Aravinda de Silva is the only player to have scored a century and taken three or more wickets in a World Cup final © Getty Images
Aravinda de Silva is the only player to have scored a century and taken three or more wickets in a World Cup final © Getty Images

Oct 17, 2014

Born on October 17, 1949, Pinnaduwage Aravinda de Silva turned 49 on Friday. The former Sri Lankan cricketer, considered one of the finest and the most elegant batsmen to have been produced by his country, played 93 Tests and 308 One-Day Internationals (ODI) in a career spanning 19 years from 1984 and 2003.

De Silva made his Test and one-day debuts against England and New Zealand respectively in the same year. He was one of Sri Lanka’s leading players during their 1996 World Cup campaign, which they ended up winning by defeating Australia in the final by seven wickets. De Silva won the ‘Man-of-the-Match’ award in the final taking three wickets for 42 runs, before guiding his team home with a flamboyant 107 not out. He is the only cricketer till date to have scored a century and taken three or more wickets in a World Cup final.

Aravinda de Silva M R Ave Best 100s 50s
Tests 93 6361 42.97 267 20 22
ODIs 308 9284 34.9 145 11 64

Though short in stature, with a height of only 5’3, he took on bowlers twice his size and sent the fielders scurrying towards the boundary ropes with ease. He was known for his impeccable technique, especially his cuts and hooks. After retiring from international cricket post the 2003 World Cup, he became the national selector for Sri Lanka.