Sanath Jayasuriya beats Sri Lanka to win, Manoj Prabhakar retires

Sanath Jayasuriya beats Sri Lanka to win, Manoj Prabhakar retires

Watch: At a 1996 World Cup match in Delhi, Sanath Jayasuriya he batted a 79 off 76 balls to help Sri Lanka chase down easily for 272 and end Manoj Prabhakar’s international career.

Before the 1996 World Cup, Indian fans had heard of Sri Lanka turning the batting order upside down in ODIs, using the explosive Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana at the top and an opener, Roshan Mahanama, at the bottom of the order . They had seen them on television.

But they weren’t particularly concerned once Sachin Tendulkar’s 137 and Mohammad Azharuddin’s 72 took India to 271-3. That was a reasonably large total in 1996.

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It took Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana three overs to leave the crowd at Feroz Shah Kotla in shock. Prabhakar the local man had bowled first after the retirement of Kapil Dev. His first two overs went for 33. “He could finish in 15 overs,” Tony Greig joked on the air.

Hitting of that order became common in the Twenty20 era, but by 1996 they were virtually unheard of.

Anil Kumble took a great catch to dismiss Kaluwitharana but Jayasuriya marched on. He took his time, as India had four specialist bowlers and Jayasuriya had already knocked one out of the attack.

Eventually he fell for a 79 off 76 balls. India probably smelled a chance at 141-4. After the catch, Kumble eliminated Asanka Gurusinha and sacked both Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva.

But the promotion of Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana had led to Arjuna Ranatunga and Hashan Tillakaratne joining, followed by Mahanama and the bowlers. Sri Lanka did not lose another wicket as Ranatunga and Tillakaratne negotiated the rotation of Kumble and Tendulkar well.

During the chase, Prabhakar made another attempt, with his breaks amid loud boos from the local crowd. He finished with 4-0-47-0 and never played international cricket again. However, he captured Jayasuriya that day.

Watch Sanath Jayasuriya’s assault here:


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