When all hell broke loose..
Sri Lanka's 952-6d against IndiaR. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium (known prior to June 1994 as the Khetterama Cricket Stadium) was the brainchild of the late Sri Lanka President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who championed the development of this colossal 35,000-seater concrete bowl, the biggest stadium in Sri Lanka. Opened on February 2 1986, this stadium is best remembered for holding the world record for the highest Test total - 952/6 declared by Sri Lanka against India in the first test of the 1997/98 series in which former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya scored 340 and Roshan Mahanama 225, the pair sharing the highest partnership for any wicket in Test cricket with 576 for the second wicket. India in fact, had a great start to the series on Aug 2 1997, scoring 280/3 with Tendulkar 65* Azharuddin 18* on the crease at the close of day one. Siddhu had scored 111 from 200 balls with 13 fours and 2 sixes. On the second day, India declared their innings at 537/8 with Sachin Tendulkar scoring 143 with 20 fours and Azhar 126 with 11 fours. Sri Lanka were 39/1 with Jayasurya on 12 when the day's play ended. NM Kulkarni took the wicket of MS Atapattu (26, fow 39) with his first ball in Test cricket. Day three was a boring affair for the Indians as Jayasuriya 175* and Mahanama 115* batted the whole day to reach 322/1. This was the 12th occasion in Test cricket. Day four proved to be a replay of day three with both the batsman remaining on the crease and adding more runs to the total. At close of play, Sri Lanka were 587/1 with Jayasuriya 326* and Mahanama 211* at the crease. Jayasuriya became the first ever Sri Lankan to score 300 runs in a Test. The West Indian pair of Garry Sobers and Frank Worrell were the only ones before today to bat throughout two consecutive days (against England at Bridgetown in 1959-60). On day five, Kumble got the break through for India, sending Mahanama (225r 753m 561b 27x4 0x6) back (lbw) with the scoreboard reading 615/2! Their partnership of 576 runs was the highest test partnership for any wicket. (previous: 467 MD Crowe and AH Jones, New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Wellington, 1990/91)
Jayasuriya (340r 799m 578b 36x4 2x6) was the next to go, in the very next over, caught Ganguly, bowled Chauhan, with the score reading 615/3. Jayasuriya's marathon and chanceless innings of 340 was the fourth highest in test cricket, after Lara's 375, Garry Sobers' 365 (not out), and Len Hutton's 364. All the Indian fielders ran to congratulate him as he departed with his head held down as he had missed his chance to overtake Lara's record. They applauded him all the way to the pavilion (In Picture) from where he got a standing ovation.
India had to suffer more batting practice by de Silva (126), Ranatunga (86) and Jayawardene (66). There were 58 extras when the innings ended at 952 for 6 wickets declared in 271 overs. The team record 952/6d beat the previous best, 903-7d by England v Australia at The Oval in 1938 and still stands. This total is also the 3rd highest team total in First-class cricket (Highest: 1107, Victoria v New South Wales at Melbourne, 1926/27). Jayasuriya graduated to the captaincy in 1999 and a record of 18 wins in 38 Tests and 37 wins in 60 one-dayers showed him to be a leader worthy of the respect of opposing teams. Result: Match drawn; 2-Test series level 0-0
Test Debuts: DPMD Jayawardene (SL); NM Kulkarni (Ind).
Man of the Match: ST Jayasuriya Brief Scores: India: 537/8 declared (Sidhu 111, Sachin 143, Azhar 126, Dravid 69) drew with Sri Lanka: 952/6 declared (Jayasuriya 340, Mahanama 225, DeSilva 126, Ranatunga 86, Jayawardene 66, Extras 58)