Australia in the absence of their Skipper Ricky Ponting put on their most ruthless performance to beat Sri Lanka and enter the Semi-Finals. Led by Adam Gilchrist, Australia had this crucial encounter at Cape Town in their pocket within minutes of the start of the match when Sri Lanka went into a shocking position of 43 for 7! What was expected to be a hard-fought semis decider turned out to be a disastrous one with Sri Lanka posting just 101. The Aussies knocked off the tiny target without losing a wicket in 10.2 overs.
The toss rolled in Gilchrist’s favour which gave him the opportunity to put the opposition to bat first. Shane Watson replaced Ricky Ponting who has been ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury. Sri Lanka once again lost their big star Sanath Jayasuriya very early and this game lost him in the third ball itself to Brett Lee for a duck. Nathan Bracken provided a wicket at the other end that of Upul Tharanga and from then there was no looking back for the Australian fast bowlers. Stuart Clark joined the party too with a wicket off his first over. The match was as good as over with Sri Lanka’s batting backbone falling down very quickly. Sri Lanka did get past the three figures largely due to useful twenties scored by Jehan Mubarak and Chaminda Vaas. Stuart Clark was the chief destroyer with 4 for 20 while Lee and Bracken got two wickets each. Clark was given the Man of the Match award.
Gilchrist and Hayden hammered the unchallenging target in just under 45 minutes to complete the formalities. Hayden added up 58 in 38 balls with 7 fours and two sixes to stay as the leading run scorer in this tournament. Gilchrist worked his way to a 25-ball 31 that had 4 fours.