On May 26 1999, India beat Sri Lanka by 157 runs in an ICC World Cup encounter that is remembered fondly by Indian cricket fans for Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid absolutely tearing into the defending champions.
Put in to bat first, India got off to a less than ideal start as opener Sadagoppan Ramesh was dismissed in the very first over of the match.
However, a 318-run stand between Dravid and Ganguly for the second wicket put the kibosh on any chance Sri Lanka might have had on winning the match.
The two displayed attacking batting and took Sri Lanka’s bowlers to the sword. Ganguly went on to score a career-high 183 whereas Dravid finished the innings on 145.
Dravid’s innings consisted of 17 fours and a solitary six. Ganguly’s innings had just as many boundaries but he also scored 7 sixes, quite the feat in an era where Twenty20 cricket didn’t exist.
The two batted till the 46th over when Dravid was run out by Muttiah Muralitharan. Ganguly batted on until the final over when he was dismissed by Pramodya Wickramasinghe.
It was always going to be an uphill task for Sri Lanka to win the match from here and so it proved. They lost both openers early and Marvin Atapattu also departed after getting a start.
Aravinda de Silva made a fighting half-century and Arjuna Ranatunga notched up 42 but it was never going to be enough as India dismissed them for 216.
Robin Singh was the pick of the bowlers for India, ending the match with figures of 5-31 and getting the big wickets of De Silva and Ranatunga besides running through the lower order.
India would qualify for the Super Six stage of the tournament after finishing second in their group but finished last in the stage, despite notching a win against arch-rivals and eventual finalists Pakistan. Incidentally, that was the only match Pakistan lost in the Super Six.