World Cup Countdown: Sanath Jayasuriya knocks England out in 1996
Sanath Jayasuriya smashed England in Faisalabad to take Sri Lanka into the semis. © Getty

In the build-up to the 2019 ICC Cricket World CupCricketCountry brings to you the most memorable moments and matches from the tournament over the years – right from its first edition, way back in 1975. With 59 days to go, in our latest World Cup Countdown, we take a look back at the day Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya inflicted plenty of pain on England in Faisalabad. 

On March 9, 1996 Sri Lanka met England in the first quarter-final of the World Cup at the Iqbal Stadium.

Jayasutiya had already taken the tournament by storm through his fearless and destructive approach at the top of the order, with his team-mate Romesh Kaluwitharana, which was one of the highlights of the tournament. Jayasuriya’s memorable run reached its apogee during the quarter-final against England, when he bludgeoned 82 from 44 balls, including the then fastest tournament half-century, from 30 balls.

His manic innings contained three sixes and 13 fours and he feasted on Ray Illingworth, whom he hit for four successive fours, and Phil DeFreitas, whose second over went for 22.

Jayasuriya appeared within striking distance of beating Kapil Dev’s 72-ball hundred in 1983 as the fastest World Cup hundred, but was dismissed for 82.

Sri Lanka’s total at that stage was 113/2.

When England batted, Jayasuriya had dismissed DeFreitas and Dermot Reeve and nailed a direct hit to run out Robin Smith. Sri Lanka continued their magnificent ascent, England sank; they had never been knocked out before the semi-finals in five previous World Cups.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 236/5 in 40.4 overs (Jayasuriya 82, Gurusinha 45) beat England 235/8 in 50 overs (DeFreitas 67) by five wickets

Man of the Match: Sanath Jayasuriya.