Melbourne, January 10:
The outcome was far more important than the result when the worldâ€™s top cricketers combined in a charity match that raised almost $11.4 million for the tsunami relief fund.
Ricky Pontingâ€™s World XI beat an Asian XI by 112 runs in front of 70,101 fans at MCG in a limited-overs match. Including funds from ticket sales, sponsorship and a telephone appeal held concurrently with the match, cricket administrators gave World Vision Australia $11.1 million. Tim Costello, head of World Vision Australia, said he was â€œabsolutely blown awayâ€ by the cricket contribution.
Ponting stroked 115, New Zealandâ€™s Chris Cairns scored 69 off 47 balls and West Indian Brian Lara hit 52 as the World XI reached 344 for eight against an Asian attack featuring Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan and Indiaâ€™s Anil Kumble. Muralitharan was the best with 3-59 in 10 overs. Shane Warne took a wicket with his second ball to remove Virender Sehwag (45) and finished with 2-27. Indiaâ€™s Rahul Dravid topscored for the Asian lineup with an unbeaten 75 in a total of 232. New Zealandâ€™s Daniel Vettori dismissed Ganguly (22) and added two other wickets to return 3-58.