- Jan 26, 2010
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25 years ago on a day like this
in jammed packed Eden Gardens stadium for the 1996 World Cup semifinal. Sri Lanka were coming off from a comprehensive victory over England in the quarterfinal thanks to a tremendous knock of Sanath Jayasuriya.
But this time around India have done their homework. They have dismissed the most feared opening pair at that time within the very first over. Sri Lanka were 1/2 batting first in front of 110,000 plus Indian crowd who were pumped. In came the best batsman of the Sri Lankan team back then & to be honest there was never anyone better than him even to date.
From that moment what we have witnessed was in my opinion the greatest counterattacking innings played by a Sri Lankan batsman on any given day. In fact that particular innings was one of if not the greatest innings ever played by a Sri Lankan given what’s at the stake.
I was just a 10 year old back then who was following the game wholeheartedly & this gem of an innings which just lasted 14 overs made me realize that I’ve watch the greatest ever batsman produced by Sri Lanka played perhaps his most valuable innings on the grandest stage of the game.
Aravinda De Silva on that day singlehandedly changed the cause of the game & made sure Sri Lanka had a fighting chance to reach a World Cup final for the first time. What’s more impressive is that Aravinda was suffering from a sickness & went on to play that innings with such class.