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Hosts versus champions
The very first match of the Super 8 stage will be between the hosts West Indies and the defending champions Australia. Over the nine editions of the championships, which have witnessed as many as 276 matches over the last 32 years, there have been only five such contests between the hosts and the defending champions. Result-wise, the host nations have emerged triumphant thrice and champions twice. What’s in store for the two teams now in the forthcoming tussle?

Details of the host country playing against the defending champions in their own backyard in the World Cup over the years:
Year Venue Host country Defending champions Result
1979 Lord’s England (194/51) West Indies (*286-9/50) WI – 92 runs
1992 Auckland New Zealand (*248-6/50) Australia (211/48.1) NZ – 37 runs
1996 Bangalore India (*287-8/50) Pakistan (248-9/49) Ind – 39 runs
1999 Lord’s England (207-2/46.5) Sri Lanka (*204/48.4) Eng – 8 wkts
2003 Bulawayo Zimbabwe (*246-9/50) Australia (248-3/47.3) Aust – 7 wkts

Summary: Matches – 5 , Won by the hosts – 3 , Won by the champions – 2 * denotes batted first

By Anant Gaundalkar

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