Winner: Pakistan

Singer Champions Trophy, 1996-97

Pakistan won their ninth trophy in 20 limited-overs tournaments at Sharjah, a return to form after three barren visits. It looked as if New Zealand would keep them out when they dismissed Pakistan for 160 in the final, but captain Wasim Akram led the fightback and New Zealand collapsed for 119.

Pakistan had also made a bad start to their qualifying matches, when Sri Lanka bowled them out in 36 overs, but won their remaining three games, with Saeed Anwar scoring two unbeaten centuries and a fifty. He averaged 92.66 during the tournament - six of his 11 one-day centuries have come at Sharjah. Waqar Younis was named Man of the Series, however, for his 13 wickets at 11.76.

There was considerable confusion about who should join Pakistan in the final when New Zealand and Sri Lanka finished level on three points. Referee Mike Smith, of England, initially announced that Sri Lanka should go through on their superior net run-rate, a decision which ICC chief executive David Richards appeared to confirm. But New Zealand officials pointed out ICC One-Day International Regulation 11.1, introduced before the 1996 World Cup. This said that, when teams finished on equal points with equal wins, the team which won the preliminary matches between them should be higher placed, with net run-rate coming into play only if they could not be separated by this method. New Zealand had won their first match with Sri Lanka and tied the second, and it was eventually agreed that they should qualify. It was an encouraging beginning for their new coach, Steve Rixon, but a disappointing end for his opposite number and fellow-Australian Dav Whatmore, who was about to leave the Sri Lankan team to coach Lancashire.

Pakistan won $US30,000 dollars with the trophy and New Zealand took $US15,000. The Cricketers' Benefit Fund paid out $US35,000 each to Pakistan Test players Talat Ali, Sadiq Mohammad and Ijaz Ahmed. Crowds were mostly disappointing, except for the final.

Match reports for

1st Match: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Sharjah, Nov 7, 1996
Report | Scorecard

2nd Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Sharjah, Nov 8, 1996
Report | Scorecard

3rd Match: New Zealand v Pakistan at Sharjah, Nov 10, 1996
Report | Scorecard

4th Match: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Sharjah, Nov 11, 1996
Report | Scorecard

5th Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Sharjah, Nov 12, 1996
Report | Scorecard

6th Match: New Zealand v Pakistan at Sharjah, Nov 13, 1996
Report | Scorecard

Final: New Zealand v Pakistan at Sharjah, Nov 15, 1996
Report | Scorecard

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