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HomeCricket NewsOn this day in 1997, Sri Lanka broke the record for highest...

On this day in 1997, Sri Lanka broke the record for highest Test total

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On this day in 1997, Sri Lanka amassed 952 against India, breaking the record for the highest single innings score in Test history in Colombo. Arjuna Ranatunga’s led team bested the previous best of 903 by England at The Oval in 1938.

India’s tour to Sri Lanka in 1997 was a dull affair, with both games ultimately ending in deadlocks. Nevertheless, the first game is one that is reminisced for providing a run-fest, particularly by the hosts.
In the first test of two-match series, India won the toss and elected to bat. On a docile pitch at the R Premadasa Stadium, India declared at 537 for 8, the gallantry of centuries from Navjot Singh Sidhu, captain Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin.

On Day 2 in the evening, picking up the wicket of Marvan Atapattu from his very first delivery, Nilesh Kulkarni had a dream start to his Test career. The dream momentarily turned into a nightmare for the Mumbai spinner, as he ended up wicketless for the next 69 overs.
The Indian spinners Rajesh Chauhan and Anil Kumble agonized a similar fortune, bowling 150 overs combined which bore just two wickets.
In reply, Sri Lanka posted a record-breaking innings total of 952/6d. The wretchedness of the Indian bowlers came courtesy Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama who scored up a triple (340) and double century (225) respectively, with Aravinda de Silva scoring 126.

Jayasuriya and Mahanama’s partnership lasted for two full days. They added 576 in 753 minutes – the longest stand in Test history and only one run shy of the highest in first-class cricket (577 by Vijay Hazare and Gul Mahomed in 1946-47).
Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and 20-year-old Mahela Jayawardene further added to India’s distresses with half-centuries each on Day 5.

With the possibility of a result insignificant, the play was ceased with 13 overs left on the final day.
Unsurprisingly, Jayasuriya was bestowed with the player of the match for his triple century. The southpaw said post the game that he primarily wanted to guarantee Sri Lanka avoided the follow-on, which he eventually ended up doing on his own!
Whereas India’s highest total in Test cricket it was against England in Chennai. In 2016, India scored 759/7d in the second innings at Chepauk. The hosts won the match by an innings and 75 runs.

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