World Cup flashback: Brian Lara's rescue act in Newlands in 2003
Brian Lara walked in with West Indies struggling at 4-1 in five overs. He was dropped by Jacques Kallis at second slip off Ntini in the next over. By the seventh over, it was 7-2.
Brian Lara started the 2003 World Cup in Southern Africa the way he, his team and his fans wanted him to - with a spectacular hundred against a top South Africa attack comprising Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini and Lance Klusener.
Lara walked in with West Indies struggling at 4-1 in five overs. He was dropped by Jacques Kallis at second slip off Ntini in the next over. By the seventh over, it was 7-2.
But there was no looking back for Lara as the West Indies legend played shots all over the Newlands ground for a fine 116 as his side totalled 278-5 in 50 overs. Lara shared a 102-run stand for the third wicket with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (34) and 89 with Carl Hooper (40) for the fourth wicket. His 134-ball innings was laced with 12 boundaries and two sixes. South Africa, who were docked an over for slow over-rate, fell short by just three runs, managing 275-9 in 49 overs. As expected, Lara was adjudged man of the match.
Australia's 2011 World Cup skipper Ricky Ponting
Australia hold the record for being undefeated in most consecutive matches - 34 - across four editions (1999 to 2011). There were 32 wins, one tie and one no-result. Pakistan beat Ricky Ponting's men by four wickets in Colombo to break Australia's winning streak in 2011.
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Sanjay Bangar will now undertake his second ICC World Cup as part of India's support staff. He was batting coach in 2015 before he got promoted to assistant coach. Interestingly, Bangar was picked in Sourav Ganguly's 2003 World Cup squad, but couldn't force his way into the playing XI. Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel too did not find a place in the XI in Southern Africa.
Man to watch
Team India and its fans will not forget Fakhar Zaman in a hurry since the opener single-handedly steered Pakistan to victory over India in the 2017 Champions Trophy final at The Oval. The southpaw has gone from strength-to-strength and entered the record books by becoming the fastest to reach 1000 runs in ODIs [18 innings in 2018]. Though Fakhar struggled a bit in the initial part of the recent ODI series in South Africa, he scored 70 in the final match, much to the delight of the Pakistan team management.
With the World Cup being conducted in the same region as the Champions Trophy, expectations will be high for Fakhar to deliver again and help Pakistan win their second World Cup. Pakistan would also be hoping to register their first-ever World Cup win over India.
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