New Delhi: March 13, 1996 marks the ugly day when India lost to Sri Lanka in a World Cup semi-final match, while fans inside the stadium lost the respect of people who used to call Eden Gardens — The Mecca of Indian cricket.
In the crunch final-four clash, an on-song Javagal Srinath ripped through the Lanka line-up early-on as the score of the visiting team read 3/35.
In reply, opener Navjot Singh Sidhu fell early, but Sachin Tendulkar took the Lankan bowlers the cleaners. Sachin notched up his well deserved half-century with his partner Sanjay Manjrekar being content with just rotating the strike.
Just when India was moving all guns blazing to the required target, calamity struck. Wicket-keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana effected a brilliant stumping as Sanath Jayasuriya sent back in-form Tendulkar for 65.
After Sachin’s dismissal, Indian batsmen fell like a pack of cards as from 2/98, they were reduced to 8/120 in no time.
Match referee Clive Lloyd had to call-off the game and Sri Lanka went through the final by default. The Lankans produced another scintillating display against Australia to lift their maiden World Cup title in Lahore four days later.