Top ten performances in Cricket World Cup finals



The ICC Cricket World Cup Final is the biggest stage there is and these are the performances that have become cricket folklore, proved the difference between ecstasy and agony, and given these legends a prominent place in cricketing history.

ICC brings back the memories of the 10 men, who have been named Man of the Match in a World Cup final.

1975: Clive Lloyd, West Indies (102 runs)


It was the first World Cup and the one-day format was a relatively new concept.

The World’s two strongest teams – West Indies and Australia – advanced to the final, with West Indies starting the favourite having beaten Australia by seven wickets during the group stage.

Sent in to bat, West Indies were soon struggling at 50 for 3. Clive Lloyd changed that. Lloyd gave an exhibition of explosive hitting, scoring 102 runs in a knock that included 12 fours and two sixes, helping set Australia a target of 292. Most impressively it was scored at a staggering rate for the time, off just 85 balls to change the course of the final.

Australia fell 18 runs short from the target, handing West Indies the inaugural World Cup.

1979: Viv Richards, West Indies (138 not out)

In the second Cricket World Cup final, defending champions West Indies were up against England at Lord’s.

England won the toss and sent West Indies into bat. Disaster quickly struck for the defending champions, who lost the wickets of Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Alvin Kallicharan and Clive Lloyd to be in serious trouble at 4-99.

That was before Viv Richards steadied the ship, scoring 138 from 157 balls and combining with Collis King (86 runs) to help their team to an imposing total of 286.

England started well in reply but it all fell apart for the host nation when they lost 8-11, losing by 92 runs.

1983: Mohinder Amarnath, India (3-12 and 26 runs)

West Indies were aiming for a third consecutive Cricket World Cup when they took on India at Lord’s.

Sent in to bat, India struggled against the powerful West Indies bowling attack and were dismissed for 183, with only Mohinder Amarnath (26) and Kris Srikkanth (38) in the runs.

West Indies looked destined for victory, but the game turned on its head when the India bowling attack took advantage of the pitch and weather conditions to tear through the defending champion’s batsmen, dismissing them for 140.

Amarnath (3-12) and Madan Lal (3–31) each took three wickets, with the former’s combined performance with both bat and ball earning him the man-of-the-match title.

1987: David Boon, Australia (75 runs)

More than 70,000 people packed into Eden Gardens for the final of the 1987 World Cup. India had been knocked out of the tournament by England in the semi-final a few days earlier and as a result, the crowd was heartily backing Australia in the big dance.

David Boon had headed into the match in good form having scored 372 runs in seven matches prior to the final.

Opening the batting alongside Geoff Marsh, Boon scored 75 runs and combined in two significant partnerships with Marsh and Dean Jones to set the tone for the Australian innings.

Australia finished at 5-253 and England, despite a good start, was unable to reach the total, finishing seven runs short.

1992: Wasim Akram, Pakistan (33 and 3-49)

England hoped to make up for the heartbreak of losing the 1987 final when they met Pakistan at the MCG in 1992.

They also headed in favourites, having bowled Pakistan out for 74 earlier in the tournament.

The final started in a similar fashion when Derek Pringle dismissed both Pakistani openers at 24, but Pakistan recovered to score 6-249 and Khan top-scored with 72.

Javed Miandad scored 58, while Inzamam-ul-Haq (42) and Wasim Akram (33) also chipped in.

Ian Botham was then dismissed for a duck by Wasim Akram, who also snared two other wickets as England was dismissed for 227.

Akram finished with 3-49 and was rightly named man of the match.

1996: Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lanka (107 not out and 3-42)

For the first time, the World Cup final was placed at Gaddafi Stadium in Pakistan and more than 62,000 people turned out to watch Sri Lanka play favourites Australia.

Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga won the toss and sent Australia in to bat.

Captain Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting ensured a solid start for the Aussies, but the 1987 champions fell apart when the pair was dismissed, falling to 5–170.

Australia finished with 7–241 and Sri Lanka looked in trouble early after losing both openers.

That was before Aravinda De Silva changed everything as he scored a match-winning 107*, supported by Asanka Gurusingha (65) and Ranatunga (47 not out), as Sri Lanka won by seven wickets.

1999: Shane Warne, Australia (4-33)

The World Cup final returned to Lord’s in 1999 and Australia was aiming to make amends for 1996 when they played Pakistan.

Pakistan won the toss and batted but that was as good as the news got for them that day. No batsman scored above 25 as Pakistan was dismissed for 132, with Shane Warne capturing a match-winning 4-33.

Australia’s top order saw them team over the line in 20.1 overs, with Adam Gilchrist top scoring with 54.

2003: Ricky Ponting, Australia (140 not out)

A second-straight World Cup title was on the line when Australia met India at Wanderers Stadium in 2003.

India sent Australia in to bat and the defending champions got off to a flying start, with Adam Gilchrist scoring 57 from 48 balls.

Captain Ricky Ponting was the standout, with 140 from 121 balls, and Damien Martyn (88) provided valuable support as Australia scored a massive 359.

India’s run chase faltered in the first over when Sachin Tendulkar was caught out, and they never recovered, bowled out for 234, giving Australia an emphatic 125-run victory.

2007: Adam Gilchrist, Australia (149 runs)

It was 2007, the scene was Barbados, and Australia were aiming to win their third straight World Cup.

Rain shortened the match to 38 overs per side and batting first Australia needed a strong start from openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden.

The two batting legends provided, with Gilchrist smashing a memorable 149 off 104 balls in a 172-run partnership.

Gilchrist took just 72 balls to reach his century and Australia finished on 4-281.


That target was reduced to 269 off 36 overs after further rain, but Sri Lanka was unable to chase down the Australian score, finishing on 8-215 to hand Australia a 53-run win and a third-successive World Cup trophy.

Gilchrist’s knock rightly went down as one of the best of his 287-match ODI career.

2011: MS Dhoni, India (91 not out)

India went into the 2011 final looking to break a 28-year World Cup draught, while Sri Lanka hoped to make amends for losing the 2007 final.

In front of a packed Wankhede Stadium with billions watching, Sri Lanka had the better start, winning the toss and batting.

Sri Lanka scored 6-274 thanks to a century from Mahela Jayawardene and when India opener Virender Sehwag fell for a duck, India appeared to be in trouble.

Their position was not much better at 4-113 after Virat Kohli was caught, but that was before a determined MS Dhoni strode to the crease.

The skipper started in a sedate fashion, without a boundary in his first 10 overs at the crease, but stepped up when the equation become 27 runs required from 24 balls.

Three Dhoni boundaries slashed the deficit to five runs from 12 balls and in a fairy-tale finish, the captain smashed a six to seal the championship.