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Pakistan triumphed under their acting-captain, Aamir Sohail, at the latest venue for official international cricket. The picturesque Padang in Singapore had a dramatic debut, with a spate of records being broken, mostly by Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka. He plundered the fastest century in one-day internationals, with a record 11 sixes, in the opening game, and the fastest fifty in the final. There was some speculation that the boundaries were too short for the games to be recorded as official internationals but ICC received assurances that minimum standards were met.
Only two strips were available; they lost pace after just a day's use and this led to huge fluctuations in the scoring-rate. The fortunes of the three teams, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, fluctuated too, and the finalists had to be selected on net run-rate. That eliminated India, to the disappointment of the home crowds, which were dominated by expatriate Indians; during the India-Pakistan game, the temporary stand for 5,000 failed to meet the demand, though attendances on other days were thin.
The final was a low-scoring game - Pakistan and Sri Lanka scored a combined 387, after a record 664 in their previous encounter - and the Pakistanis surprised the World Cup champions by crushing them after Jayasuriya took them to 96 for one in the ninth over. As well as winning $US30,000, Pakistan revived their morale and Sohail's reputation. Both had been damaged by the traumatic defeat in the World Cup quarter-final against India, when Sohail began his brief stint deputising as captain for the injured Wasim Akram.
Match reports for
1st Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Singapore, Apr 1, 1996
1st Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Singapore, Apr 2, 1996
2nd Match: India v Sri Lanka at Singapore, Apr 3, 1996
3rd Match: India v Pakistan at Singapore, Apr 5, 1996
Final: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Singapore, Apr 7, 1996