On This Day, March 13: Hurt Eden Gardens crowd vent out frustration following India's dismal performance against Sri Lanka
On this day, in 1996, the semi-final match of Wills World Cup between India and Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens ended in a shocking manner. The spectators at the stadium were the centre of attraction as the Indian fans could not digest the disappointment over the team's dismal performance. Not just the end but the match too started with a shocker when Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin opted to bowl first despite the team wanting to bat first after winning the toss. India were off to good start as they removed top three Lankan batters inside 35 runs. However, Sri Lanka recovered from there, courtesy Aravinda de Silva's counter-attacking knock of 47-ball 63. At the end of the innings, the Lankans posted a good total on board of 251-8. Coming to chase, India had a good start with only a wicket lost till 98 but once Tendulkar departed, 6 more wickets followed for 22 runs. The collapse made India's chase impossible which made fans angry and the scene turned out into a disgraceful hooliganism. The match was stopped soon and match referee Clive Lloyd had to award Sri Lanka as a winner by default. Further, Sri Lanka went into the final and lifted the World Cup trophy for the first time after beating Australia by 7 wickets at Lahore.