When it comes to special innings in ODI cricket, nothing can compete with a century in the finale of the World Cup. Only a select group of six can boast of this amazing achievement and below is the ranking of their innings,
Mahela Jayawardene, 103* vs India, 2011 World Cup
Even though this knock came on a flat track, Sri Lanka were struggling to get going when he came in to bat, with just 60 runs in 16.2 overs. He played a nearly flawless knock, as his scoring rate kept progressing throughout the innings. He dealt with India’s spinners effectively and reached his century in 88 balls. Unfortunately, he ends up as the only person on this list to be on the losing side.
Clive Lloyd’s 102 vs Australia, 1975 World Cup
The first century in a World Cup final came from the Windies captain with his side reeling at 50-3. His partnership with Rohan Kanhai completely changed the game and West Indies ended up winning by 90 runs. His century came off just 85 balls which is just astonishing considering this was far before fielding restrictions came into place.
Aravinda de Silva’s 107* vs Australia, 1996 World Cup
In this game, Australia batted first and struggled to score consistently, ending up with just 241 on board. But Sri Lanka’s chase was threatened by a very good Aussie attack led by Glenn McGrath. In such a situation, Aravinda de Silva put up a masterclass in anchoring a tough chase and remained unbeaten as his side comfortably strolled past the finish line in just 46.2 overs.
Viv Richards’ 138* vs England, 1979 World Cup
This inning was the polar opposite of a typical Richards knock filled with flair. He curbed his natural aggressive instincts to bring up a wonderfully restrained century and remained unbeaten to lead his side to a very competitive total on a tough pitch. His 139 run partnership was the deciding factor of the game as the Carribeans lifted their second consecutive title.
Ricky Ponting’s 140* vs India, 2003 World Cup
The innings that broke the hearts of a billion Indians, as Ponting inflicted an unforgettable assault on the Indian bowlers to score 140*. Australia were looking poised for a 300 plus total when Ponting came in and he added further misery on an already wounded bowling attack by stepping up the gear and helping his team to a monumental to a total of 359. The final was over by the end of this innings, as Australia cruised to a 125 run victory.
Adam Gilchrist’s 149 vs Sri Lanka, 2007 World Cup
Few would have thought Ponting’s highest score in a World Cup final will be beaten in this edition’s final as the game was reduced to 38 overs per side. But Gilchrist played, what is believed by many to be the greatest ODI knock of all time, as he dismantled a bowling lineup consisting of Vaas, Malinga, and Muralitharan on his way to a magnificent century. Cruelly, His strike rate only increased after the hundred and Australia put up a simply improbable total for the Lankans to chase.