australia vs Sri Lanka Final The Finals on Sat 28 April at Kensington Oval, Barbados is the last match of the ninth World Cup, with Australia seeking an unprecedented third successive title following title wins in 1999 and 2003.
Australia are unbeaten in their last 28 World Cup matches, including 21 wins under Ponting's captaincy. Sri Lanka was the last team to win the title before Australia, in 1996, beating the Aussies in the final. Australia also won the title in 1987. Echoing the popular sentiments in the streets, Times of India noted "billions of fans from Kingston to Karachi and Manchester to Mumbai who support their own teams or anyone that plays against Australia" would be delighted if Pontings' boys lose.


Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.