On August 6 in 1997, the Sri Lanka men’s cricket team scripted history by recording highest innings total in the history of the longest format of the game.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) took to its official Twitter handle and informed its followers that Sri Lanka posted a huge total of 952 for six declared on this day more than two decades ago against India–which still remains highest total by a team in Test history.
“#OnThisDay in 1997, Sri Lanka put up 952/6d against India – the highest innings total by a team in Test history,”the world’s cricket governing body wrote.
— ICC (@ICC) August 6, 2020
Sri Lanka achieved the feat during the opening Test of the two-match series against India at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
In reply to India’s first-inning total of 537 for eight, Sri Lanka lost opener Marvan Atapattu for 31-ball 26.
Subsequently, opener Sanath Jayasuriya notched up an incredible knock of 340 runs off 578 balls–which was decorated with 36 boundaries and two sixes.
As a result, Jayasuriya became the first Sri Lankan player to score a triple ton. Later, Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene went on to achieve the feat for their national team.
First-drop Roshan Mahanama then struck a double century of 225 runs, including 27 boundaries, before Aravinda de Silva also scored a calm and composed 211-ball 126 runs.
Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga (86) and Mahela Jayawardene (66) also made notable contributions to help Sri Lanka post a mammoth total of 952 for six declared on the final day of the opening Test as the match ended in a draw.
Earlier during that match, opener Navjot Sidhu (111), the then skipper Sachin Tendulkar (143) and Mohammad Azharuddin (126) shone with the bat to help India post a mammoth total of 537/8 declared.
For Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya bagged three wickets, while Muttiah Muralitharan and Ravindra Pushpakumara claimed two wickets each.
Chamina Vaas also chipped in with a wicket for Sri Lanka.
The mammoth innings by Sri Lanka saw them surpass England’s record innings of 903 for seven declared against Australia at the Oval in 1938.
Notably, India’s highest innings total in Test cricket was 759 for seven declared against England in Chennai at Chepauk as the hosts went on to win that match by an innings and 75 runs.