This tournament in Sri Lanka in August 1999 saw the first one-day international cricket since the end of the World Cup in England, two months earlier. At first, the Aiwa Cup looked as if it would have the same winner: Steve Waugh's Australians, who won all four qualifying matches. Instead, Sri Lanka completed a hat-trick in one-day finals against Australia, which had begun with their greatest triumph, the World Cup of 1996, and continued in the Singer World Series later that year. Those victories had come under the leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga, but he had been sacked and banished from the team, along with vice-captain Aravinda de Silva, after the wretched 1999 World Cup campaign. The tournament provided the first success for the new captain, Sanath Jayasuriya - he was their leading player, too, with 169 runs and eight wickets - and an encouraging return as coach for Dav Whatmore.
The third participants were India, who had also sacked and dropped their captain since the World Cup: Sachin Tendulkar now replaced Mohammad Azharuddin for his second spell in charge. He had a less happy tournament, however, despite scoring its only century. A back injury forced him to sit out India's second match against Australia, when his team went down to their third successive defeat, and while they managed to beat Sri Lanka in their final game, India could not raise their net run-rate sufficiently to reach the final.
There were no such doubts about Australia, until the final. Their unbeaten progress was led by wicket-keeper and opening batsman Adam Gilchrist, the leading scorer of the tournament with 231 runs, and Jason Gillespie, the leading bowler with ten wickets. Their final slip was a pointer to the Test series with Sri Lanka that immediately followed; their earlier success a harbinger of their dominance over the rest of the summer of 1999-2000.
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