The 1987 Cricket World Cup was organized from 8th October 1987 to 8th November 1987 and the hosts were India and Pakistan. This was the first Cricket World Cup that was played outside England. Australia defeated England in the final and lifted this Cup. Sri Lanka was placed in Group B along with West Indies, England and Pakistan. It lost the first 3 group matches and so it seemed unlikely that it would progress to the semi-finals.
Group match against West Indies
The fourth group match of Sri Lanka was against West Indies at Green Park, Kanpur, India. This match was played on 21st October 1987. West Indies batted for the entire quota of 50 overs and accumulated 236 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Phil Simmons was the top scorer with 89 runs in 126 balls. Ravi Ratnayeke bowled 10 overs, gave away 41 runs and claimed 3 wickets. Sri Lanka also lost 8 wickets but could gather only 211 runs. Arjuna Ranatunga remained unbeaten on 86 after facing 100 deliveries. Patrick Patterson dismissed 3 batsmen for 31 runs in 10 overs. Simmons was honored as the Man of the Match. West Indies won this match by 25 runs.
Group match against Pakistan
Sri Lanka and Pakistan clashed in their group match on 25rd October 1987 and the venue was Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad, Pakistan. Pakistan batted first and stockpiled 297 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 50 overs. This target proved to be too much for Sri Lanka and it lost 8 wickets and gathered only 184 runs in 50 overs. Pakistan won this match by 113 runs.
Group match against England
Sri Lanka played its last group match on 30th October 1987 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Poona, India and the opponent was England. While batting first, Sri Lanka piled up 218 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 50 overs. Roy Dias managed to score 80 runs in 105 deliveries. Eddie Hemmings conceded 57 runs and picked up 3 wickets in 10 overs. England replied by piling up 219 runs for the loss of only 2 wickets in 41.2 overs. Their top scorer was Graham Gooch who faced 79 balls and hit 61 runs. He was declared as the Man of the Match. England won this match by 8 wickets.
After the group matches were over, the results for Sri Lanka were as follows – The team had played 6 matches and had been defeated in all 6. It had a run rate of 4.04. Sri Lanka had accrued 0 points in the group and had to exit from the tournament.