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PAST FINALS - 1996 (Lahore)

Aravinda de Silva acknowledges the crowd
Open quote Frankly, I felt that a second round berth was our target
Close Quote
Sri Lanka batsman,
Hashan Tillakaratne

Australia v Sri Lanka
Date: 17 March 1996
Result: Sri Lanka won by seven wickets
Australia: 241 for seven (50 overs)
Sri Lanka: 244 for three (46.2 overs)

Man of the match:
Aravinda De Silva

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Sri Lanka initiated a watershed in one-day cricket at the 1996 World Cup that took them all the way to an unexpected victory.

With Sanath Jayasuriya playing some of the best cricket of his career at the top of the order, their plan was to go on an all out attack in the opening 15 overs and build on that start.

Everything had gone according to plan in the run-up to the final, but come that match it looked as if things may be going awry.

Arjuna Ranatunga won the toss and put Australia in. The previous five finals had all been won by the team batting first.

And with Mark Taylor leading from the front Australia reached 137 for one by the 27th over before attacking fielding and tight bowling stifled Australia's efforts, limiting the favourites to a score of 241.

However, with Sri Lanka's openers back in the pavilion with only 23 runs on the board that target seemed far more foreboding - until Aravinda de Silva got going.

After taking three wickets, he scored an unbeaten century and found able support from Asanka Gurusinha and Ranatunga, the skipper scoring the winning runs to seal a sensational win.

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