Australia clinched their third consecutive World Cup title by defeating Sri Lanka by 53 runs in a rain-shortened final in Bridgetown, Barbados. Adam Gilchrist smashed 149 - the fastest century and highest score in a World Cup final - as Australia scored 281 for four. Sri Lanka were 206 for seven with three overs to go when their two batsmen left the field amid overcast conditions, prompting celebrations among the Australians. After some confusion, the batsmen came back and the game resumed in near darkness.
After cruising through the tournament unbeaten, Australia became only the second team to retain the World Cup when they beat India by 125 runs in a lopsided final in Johannesburg where Ricky Ponting scored 140 from 121 balls to steer his side to a mammoth 359 for two, a record for a World Cup final.
Shane Warne took four wickets in the final as Australia beat Pakistan by eight wickets in London. Australia bowled out Pakistan for 132 and eased to 133 for two from 20 overs. Australia's semi-final against South Africa had ended in a draw, but they to got to the final by virtue of them beating the Proteas earlier in the tournament.
1996: Sri Lanka
Aravinda de Silva's all-round brilliance helped Sri Lanka defeat Australia by seven wickets for their first World Cup title. De Silva claimed three wickets and two catches as Australia struggled to 241 for seven in the final at Lahore. The all-rounder then scored a stylish 107 not out as his side reached their victory target with ease.
Pakistan lifted the World Cup for the first time with a 22-run win over England in front of a crowd of 87,182 in Melbourne. Imran Khan (72) and Javed Miandad (58) helped Pakistan set a target of 250, and Wasim Akram took crucial wickets in the reply as England fell short. It was the first World Cup to feature coloured clothing and a white ball.
After Australia's enthralling seven-run win over England, Allan Border, the captain, was carried on the shoulders of his teammates at Kolkata's Eden Gardens after leading the team to their first World Cup title. The first World Cup to be played outside England was also the first to be reduced from 60 to 50 overs.
India scored a major upset, winning by 43 runs over a West Indies side that had won the two previous tournaments. India made short work of England in the semi-finals with a six-wicket victory at Old Trafford. The West Indies were even more impressive, though, in limiting Pakistan to 184 before cruising to victory.
1979: West Indies
The West Indies beat England by 92 runs after being helped in the final by the brilliance of Viv Richards (138 not out) and Collis King (86 off 66 balls) at the crease. Set a victory target of 287, England needed 38 overs to reach 129 for the first wicket. From 183 for two, England's batsmen added just 11 runs for the next eight wickets and West Indies had the title.
1975: West Indies
Hosted by England, the two-week tournament was seen as a major innovation for the sport, with West Indies beating Australia by 17 runs in the final. A series of pitch invasions by an impatient crowd marred the closing stages.