Having gone through the tournament unbeaten, Australia saved their most complete performance of the 2003 World Cup for the final in Johannesburg.
Sent in to bat by India skipper Sourav Ganguly, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden provided a lightning start before captain Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn combined for a record partnership that all but secured Australia's third World Cup title.
Ponting took 74 balls to reach his half-century, hitting just one boundary, before he unleashed an extraordinary attack in the final overs.
The skipper launched consecutive sixes off Harbhajan Singh in the 39th over before peeling off another six maximums in an impressive display of power hitting.
He finished unbeaten on 140, with his second 90 runs coming from just 47 balls, while Martyn overcame a broken finger to finish on 88 not out from 84 deliveries.
Ponting acknowledges the crowd after bringing up a brilliant ton // Getty Images
“Ricky Ponting probably (played) one of the finest innings in World Cup history given the situation,” former Australia coach John Buchanan said recently.
“You’d go a long way to find better.
“As captain … leading by the front and leading by example, taking the attack, both to the spin and the quick bowlers of India … at the end of a long tournament. Probably hard to go past that one.”
Their unbeaten stand of 234, which included 55 from the last four overs of the innings, remains a World Cup final record.
India's faint hope of victory seemingly evaporated in the very first over of their run chase, when Glenn McGrath removed Sachin Tendulkar for just 4.
Tendulkar departs in the 2003 final // Getty Images
A brilliant bowling display and some outstanding fielding eventually secured the win by 125 runs and Ponting celebrated the second of his three World Cup triumphs.
Buchanan – who has the highest winning percentage of matches of any coach in both Test and ODI formats – said his entire squad played a part in the tournament victory.
“One of the reasons why you win tournaments is the depth of the group that you have … everybody works together to achieve an end point … it was a good group and we achieved some special things,” Buchanan said.
Winners // Getty Images