#ThisDayThatYear: The highest ever partnership in Test cricket
On this day in 2006, Sri Lankan greats Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene went on to record the highest partnership of all time in Test cricket. The duo dismantled the South African bowling attack with a 624-run stand in the Colombo Test. Eventually, Sri Lanka won the match by an innings and 153 runs. Here is how the match panned out.
South African innings folded on 169
Batting first, South Africa were bundled out for a paltry 169. Only AB de Villiers managed to score some runs (65 off 72) for the Proteas. Notably, their last five batsmen could contribute mere five runs in the innings. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan openers Upul Tharanga (7) and Sanath Jayasuriya (4) departed early on as the hosts were reduced to 14/2.
Sangakkara, Jayawardene enter the record books
Middle order batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene took the onus after SL lost two quick wickets. Interestingly, the two batted nearly three days, having added a record 624 runs for the third wicket. This remains the highest partnership in Test cricket till date. While Jayawardene became the second Sri Lankan to slam a triple century (374), his compatriot Sangakkara smashed 287 (457).
Records broken in the match
The duo eclipsed the previous best record for highest Test partnership (Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama - 576 vs India, 1997). They also got past 577, then-highest First-class partnership of all time (Vijay Hazare and Gul Mohammad, 1946-47). Sangakkara and Jayawardene became only the second pair in Test history to score 250 in the same innings, after Garry Sobers and Conrad Hunte (1957-58).
Highest individual score by a Sri Lankan (Test cricket)
Mahela Jayawardene's 374 is still the highest individual score by a Sri Lankan and fourth-highest overall in Test cricket. Only Brian Lara (400* and 375) and Matthew Hayden (380) have scored more runs than him in a Test innings.
Muralitharan takes a six-for as Sri Lanka seal victory
Sri Lanka finally declared the innings on 756/5 after Jayawardene's dismissal. Although the Proteas trailed by 587 runs in the second innings, their opening pair inspired hope by adding 165 runs. However, Muttiah Muralitharan single-handedly rattled South Africa's lower middle order. He ended up taking a match haul of 10 wickets with the visitors getting bowled out on 434.