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Sunday 1 February 2015

Tendulkar Runout, Crowd Fury at Kolkata 1996 Semi Final

Defining Moments at ‪#‎CricketWorldCup‬

In this series, we present to you moments that changed fortunes for teams, players and countries.

This one comes from that infamous 1996 semi final at #EdenGardens Kolkata 
India v Sri Lanka

Two defining incidents from the game

1. #SachinTendulkar batting beautifully for well compiled 65 set India on track in chase of 251 set by Sri Lanka. Experts had predicted the wicket to turn hence chasing that score was going to be difficult. But the ease with which he played the Sri Lankan bowling put India ahead in the contest.

At 98 for 1, India were comfortably placed and with Tendulkar going great guns India and the magnificent Eden Gardens (with over 100,000 people in and around the ground) had started celebrating India's entry into the final.

Then tragedy struck.

A harmless delivery from #SanathJayasuriya. He tried to steer it to fine leg and set off for a run. Unfortunately, the ball had ricocheted off his thigh pad and fell very close to the wicket keeper. An error of judgment. 

Fantastic presence of mind by #RomeshKaluwitarana, the Sri Lankan wicket keeper. He waited for Sachin to leave the crease and then whipped the bails off. Although Sachin tried to reach back in time, his bat was in the air when the bails came off.
Decision referred to the third umpire who saw it quite a few times before pushing the OUT button. Huge moment.... 

The Sri Lankans pumped up. Their biggest threat was out of the way.
From 98 for 1, India slumped to 109 for 4 and then to 120 for 8. (the ball spitting venom off the pitch making it unplayable for the other Indian batsmen). Looked like there were two pitches. One where Tendulkar flawlessly took the attack to the Lankans and then post his departure, it turned in to vicious turner!

2. Looking at the amazing turnaround in the game in around 30-40 minutes irked the Eden crowd. From a dominating position, India had slumped to position of elimination. In anger, the crowd started pelting bottles, paper rockets and whatever on the ground. Sri Lankans duly complained and the match referee #CliveLloyd had no choice to hand over the match to Sri Lanka since the crowd wouldn't stop.

Tendulkar and his other team mates came out to pacify the crowd to no avail. Sight of #VinodKambli, the not out batsman at the crease, crying as he walked off the field still remain etched in hearts of millions of cricket fans. Cricket was a big loser that day. Kolkata was stripped off as an international match venue for quite a few years after that.

Sri Lanka moved to the final against Australia at Lahore. 

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