De Silva's brilliance trumps Australia: 1996 World Cup stats and records
- Sri Lanka scripted history by defeating tournament favorites Australia in the final at Lahore.
The International Cricket Council staged the sixth edition of the World Cup, officially called the Wills World Cup, in 1996. The tournament was played from 14th February to 17th March 1996 in India, Pakistan and first-time hosts Sri Lanka.
A total of 12 teams participated in this mega event where Kenya, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates made their World Cup debut along with nine Test-playing nations. All the teams were divided into two groups of six each, and the top four progressed to the knockout stage.
Hosts India and Sri Lanka met in the first semifinal at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. A match which offered so much anticipation and excitement ended in a controversial manner as Sri Lanka were awarded the game by default.
Batting first, Sri Lanka posted 251/8 courtesy a splendid 66-run knock by Aravinda de Silva under pressure. The Indian team struggled during the chase and soon slumped to 120/8 in spite of a valiant effort 65 by the little master, Sachin Tendulkar. That prompted the disappointed crowd to hurl objects on to the ground, causing the umpires to abandon the match and award Sri Lanka the win.
Australia emerged victorious in the second semi-final to join Sri Lanka, beating West Indies by five runs.
Sri Lanka scripted history by defeating tournament favorites Australia in the final at Lahore. De Silva’s all-round heroics made the difference. He first starred with the ball, taking three wickets in the first innings to restrict the Kangaroos to 241/7, and followed that by an unbeaten knock of 107 to take the Asian outfit over the line.
Although India failed to make it into the finals, two Indian players topped the charts for most runs and wickets. Tendulkar scored 523 runs in the tournament at an average of 85.87, with two centuries and three fifties. And Anil Kumble emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup with a tally of 15 wickets in 7 games. Both played a crucial part in a strong campaign, but couldn’t prevent India’s downfall in the semis.
1992 World Cup Records
Most Runs: Sachin Tendulkar (IND) – 523 Runs
Highest Score: Gary Kirsten (SA) – 188* vs UAE
Most Centuries: Mark Waugh (AUS) – 3
Most Fifties: Sachin Tendulkar (IND) – 5
Highest Average: Arjuna Ranatunga (SL) – 120.50
Highest Strike-Rate: Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) – 131.54
Most Wickets: Anil Kumble (IND) – 15
Best Bowling Figures: Paul Strang (ZIM) - 9.1-1-21-4
Best Average: Paul Strang (ZIM) – 16.00
Best Economy Rate: Brian McMillan (SA) – 2.95
Most 5-Wicket Hauls: Paul Strang (ZIM) - 1
Most Catches: Anil Kumble (IND) – 8