#3 India vs Sri Lanka, Kolkata, 1996
It was one of the most shameful nights in the history of Indian cricket, more so due to the riot act by the Eden Gardens crowd rather than the epic capitulation of the batting line-up in the 1996 World Cup semi-final.
Fresh from a memorable victory against arch-rivals Pakistan in the quarter-final, India were favourites to beat Sri Lanka and make it to their 2nd World Cup final. Having bowled brilliantly at the start of the Sri Lankan innings, the bowlers let the advantage slip badly and ended up conceding 251.
India’s best batsman, Sachin Tendulkar, was motoring along beautifully but a slight misbalance while trying to play a leg glance sent him packing, stumped for 65. Sachin’s dismissal sparked off a remarkable batting collapse as in a matter of overs, the Indians went from 98 for 2 to 120 for 8.
At this stage, the crowd decided that they had seen enough and something needs to be done. They vented out their frustration by throwing bottles on to the field and setting fire to the seating in the stands.
The situation was so bad that play had to be called off and the match was awarded to the Sri Lankans by default. The crowd at the Eden drew a lot of flak from all quarters for their unruly behaviour.