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When Eden Gardens Burned Because India Lost Eight Wickets!

India collapsed sensationally after Sachin Tendulkar was stumped in 1996 World Cup semifinal

India collapsed sensationally after Sachin Tendulkar was stumped in 1996 World Cup semifinal

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.

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.

However, magnificent half-centuries from Aravinda De Silva (66) and Roshan Mahanama (58) helped Sri Lanka post a commanding total of 251 runs in 50 overs.

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.

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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.

The surrendering of India’s illustrious batting line-up angered the fans present inside the stadium, who let their fury known by throwing bottles onto the pitch. The crowd even set fire to areas of the stands and started to pelt the fielders with fruit and water bottles.

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.