On this day in 1997, Sri Lanka broke the record for the highest single innings score in the history of Test cricket. Led by Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama, the Islander scored a mammoth 952/6 in response to India’s first-innings total of 537/8. The previous best of 903 was scored by England at The Oval in 1938.
The two-match series eventually ended in a 0-0 draw, but cricket lovers still remember the first encounter for its run-fest.
What happened in the match?
After electing to bat first, India lost opener Nayan Mongia cheaply for 7. However, it was Navjot Singh Sidhu, skipper Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin who prevented any further damage and smashed centuries each to help India pile a massive total.
In response, Sri Lanka also lost Marvan Atapattu early on 26, before Jayasuriya and Mahanama recovered the Lankan innings. The pair added 576 for the second wicket, the highest partnership in Test cricket.
The pair remained on the crease for two full days, the first instance of such an event in Test history. It also was just one run shy from becoming the highest partnership in first-class cricket (577 by Vijay Hazare and Gul Mahomed in 1946-47).
Jayasuriya completed his first and only triple century in Test cricket, while Mahanama breached the 200-run mark.
The partnership was finally broken by Anil Kumble, as he trapped Mahanama LBW on 225.
Then joined Arvandia de Silva, who kept things steady by becoming the sixth centurion of the encounter.It was then followed by two quick half-centuries from skipper Aravinda Silva and Mahela Jayawardene, which saw Sri Lanka break the record comfortably.
Jayasuriya was named as man of the match for his 340-run knock.