Arjuna Ranatunga © Yogen Shah
Arjuna Ranatunga © Yogen Shah

Oct 18, 2014

Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga said that the team was lucky that India won the toss and chose to field in the infamous 1996 World Cup semi-final. Ranatunga recalled that even the Lankan were keen on batting second in that match. The ’96 semi-final was awarded to Lanka after crowd continued to misbehave.

“We were lucky that day. We wanted to field first. Aravinda was the only one who thought otherwise. When Tendulkar batted the pitch looked absolutely fine. After
he got out the pitch did a lot of things. There were 100,000 supporters and 15 Sri Lanka cricketers on the ground,” Ranatunga recalled.

The Lankans had managed to post 251 runs after being inserted in to bat. In response, barring Sachin Tendulkar’s 65, Indian batting had crumbled under pressure and were 120 for eight when play was stopped. The match referee Clive Lloyd then awarded the match to Lanka.