Winner: Sri Lanka

Singer Champions Trophy, 1995-96

Sri Lanka's growing pre-World Cup confidence was boosted by this triumph in Sharjah, their first victory in a limited-overs tournament involving more than two Test countries. They collected the valued scalps of Pakistan and West Indies after their batsmen, especially Roshan Mahanama, who averaged 96, found the consistency they had often lacked in the past; one of their most remarkable achievements came in a match they lost, when they managed 329 chasing West Indies' 333. They went home $US30,000 richer and captain Arjuna Ranatunga was already talking confidently about reaching the World Cup semi-finals.

Pakistan had beaten both Sri Lanka and West Indies in their opening two games and were expected to sail into the final. But with several batsmen injured they crashed in their last two matches; all three teams tied on four points and Pakistan went out on run-rate. Their home board promptly organised an inquiry, amid the usual rumours of dressing-room quarrels. Ramiz Raja's brief reign as captain was terminated and managers Majid Khan and Mushtaq Mohammad were sacked. Wasim Akram, who missed the tournament with a bad shoulder, was appointed to lead the team in Australia.

West Indies were also missing several key players: after the England tour, they offered some a rest, including bowlers Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh. They recovered from two defeats to head the qualifying table on run-rate, significantly after Brian Lara's only two major batting contributions, but Richie Richardson's captaincy continued to attract criticism.

Match reports for

1st Match: Sri Lanka v West Indies at Sharjah, Oct 11, 1995
Report | Scorecard

2nd Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Sharjah, Oct 12, 1995
Report | Scorecard

3rd Match: Pakistan v West Indies at Sharjah, Oct 13, 1995
Report | Scorecard

4th Match: Pakistan v West Indies at Sharjah, Oct 15, 1995
Report | Scorecard

5th Match: Sri Lanka v West Indies at Sharjah, Oct 16, 1995
Report | Scorecard

6th Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Sharjah, Oct 17, 1995
Report | Scorecard

Final: Sri Lanka v West Indies at Sharjah, Oct 20, 1995
Report | Scorecard

© John Wisden & Co