The Best of Tests: Marvan Atapattu, Kumar Sangakkara pile misery on Zimbabwe with 438-run stand
Test cricket mirrors life. The ebbs and flows of the format have given birth to some of the most breath-taking cricketing epics. A Cricket World Series, The Best of Tests, highlights the finest of these spectacles.
2nd Test, Sri Lanka tour of Zimbabwe at Bulawayo, May 14-17 2004
Zimbabwe 228 & 231
Sri Lanka 713/3d
Result - Sri Lanka won by an innings and 254 runs
Player of the Match - Kumar Sangakkara
Due to the standoff between the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and rebel cricketers, 15 rebel Zimbabwe players had become unavailable for selection while another 20-odd had been lost on Zimbabwe cricket over the last four years.
The result was that when Sri Lanka toured Zimbabwe for a 5-match ODI series and a two-match Test series in 2004, they had won all the five ODIs and were leading the Test series by 1-0, going into the final match of their tour at Bulawayo.
Batting first, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 228 with Dion Ebrahim (70) and Stuart Matsikenyeri (45) top scoring. It was now the turn of the Sri Lankan batsmen to cash in.
Sanath Jayasuriya was the first Sri Lankan wicket to fall for 100. Post that, the Zimbabwe bowlers had to fetch the leather for a long, long time as Marvan Atapattu (249) and Kumar Sangakkara (270) joined forces for a 438-run partnership - the fourth highest for the second wicket in the history of Test cricket and the second-highest for Sri Lanka for the said wicket.
The record of the highest partnership for the second wicket is also held by two Sri Lankans - Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama when they added 576 against India at Colombo in 1997.
The Sri Lankan batsmen having inflicted enough misery on Zimbabwe, with a century from Mahela Jayawardene backing up the record partnership, skipper Atapattu finally declared on 713/3.
Zimbabwe folded up for 231 in their second innings as Sri Lanka registered a record win by an innings and 254 runs with Kumar Sangakkara bagging the Man of the Match award.
© Cricket World 2020