Sri Lanka won the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 1996 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Pakistan.
Dates: 14 February to 17 March 1996
Location: India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Number of teams: 12 – the United Arab Emirates, Kenya and the Netherlands, who qualified through the 1994 ICC Trophy, were the three new additions apart from the nine Tests nations.
Overs per innings: 50
Number of matches: 37
Format: Teams were divided into two groups of six each, with each team in a group playing the five others. The top four progressed to the quarter-finals, the winners of which reached the semi-finals.
Semi-finals: The first semi-final at the Eden Gardens between India and Sri Lanka was a rather controversial affair, with Sri Lanka winning by default. Chasing Sri Lanka's 251/8, the only notable contribution for India came from Sachin Tendulkar, who made an 88-ball 65. Losing regular wickets, they slumped to 120/8 in 34.1 overs before the home crowd made its displeasure known, throwing items onto the outfield. The players left the field for almost 20 minutes and the game was eventually awarded to Sri Lanka, making it the first default ever in international cricket.
In Mohali, West Indies lost from a position of strength. From being 15/4 at one point, Australia set a target of 208, thanks to half-centuries from Stuart Law and Michael Bevan. The West Indies were well on track at 165/2 in the 42nd over, before Shane Warne happened. He took 4/36 as Richie Richardson's men were bundled out for 202.
Final: Australia went in as favorites, but all-round brilliance from Aravinda de Silva led Sri Lanka to their first World Cup title. His 3/42 helped restrict Australia to 241/7, triggering a collapse from 137/1, getting both set batsmen in Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting out.
Then, he went on to score a World Cup-winning 107*, staying cool despite losing Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana early. He found able partners in Asanka Gurusinha, who took on Warne, and Arjuna Ranatunga, who showed flourish at the finish, as Sri Lanka won by seven wickets.
Top run-scorer: Sachin Tendulkar – 523 runs
Top wicket-taker: Anil Kumble – 15 wickets
Player of the Series: Sanath Jayasuriya
Retirements: Richie Richardson, Javed Miandad, Robin Smith
World Cup song: Chokra
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