Partnerships are very important in any form of cricket. A big partnership not only helps a team set up a strong total but also frustrates the opposition. Many iconic partnerships have been forged over the years in Sri Lanka. One of them was the one formed between Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly back in 1998 against Sri Lanka in the finals of the Singer-Akai Nidahas Trophy at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Three teams competed in the tournament that was watched with keen interest by cricket lovers around the world. Hosts Sri Lanka were the most dominant side in the competition with three wins in four matches. New Zealand were unfortunate as four of their fixtures were washed out. India, on the other hand, qualified for the finals with one win in three completed games.
Sri Lanka were a formidable outfit back in the day and were also the reigning world champions. India batted first and had to put on a big total to challenge the star-studded batting line-up of the home team. The likes of Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva could make a mockery of challenging totals on their given day. The onus was on India’s opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to give their team a good start. They went on to form a scintillating partnership that remains etched in the hearts of Indian cricket fans.
Sachin and Sourav compiled a staggering 252-run partnership as both players completed their centuries. The ‘Little Master’ was the more flamboyant of the two as he scored 128 off 131 deliveries. The ‘Prince of Kolkata’ provided great support and departed after a well-made 109 off 136 balls. This is still the highest ODI partnership by a visiting pair in Sri Lanka. Ajay Jadeja (25 off 15) and Robin Singh (15 off 8) played cameos to take India past 300.
With a daunting target of 309 to chase, Sri Lanka played like a champion team and kept Mohammad Azharuddin’s men on their toes for the entirety of the game. Aravinda scored a brilliant century but a four-for from Ajit Agarkar and some harakiri in the end from the home side helped India eke out a six-run win.