The Eden Gardens, Kolkata which is also the home of Sourav Ganguly has been the most historic venue for Indian Cricket. The venue has seen many ups and downs for the Indian Cricket team since its incertion in 1864. Today, the stadium is celebrating its 150th anniversary and here are the list of top five memorable matches that are played at Eden Gardens.
India vs Australia, 2001 Second Test Match
The Mighty Aussies led by Steve Waugh won the First test and equalled the record for being unbeaten in Tests for 15 matches on the trot. With Aussies’ streak on the line and India made to follow on in the second test at Kolkata, everyone thought its all over for the Indian Cricket team. But three men had other thoughts. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid helped India to get a lead of over 300 and Harbhajan’s late burst proved too costly for Australia as they were beaten by India. Dravid and Laxman scored 180 and 281 respectively before Harbhajan Singh took 6 wickets in the final session including a hat-trick. This match went into the History Books as India became the first team to win a Test match after following on. In the third match at Chennai, The Aussies were beaten Fair and Square by India and lost the test series 1-2.
India vs Sri Lanka, 1996 World Cup Semi Finals
The semi-finals of the 1996 World Cup in which India will lose the game from being in a commendable position of 98 for 1 to 120 for 8 in just over eleven overs. After this collapse, the crowd at Eden Gardens, Calcutta started riot inside the stadium, as the fans started hurling stones and bottles into the ground which prompted the match Referee Clive Lloyd to take off the players. His attempt to calm down the crowd went in vain after which he handed the match to Sri Lanka. Vinod Kambli who was leaving the field with tears later revealed that the match was fixed and his reports were dismissed by his teammates.
India vs South Africa, 1993 Hero Cup Finals
This was a match that saw Sachin as a bowler who can defend very few runs in the last over of an ODI. It was the finals of 1993 Hero Cup and South Africa needed six runs off the last over. Captain Mohammad Azharuddin didn’t know whom to throw the bowl to even as coach Ajit Wadekar sent the 12th man with water and a message “bowl Kapil.” The great all-rounder however was a bit reluctant given that there was hardly anything to defend. That is when Tendulkar did the impossible. He grabbed the ball from Azharuddin and pulled the choke on South Africa. Sachin hadn’t even bowled earlier in that match. Sachin won the match for India by two runs as the South Africa’s last-wicket pair of Brian McMillan and Allan Donald crumbled under pressure. India defeated West Indies in the final and won the Hero Cup.
India vs South Africa, 1996 Second Test Match
The second Test between India and South Africa at the Eden Gardens saw the debut of South African All Rounder Lance Klusener. It marked the beginning of a remarkable career for Klusener as he rattled through Indian batting order in the final innings of the match when India were looking to draw the test match. Klusener denied India’s hopes of a draw as he scalped his best figures of 8/64 in his debut match.
India vs Pakistan, 1999 First Test Match
How many bowlers would have dreamt of rattling the stumps of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in two consecutive deliveries? But Shoaib Akthar made it a reality when he had the stumps of both the stalwarts go for a walk with two brilliant Yorkers. By that, he became the first bowler to dismiss Sachin for a Golden Duck in First Class Cricket.