November 5, 2006 would go down as one of the greatest days in the history of Australian men's cricket as the side defeated West Indies in a one-sided final to win their first-ever ICC Champions Trophy. Australia, who were three-time ICC Cricket World Cup winners prior to the tournament, finally collected the one trophy missing from their illustrious cabinet and asserted their authority as the sport's most dominant side in the 2000s.
In spite of winning the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 in South Africa, the Australian team lost to England in the semi-final of the 2004 Champions Trophy in Birmingham. At the time of the 2006 tournament, Australia were ranked number 1 in both Tests and ODIs according to the ICC rankings. Australia began their campaign with a defeat to the West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Australia, however, bounced back with victories against arch-rivals England and India. Right-handed batsman Damien Martyn played match-winning innings in both the games and was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ on both occasions. Australia then faced Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the semi-final, defeating them by 34 runs.
The Ricky Ponting-led team dismissed West Indies for just 138 in 30.4 overs. Due to unseasonal rain in the evening, Australia’s target was revised to 116 from 35 overs. The run-chase began badly for the Australians as they were 13-2 after four overs. However, a 103-run partnership between Shane Watson and Damien Martyn ensured the target was reached without further damage. Watson scored an unbeaten 57 from 88 balls while Martyn continued his rich vein of form with another crucial knock. Australia went on to win the final by 8 wickets and clinched their first-ever ICC Champions Trophy.