Dubai: Taunton, a small scenic cricket ground in England, had witnessed many a heroic batting feat as the home of Somerset county - including the ones by Sir Viv Richards. However, May 26 enjoys a special place in it’s history as it was on this day 21 years ago that Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid had stitched together a record second wicket partnership of 318 runs in their 1999 World Cup group league match against Sri Lanka.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) remembered their historic feat and posted a picture of the duo on its official Twitter handle, alongside the caption: “Sourav Ganguly (183) and Rahul Dravid (145) registered a mammoth 318-run partnership for the second wicket against SL in the 1999 World Cup. at Taunton.
“This was the first time that a 300-run partnership was witnessed in ODI.”
England, of course, enjoys a pride of place in the hearts of both these former captains of India and members of the ‘Fab Four.’ Only three years before their World Cup bow, both Ganguly and Dravid made sensational international debuts in Test cricket with the former scoring a century at the Lord’s while Dravid fell short by mere five runs.
It was the 21st league match of the ‘99 World Cup where Sri Lanka were off to a fine start after opting to field as pacer Chaminda Vaas got rid of opener Sadagopan Ramesh in the first over.
That is when Dravid joined Ganguly in the middle and the duo sent Lankan bowlers on a leather-hunt. Ganguly smashed 17 fours and seven towering sixes in his 158-ball innings while Dravid also hit equal number of boundaries and one six in his 129-ball stay at the crease.
The second Indian wicket fell only in the 46th over when Dravid was finally run out by Muttiah Muralitharan. India lost few wickets in the death overs but the Ganguly-Dravid partnership helped them post 373 for six in allotted 50 overs.
The ‘Islanders’ were then bundled out for just 216 in the 43rd over. Robin Singh ended with a five-wicket haul for India as won the match by a huge margin of 157 runs.
Epic ODI partnerships
372: Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels (WI)
365: John Campbell and Shai Hope (WI)
331: Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid (India)
318: Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid (India)