18 years ago on this very day, two precociously 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 Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid traumatised the Sri Lankan 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 Ganguly and Dravid were still finding their feet in the international arena, three years after their sensational Test debut in England itself. Both players had by then become an integral part of the Indian batting line-up.
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.
Coming together with the score on 6 for 1, it was Dravid who started the initial attack by playing some gorgeous shots on both sides of the wicket. He drove, flicked and pulled with panache. Dravid in fact raced to his half-century in just 43 deliveries.
Ganguly took his own sweet time to get going, but once set the southpaw unleashed the big shots and made a mincemeat of Sri Lanka's bowlers. Dravid was the first to get past the century mark but Ganguly soon overtook his partner.
Dravid was unfortunate to be run out for 145 and that brought an end to the 318-run stand. Ganguly though continued his onslaught and was eventually dismissed on the penultimate delivery of the 50th over. By then Ganguly had slammed 183 runs in just 158 deliveries. His knock was studded with 17 boundaries and 7 massive sixes.
The partnership between the duo was the highest for any wicket in the World Cup until Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels toppled it in the 2015 ICC World Cup against Zimbabwe.