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Just as at Singapore's first senior one-day international tournament three and a half years earlier, so batsmen dominated the second. The venue had changed, but the short boundaries had not. At the Padang in April 1996, Sanath Jayasuriya hit what was then the fastest hundred in this form of cricket (48 balls). No one could quite match that now, but the Kallang ground was just as inviting for the big hitters. In the first game, 16 sixes sailed over the ropes. In the three completed matches that followed there were another 35. As in 1996, rain interfered, shortening two of the three preliminary matches, and the final had to be played on the reserve day after a false start. West Indies enjoyed a rare tournament success, with Ricardo Powell's breathtaking 124 propelling them to victory over India.
Powell's one previous game for West Indies before arriving in Singapore was in their unhappy World Cup campaign. In his three innings here, he smashed 221 runs from just 175 balls, including 13 sixes. He exhibited such fluency and natural aggression that pundits (inevitably) compared him with Viv Richards. It wasn't just Powell: the whole team oozed confidence, and Brian Lara hit his 126 runs from 98 balls. It may not have been a bowlers' tournament, but West Indies had two stars. Reon King took nine wickets - the same as Debasis Mohanty, for India, and five more than anyone else - while Courtney Walsh was alone in costing less than four an over: his 27 averaged 2.62 apiece.
Rahul Dravid, who kept wicket in three of India's four matches, played with control rather than flamboyance, but was the leading run-scorer after Powell, with 183. Andy Flower and Alistair Campbell both hit form for Zimbabwe with the bat, but had scant support from their colleagues. Their bowlers were out of sorts from the start, and Heath Streak, with an injured knee, was badly missed.
Three days after the final, West Indies took on India again, in the DMC Festival in Toronto. They left Singapore victorious and in high spirits, but in the morass of one-day cricket that lay ahead (after India they played Pakistan, also in Canada, then toured Bangladesh, Sharjah and New Zealand before entertaining Zimbabwe and Pakistan), there would be few similar moments to savour.
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