Top 10 Cricket Matches at Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Eden Garden is the second-largest stadium in India (ICC Twitter)
Nestled in the centre of Kolkata, Eden Gardens stands as an iconic symbol of cricketing glory and passionate fandom. With a history dating back to 1864, this revered ground has witnessed countless memorable battles, etching its name in cricketing folklore.
Known for its electrifying atmosphere and capacity to accommodate over 68,000 spectators, Eden Gardens has played host to numerous legendary encounters over the years. From epic battles between international teams to exhilarating clashes in domestic competitions, Eden Gardens has been a coliseum of cricketing brilliance.
In this listicle, we take a look at the top 10 matches played at Eden Gardens which are etched in the minds of the cricketing enthusiasts.
1. India vs Australia – 2nd Test – 2001
Ranked at the pinnacle of the list is the legendary clash between India and Australia in 2001. Regarded as one of India's greatest Test victories, the match unfolded amidst immense pressure as India, following a heavy defeat in the first Test, were asked to follow on. However, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid produced an extraordinary batting display, stitching together a colossal triple century partnership that spanned the entire fourth day.
Laxman's sublime innings fell agonizingly short of a triple century, while Dravid contributed a magnificent 180. With a target of 384 on the final day, a raucous Eden Gardens witnessed Australia crumble to 212 all out, succumbing to Harbhajan Singh's mesmerizing bowling performance, which included a remarkable hat-trick in the first innings.
2. India vs South Africa - Hero Cup Semi-Final – 1993
India showcased their tenacity by defending a modest total of 195 against South Africa, propelling themselves into the Hero Cup final in what was a nail-biting contest. The match witnessed a role reversal for Sachin Tendulkar, as the master batsman turned into an unexpected hero with the ball. Earlier, captain Mohammad Azharuddin played a vital innings, nearly scoring half of the team's runs with a resilient 90 off 118 balls.
South Africa appeared to be cruising towards victory at 106 for 3, but a sudden collapse saw them lose four wickets rapidly. With six runs required from the final over and two wickets in hand, Azhar entrusted the ball to Tendulkar, who bowled an impeccable over, conceding only three runs. India secured a nerve-wracking two-run triumph, sealing their place in the final.
3. West Indies vs England – T20 World Cup Final – 2016
In a highly anticipated final between West Indies and England, the former started on a high note, dismissing England's top three batsmen early for just 23 runs. However, a resilient effort from Joe Root, Jos Buttler, and David Willey guided England to a competitive total of 155, with Dwayne Bravo bagging three crucial wickets. England's comeback continued as Root removed Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles in quick succession, leaving the Windies in disarray.
But, Marlon Samuels emerged as the anchor, crafting an unbeaten fifty to take the Windies near the target. However, it was Carlos Brathwaite who became the hero of the day, etching his name in history by smashing four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes in the final over, propelling the West Indies to their second World T20 title in a dramatic fashion.
4. Australia vs England – ODI World Cup Final – 1987
Australia exhibited nerves of steel to clinch their first-ever world title by a slim margin of seven runs in a closely contested match. David Boon's composed 75 and Mike Veletta's blistering unbeaten 45 propelled Australia to a respectable total of 253. Despite a formidable middle-order performance from Bill Athey, captain Mike Gatting, and Allan Lamb, guiding England to a comfortable position at 170 for 3, Allan Border and Steve Waugh spearheaded a crucial comeback, taking vital wickets to secure a memorable victory for Australia.
5. India vs Sri Lanka – 4th ODI – 2014
This match stands out as a historic and lopsided affair, destined to be etched in the history of the glorious sport. It witnessed a remarkable feat: one man's monumental innings of 264 runs in a 50-over game. The opposition, in response, could only muster 251, highlighting India's absolute dominance. Initially struggling, Rohit Sharma was granted a lifeline and he made Sri Lanka rue their mistake. With an astounding display, Rohit hammered 33 fours and 9 sixes, enthralling the mesmerized Eden Gardens crowd as he became the first and only batsman to achieve two double centuries in ODIs. His incredible innings propelled India beyond 400, rendering the contest virtually one-sided.
6. India vs Pakistan - Asian Test Championship – 1999
The Asian Test Championship encounter between India and Pakistan is etched in memory for Shoaib Akhtar's explosive spell, dismissing Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar on consecutive deliveries. Coming to the game, Javagal Srinath's exceptional five-wicket haul restricted Pakistan to a modest 185 in the first innings. However, India couldn't capitalize on the advantage, despite Sadagopan Ramesh's resilient 79, securing a mere 38-run lead.
Saeed Anwar's remarkable unbeaten 188 propelled Pakistan in their second innings to 316, setting India a target of 279. Although Ramesh and VVS Laxman built a solid opening partnership, quick dismissals of Tendulkar and Dravid opened the door for Pakistan as they bowled out the hosts for 232, ultimately securing a 46-run victory.
7. India vs England – 2nd Test – 1973
India scored 210 in the first innings on a turning track in Kolkata. In response, Indian spinners accounted for all ten English wickets in the first innings with Bhagwath Chandrasekhar leading the way with a fifer, restricting the visitors to 174. Courtesy of Salim Durani's fifty, India set England a target of 192. Tony Greig's valiant half-century appeared to tilt the game in England's favor during their chase of 192. However, from 114 for 4, England suffered a collapse, crumbling to 163 all out as Bishen Singh Bedi claimed a remarkable five-wicket haul as India clinched a nail-biting victory by a mere 28 runs.
8. India vs England – 3rd Test – 2012
India found themselves outplayed in their own backyard during the 2012 Test series against England, leading to the visitors' eventual 2-1 triumph. Despite prior criticism of his record in subcontinental conditions, James Anderson showcased his skills with reverse swing, unsettling the Indian batting lineup as they mustered 316 in the first innings.
In response, led by captain Alastair Cook's colossal 190, supported by Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, and Kevin Pietersen, England built a commanding lead of 207. India faltered under pressure once again, succumbing for 247, with Anderson and Steven Finn claiming three wickets each. Chasing a mere target of 41, England secured a comprehensive seven-wicket victory.
9. India vs Pakistan – One-Off ODI – 2004
India's innings in the thrilling one-off platinum jubilee ODI at Eden Gardens in 2004 saw a belligerent 78 off 62 balls from Yuvraj Singh. Supported by contributions from Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and hometown hero Sourav Ganguly, India posted 292 on the scoreboard. However, Salman Butt's composed batting display, particularly at the tender age of 20 in just his sixth ODI against India, proved crucial. Partnering with Shoaib Malik, Butt almost took the game away from India before retiring hurt on 68. Inzamam-ul-Haq's majestic 75 and Butt's century upon his return led Pakistan to a comfortable six-wicket victory with an over to spare.
10. India vs England – 1st ODI – 2002
In the first match of the five-match ODI series at Eden Gardens, India set a competitive target of 281 with key contributions from Dinesh Mongia (71), Sourav Ganguly (42), Sachin Tendulkar (36), and a quickfire 35 from Hemang Badani. England's chase relied heavily on Marcus Trescothick, who single-handedly propelled them closer to victory with a splendid century. However, Javagal Srinath's crucial dismissal of Trescothick at 224 for 4 triggered a collapse, leading to India's 22-run triumph.