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Australia after the hat-trick

Australia after the hat-trick

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Australia will be seeking to be the first team to record a hat trick of titles in cricket world cup when they meet Sri Lanka tomorrow in the final at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The ruthless Aussies have not lost a world cup fixture since their defeat by Sri Lanka in the 1996 final.{{more}}

The world champions formalised their final berth on Wednesday with another clinical disposal of South Africa at the Beauseujour Stadium in St.Lucia, to stretch their consecutive wins in world cup matches to 28.

Chasing 150 for victory, the Australians got home by 7 wickets, with 18.3 overs to spare.

But their victory was set up when their bowling fire power led by the wily Glenn Mc Grath and the speedy Shaun Taitt had demolished the South African top order.

Mc Grath took 3 for 18 and Taitt 4 for 19, as South Africa folded for 149 in the 50th over. Only Justin Kemp with 49 not out and Herschelle Gibbs 39 had any resistance for the Australians efficiency.

Michael Clarke 60 not out Matthew Hayden 41 saw Australia over the small hump helped by some poor batting display by the South Africans.

Sri Lanka’s win over New Zealand the previous day at the Sabina Park in Jamaica was more workman like.

After a slow start, the Sri Lankans accelerated in the middle thanks to a well crafted century by their captain Jayawardene. Batting at number four, he struck 115, laced by ten fours and three sixes, as Sri Lanka plotted 289 for 5 off their 50 overs.

Tharanga had earlier hit 73 at the top of the order, punctuated by nine fours and a six. James Franklin with 2 for 46 was New Zealand’s top performer with 2 for 46, as the other bowlers were put to the sword.

New Zealand were dismissed for 208 as Muralitharan relished the conditions taking 4 for 31, Dilshan 2 for 22 and Jayasuriya 2 for 57, ensured that Sri Lanka reached their second world cup final.

In their previous world cup outings shows a 5-1 win-loss record in favour of the Australians, with the most recent being in the Super Eights of the present world cup.

The juggernauts of the competition , no one has tested them thus far and tomorrow’s title decider can be won off the field more than on it, as tactics and team selection could be the key.

The winner of cricket most prestigious tournament will take away US$2.24 million, with the runner up earning one million.