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Andrew Symonds two World Cups

Andrew Symonds: A tale of two World Cups

Australia news

By Jonathan Healy

Quite often, how we judge a player can come down to how well they perform on the big stage in crucial matches and, if that is the criteria, then Andrew Symonds can consider himself a true star of the game.

While Symonds' overall record reads superbly on its own accord, his performances at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups indicate just how well the big Queenslander managed to turn it on when his team needed him most and the entire world was watching on in earnest.

During Australia's unbeaten run at the two 50-over World Cups, Symonds played a total of 18 matches and averaged more than 100 with the bat through a total of 13 innings.

Such was the dominance of Australia's top-order, Symonds was often not even required with the bat or was merely utilised to score quick runs at the tail end of an innings.

But he was adaptable depending on the situation of the game, arguably just as adept at playing the patient game and seeing off the dangerous bowlers as he was at striking quick runs.

When required Symonds could score extremely quickly, often showcasing his skills at the backend of an innings to help his side post a big total, or even chase down a formidable target.

Andrew Symonds’ overall World Cup record:

18 matches
13 innings
515 runs
103.00 average
93.29 strike rate

If we take a look through a list of his innings at the two World Cups, we can see just how much of a valuable member he was of the formidable Australian team.

Video cwc19 31 Mar 19
CWC Greatest Moments - Symonds to the rescue in 2003

2003 World Cup in South Africa (326 runs from five innings with a batting average of 163)

143* v Pakistan in Johannesburg
59 v Namibia in Potchefstroom
0 v England in Gqeberha
33* v Kenya in Durban
91* v Sri Lanka in Gqeberha

Symonds' unbeaten 143 against Pakistan in Australia's tournament opener was arguably his best innings of all time as it really set the tone for what lay ahead.

Australia were in deep trouble when the burly all-rounder came to the crease at 86/4, but Symonds played a superb individual knock against a world class attack that included Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis to put the game beyond a star-studded Pakistan side.

Symonds also pulled down a superb diving catch to help obtain the key wicket of Mohammad Yousuf in reply and was duly awarded the Player of the Match award for his efforts.

His knock in the cut-throat semi-final against Sri Lanka was just as important, with Symonds once again coming to the crease with Australia in a spot of bother at 51/3 following the dismissal of good mate Matthew Hayden.

Seamer Chaminda Vaas had his tail up with the key wickets of Ricky Ponting and Hayden and Sri Lanka were keen for more, but Symonds batted intelligently to help Australia post a competitive score of 212/7.

Symonds then held on a tricky catch to help dismiss the dangerous Sanath Jayasuriya in reply as Australia moved into the final courtesy of the Duckworth-Lewis victory.

Andrew Symonds, Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee celebrate after a victory over Sri Lanka in the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup
Andrew Symonds, Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee celebrate after a victory over Sri Lanka in the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup

2007 World Cup in West Indies (189 runs from eight innings at a strike-rate of 98.43)

18 v South Africa in Basseterre
13 v West Indies in North Sound
28* v England in North Sound
15* v Ireland in Bridgetown
63* v Sri Lanka in St George's
11 v New Zealand in St George's
18* v South Africa in Gros Islet
23* v Sri Lanka in Bridgetown

While Symonds' 2007 tournament may have lacked the big individual highlights that featured four years earlier, his efforts in the Caribbean proved the all-rounder now played with more consistency.

A more mature Symonds kept his cool with a valuable 28* to ensure Australia successfully chased down England's total in a crucial Super Eights contest in North Sound, before the right-hander teamed up with Ponting to score an unbeaten half-century and defeat Sri Lanka in the same stage of the tournament.

Symonds once again performed similar roles in the crucial knockout stages of the tournament against South Africa and Sri Lanka, with the all-rounder even making a contribution with the ball to pick up the final wicket of the final as the celebrations began for Australia.

Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke celebrate the 2007 World Cup triumph
Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke celebrate the 2007 World Cup triumph

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