On this day in 1999, during India’s World Cup match against Sri Lanka, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid notched a mesmerising partnership of 318 runs for the second wicket in Taunton. It was then a record partnership in ODIs. It has since then been surpassed by Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels who put together 372 runs and in 1999 itself by Sachin Tendulkar and Dravid by stitching 331 runs.
India were playing the then defending champions Sri Lanka and S Ramesh and Sourav Ganguly came out to bat to start the proceedings for India. Indian lost an early wicket when Ramesh was removed by Chaminda Vaas for 5 but this early fall of wicket came as a blessing for Indian side.
In came Dravid at number three. The left-right batting combination of Ganguly and Dravid played one of the most scintillating knocks of their career. Ganguly compiled a career best 183 runs while Dravid scored 145 runs. India lost their second wicket at 324 runs in the 46th over. No other batsman really chipped in with runs but the heroics from Ganguly and Dravid were enough to guide India to 373/6 in 50 overs.
Sri Lanka, in reply, couldn’t have had a more dismal start than losing their two most crucial batsmen to get a cracking start. First they lost Sanath Jayasuriya for 3 during a mix-up while Romesh Kaluwitharana was trapped in front by Javagal Srinath for 7. They were reduced to 23/2.
Sri Lanka kept on losing wickets at regular interval and were bundled out for 216 in 42.3 overs. Aravinda de Silva top-scored for Sri Lanka with 56 runs while skipper Arjuna Ranatunga scored 42. For India it was Robin Singh who returned with figures of 5/31 in 9.3 overs.
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