The 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup Final was the sixth installment of the ICC Cricket World Cup since its inception in 1975 in England. The match was played on 17 March 1996 at Lahore’s 62,645 capacity Gaddafi Stadium in Pakistan for the first time.
The match was contested between former World Cup winners Australia and underdog Sri Lanka. It was Australia’s 3rd World Cup final appearance after their win in the 1987 edition and the loss to West Indies in the 1975 ICC Cricket World Cup final.
Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga won the toss and sent Australia out to bat. After a blazing start from captain Mark Taylor and young superstar and future captain Ricky Ponting, Australia fell from being 1–137 to 5–170 after which Sri Lanka’s 4 prong spin attack took its toll. After Australia limped to 7–241 in its quota of 50 overs, Sri Lanka overcame a nervous start where they lost both openers before the score was 30, to win in 45 overs.
Sri Lankan batting sensation Aravinda De Silva played a match-winning knock of 107 not out and was assisted ably by fellow veterans Asanka Gurusingha (65) and captain Ranatunga (47 not out). De Silva was named man of the match after he had taken 3–42 in his 10 overs eairlier in the Australian innings as well & Sanath Jayasuriya got man of the series award.