Great World Cup Innings
Clive Lloyd: 102
West Indies v Australia - Final, Lord's, June 21 1975
Never one to hang around, Lloyd led West Indies to their first World Cup triumph with an innings of breath-taking power. The Windies captain was dropped on 26 but made the most of the chance as he blasted his way to a jaw-dropping century in 82 balls. Lloyd displayed a full range of strokes – cutting and driving with immense power and pulling Max Walker out of the ground for one of two sixes. Rather than resting on his laurels, Lloyd returned to take 1-38 from his 12 overs to secure a 17-run victory.
Viv Richards: 138 not out
West Indies v England - Final, Lord's, June 23 1979
The great Viv Richards took the World Cup away from England with a stupendous knock to rescue West Indies from 99 for four. Richards changed the game in a devastating partnership with Collis King, who contributed 86 not out from 66 balls. He finished in style by swatting the last ball of the innings for six. Richards’ fluency was in complete contrast to England, whose top-scorer Mike Brearley had a strike-rate below 50 in a sluggish opening stand with Geoffrey Boycott.
Aravinda de Silva: 107 not out
Sri Lanka v Australia - Final, Lahore, March 17 1996
De Silva played the innings of his life to lead Sri Lanka to a glorious World Cup triumph in a grudge final against Australia. Sri Lanka were in trouble at 23 for two and chief destroyer Sanath Jayasuriya had already departed when de Silva strode to the crease. But he picked up the baton with a masterful knock against an attack including Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath - wonderfully epitomising the flair with which Sri Lanka took the event by storm as they announced their arrival on the international stage.
Steve Waugh: 120 not out
Australia v SA - Super Six, Headingley, June 13 1999
Australia faced elimination until Waugh, with a little help from Herschelle Gibbs, turned things around with an innings of characteristic determination. Waugh had 56 to his name when he was dropped by a prematurely celebrating Gibbs, who had earlier hit a hundred himself. Whether or not Waugh really told Gibbs he had "dropped the World Cup", he had. The sides met again in the semi-final, and South Africa were made to rue Gibbs' error as Lance Klusener and Allan Donald’s infamous run-out saw the Proteas fail to gain the single required for victory with four balls remaining.
Ricky Ponting: 140 not out
Australia v India - Final, Johannesburg, March 23 2003
Ponting, then only Australia's one-day captain, all but put India out of the game with an entertaining and ultimately brutal innings which earned him the man-of-the-match award. Ponting needed 74 balls to reach his half-century but then smashed 90 runs from his next 47 deliveries, including eight sixes. It was a display of controlled aggression - and it demoralised India, who were left chasing 359 and ultimately ended 125 runs short. Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh were all brutally dispatched over the ropes in a wonderful show of on-side hitting.
Adam Gilchrist: 149
Australia v Sri Lanka - Final, Barbados, April 28 2007
Due to the farcical conclusion to the 2007 final, where Sri Lanka batted in near-darkness for three overs as they slumped to defeat on the Duckworth-Lewis method, Gilchrist’s knock has perhaps not received the recognition it deserves. Not only did the man who redefined the role of the wicketkeeper-batsman amass the highest score in a final, he did it in brutal fashion. Eight sixes – one off Tillakaratne Dilshan disappeared into the second tier of the Worrell, Weekes and Walcott stand – and 13 fours helped him to 149 off only 104 balls. There can be little doubt that it was Gilchrist, rather than bad light, which denied Sri Lanka.