No longer was the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” going to let anyone push them around.

Today, 25 years on, Sri Lankan’s around the world will celebrate that glorious occasion.

Aravinda De Silva’s amazing all-round performance -  an unbeaten century, three wickets and two running catches - drove Sri Lanka to one of the most amazing achievements in sporting history. 
An amateur team who could barely afford a meal on their previous tour to Australia, 
beating that very team on cricket’s biggest stage, has to go down as one of the most underrated triumphs of all time. 
The day started with Australia sent in to bat after rain had delayed the start of play. At 1/137 Australia looked likely to post a match winning total. 
Enter De Silva, who’s clever deception saw Mark Taylor caught on the boundary by Sanath Jayasuriya.
From there, the Sri Lankan spinners used their wile and Ranatunga’s clever captaincy to restrict Australia to a modest 241. 

Sri Lanka’s innings got off to a typical flyer with Jayasuriya hoiking Mcgrath over long on for a boundary in the first over. 
Then disaster, a bizzare TV umpire decision saw Jayasuriya adjudged short of his ground on a run out call. Replays indicated the decision a touch harsh. 
Pocket rocket Romesh Kaluwitharana was then caught at cover by Michael Bevan off Damian Fleming, and at 2/23, it looked like the dream could turn into a nightmare. 
Once again De Silva rose to the occasion, this time with the bat. He creamed the bad balls to the boundary, but was prepared to work the good balls around.
Asanka Gurusinha, who’s clutch half-century in the Final is often forgotten, proved invaluable as De Silva took control from the other end.
A six and a four off consecutive Shane Warne balls ensured Gurusinha kept the pace and never let the target go beyond manageable. 

Gurusinha, who ironically now resides in Australia, was the most unfashionable of cricketers. The ultimate team man who played whatever role he was given at the time it was always needed, the ‘Guru’ as he was known, never had the mastery of De Silva nor the swagger of Ranatunga, but his willingness to roll his sleeves up and grind out the tough runs endeared him to Sri Lankan fans.
After Gurusinha was dismissed, with Sri Lanka still 94 runs from glory, the ‘King of Colombo’ Ranatunga strutted in with a determination that led Sri Lankan fans to never doubt they would get there. 
His 47 off 37 balls provided the perfect foil as De Silva opened his shoulders. 
A model De Silva off-drive and then the perfect on-drive off consecutive Fleming balls, a square cut off off Warne, then a lofted boundary over mid-on off Mcgrath, took the Sri Lankan’s closer.
Taylor brought on Warne for one last valiant attempt to salvage the game and the World Cup, but Ranatunga promptly despatched him for four down the ground - the ball bursting through Warne’s despairing fingers - then hooked the next ball, which was a full toss, for six over backward square leg to effectively seal the title.
De Silva reached his century with the perfect leg glance, before levelling the scores with a beautiful cover drive. And the stage was set for Ranatunga to fittingly hit the winning runs.
The heavens opened as Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto handed the World Cup to Ranatunga. Sadly the Sri Lankans were denied their chance to have a well deserved lap of honour as chaos ensued with the crowd running onto the ground. 
Back in Colombo, Galle Face Green - a traditional local meeting point - was overwhelmed with euphoria and national pride as the Sri Lankan community celebrated. 
25 years on and the moment is as special today as it was back then. Sri Lankan’s around the globe will always remember, that for one day at least, they were on top of the world!