SK Flashback: All-round Aravinda de Silva wins the World Cup for Sri Lanka
Who is the greatest Sri Lankan batsman of all time? If this is a trivia question, the correct answer in all likelihood will be Kumar Sangakkara. The second best batsman? Perhaps Mahela Jayawardene. But if you ask this question to cricket romantics from the 90s, there can only be one answer, without the slightest of doubt – Aravinda de Silva.
The impact on the fortunes of Sri Lanka and the indelible imprint on the minds of fans that he has left is unparalleled. De Silva gave us fans numerous moments of brilliance to rejoice in, but his crowning glory came in 1996 in the World Cup on March 17, when his outstanding all-round show helped Sri Lanka become world champions for the first time.
Let’s rewind the clock and take a look back at that historic day for Sri Lankan cricket, and how Aravinda became a hero forever:
#5 Taylor and Ponting guide the Aussie innings:
Put into bat after losing the toss, Australia lost their star batsman and the man in supreme form in the World cup, Mark Waugh, quite early with the score reading only 36. Left-arm pacer Chaminda Vaas got him out caught by eventual Man of the Tournament, Sanath Jayasuriya.
A young Ricky Ponting then joined his captain out in the middle and together they set about building a strong platform from where the lower middle order could launch an attack later. They added 101 for the second wicket before Mark Taylor was dismissed for 74 off only 83 balls in which was one of the best innings of his one day career.
Ponting was relatively sedated in the partnership and hit just 2 fours in his 45, but ensured his captain got most of the strike and kept the run rate moving.