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World Cup Final: Star-War on Saturday
Venkatesan Iyengar | 26 Apr 2007

While Sri Lankans stormed into the finals of World Cup 2007 by thrashing the Kiwis, South Africa could not break the semi-final jinx and paved the way for Aussies to the finals.

On one side, you have the immensely talented Sri Lankans who scored a commanding 81-run victory over the fancied Kiwis in the first semifinal. On the other, you have the formidable Aussies who demolished the Proteas with a 7-wicket win in the second semifinal.

Australia vs. Sri Lanka. The top two teams in the Super Eight: 1 vs. 2.

You can’t think of a better script to the Final showdown than this. You can’t assemble a better and worthier cast for the grand finale to the 47-day affair than this.

Australia vs. Sri Lanka – the two best sides in the cricketing world, with a rich blend of experience and youthful vigour.

Can Hayden and Gilchrist provide the Australian team a rollercoaster start? Can Jayasuriya and Tharanga do it for the Sri Lankan side? Will the Sri Lankans find Tait too hot to handle? Can Malinga unsettle the Aussie batting lineup with his sling action and pace? Will Murali make all the difference between the two teams?

McGrath’s precision versus Vaas’; Gilchrist’s flamboyance versus Sangakara’s; Muali’s wiles and guiles versus Hogg’s enthusiasm; Ponting’s batting and captaincy skills versus Jayawardene’s.

Will it be a repeat of the 1996 final when Sri Lanka made light work of the redoubtable Australian side? Or, will the Sri Lankans go “Down Under” this time to the awesome Aussies who have not lost a World Cup match since May 23, 1999?

One thing is for sure: we are in for a sumptuous feast of cricketing action on Saturday.