The ODI History of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka have a proud history when it comes to One Day International cricket. Indeed, they have often been strongest when it comes to this format of the game, with The Lions having been ranked the number one ODI team in 1996 and they played their first ever match when clashing with the West Indies in 1975.
Sri Lanka struggled to make an impression during the early incarnations of the Cricket World Cup, with the first five tournaments seeing them fall short at the group stage. However, the 1996 tournament really saw the Sri Lankans break through and announce themselves on the big stage.
The nation hosted the tournament in this year with India and Pakistan, with some inspired performances from Sanath Jayasuriya helping the team to win the competition and also for this player to be named the best performer of the series.
Sri Lanka were inspired even during the group stage when finishing top of the standings where they won all five games. They beat Australia and India as part of proceedings, with the Lions then navigating their way past England in Faisalabad to set up a crunch semi-final against India in Calcutta.
Despite being betting outsiders to win on that occasion, Sri Lanka scored 250 runs in their innings and they were awarded the match when an ailing India side struggled to match their total before a rioting crowd brought a premature end to proceedings.
The Sri Lankans then clashed with Australia in the final, with the latter posting an attainable 241/7 which was toppled by the former in Lahore, with a brilliant 107 from Aravinda de Silva ensuring that the co-hosts were victorious.
Sri Lanka were back in the final in 2007, with Australia landing a victory in the West Indies in a match that was decided on the Duckworth-Lewis method, while there was another final appearance four years later when they set up for a showdown at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. However, it was the Indians who were able to win on this occasion.
Who Holds the ODI Records for Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka have had some excellent players representing this nation, with Kumar Sangakkara having been the most outstanding batsman and he has a number of One Day International records on the board. The left-hander managed to score more than 14,000 runs for his country when it came to this format.
Similarly, Kumar Sangakkara also has the best batting average and 41.97 is not a shabby total, with Thisara Perera is the man who can boast the best strike rate of 112. Sanath Jayasuriya is another player who has stood out with the bat and that was sharply evident when playing against India at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in 2000.
He racked up 189 runs in that game, while the player also boasts being part of the most successful partnership, with this batsman combining beautifully with Upul Tharanga when clashing with England at Headingley Stadium.