New Delhi: India on Saturday will bid to become only the third team after Sri Lanka and Australia to win a World Cup title while chasing.
The Lankans, who won the toss and elected to bat at the Wankhede, were the first team to win the World Cup chasing. Set a target of 242, they hit 245/3 in 46.2 overs at Lahore's Gadaffi Stadium to beat Australia in the final of the 1996 final. In the next edition of the tournament, Australia chased down a simple target of 133 for the loss of two wickets in just 20.1 overs against Pakistan at Lord's.
Before Sri Lanka stemmed the trend, the first five World Cup finals all went in favour of the teams batting first.
Sri Lanka and Australia are the only two teams to have won a World Cup by chasing a target.
In the first tournament in 1975, West Indies beat Australia by 17 runs. Chasing the Windies' target of 292 in 60 overs, Australia were bowled out for 274. In 1979, the Windies won yet again batting first against England. The hosts chasing 287 to win, crashed to a 92-run loss.
In 1983, India turned the tables on the Windies in a low-scoring affair. Chasing India's 183, the two-time and defending champions were bundled out for 140 to give India a historic win at the Lord's.
In 1987, England went down by the tightest of margins, losing to Australia by seven runs at the Eden Gardens to give the eventual four-time champions their first World Cup title. Chasing Australia's 253/5, England finished at 246/8.
England were left again on the losing side of a chasing final in the very next edition when they went down by 22 runs to Pakistan in the 1992 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
It was then that Sri Lanka bucked the trend winning their first title by chasing against Australia, before the Aussies did the same against Pakistan in 1999.
With Australia in dominating form in the last decade, there was no chance that India and Sri Lanka when they took them in the finals of the 2003 and 2007 editions. Australia posted a mammoth 359/2 against India before winning the game by 125 runs. In 2007, Australia won yet again batting first as Sri Lanka fell short of the target of 281 runs by 53 runs according to the Duckworth/Lewis method.
So apart from Sri Lanka, India also has to beat history to lift this World Cup.