Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid put on 318 runs for the second wicket against Sri Lanka.
18 years ago of this world cup, two new talented Indian youngsters launched an attack, not seen before in the history of the ICC World Cup. The venue was Taunton in England and the duo of Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid troubled Sri Lanka bowling attack by putting together a 2nd-wicket partnership of 318 runs to help India score a massive 373/6 in their 50 overs in a group match.
Both men had made their Test debuts together at Lord’s three summers ago and reprised their heroics. Dravid completed a hundred to join a select club of those having hit back-to-back world cup centuries. Ganguly powered on to make 183, the highest individual World Cup score by an Indian, going past the iconic 175 not out that Kapil Dev had hit in 1983.
Playing in their first ever World Cup, Ganguly and Dravid displayed maturity beyond their years in the clash against their sub-continental rivals, who were also the defending champions.
The partnership ended the only way it could have via a run-out, with Dravid walking back after a 129-ball 145 in the 46th over. Ganguly continued to hit out, before falling to the last ball of the innings for 183 off 158, the second highest individual score in World Cup history, behind Gary Kirsten’s unbeaten 188 against UAE in 1996.
India racked up 373 for 6, an out-of-sight target in 1999, and the bowlers knocked Sri Lanka over for just 216 to complete a massive 157-run win against the defending champion. A deflated Sri Lanka had not made it before the level of the group. Robin Singh, who took 5 wickets at 31 runs, would have been the hero of the day in any other match, but it was a Ganguly-Dravid stand.
There was hardly a period during the Sri Lankan reply that suggested a possible recovery-act from the Islanders who could sparkle only in patches after 79 for four in 16 overs. Sri Lanka went on to make 216 in 42.3, A.De Silva (56), A.Ranatunga (42) and Mahanama (32) were the chief run-getters.