In the third game of the tri-series between India and Sri Lanka played at Jamaica on Tuesday, Mahela Jayawardene and Upul Tharanga batted brilliantly to add 213 for the opening wicket in 38.4 overs. Jayawardene contributed 107 off 112 balls in the partnership with the aid of nine fours and two sixes before being dismissed to end the amazing stand. Tharanga’s contribution in the alliance was 94 and like Jayawardene he went on to complete his well-deserved hundred. Here’s a look at a few other instances when the Lankan openers added over 200.
Tharanga and Jayasuriya (286): In the 2006 Natwest series game played at Headingley in July, Lanka were set a tough 322 by England courtesy Marcus Trescothick’s magnificent century. But Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga made a mockery of the chase. The two left-handers combined to loot 286 in 31.5 overs to steal the game out of England’s hands. Tharanga hit 14 fours and one six before being dismissed for 109 off 102 balls while Jayasuriya was dismissed for 152 from 99 balls, a knock which contained 20 fours and four sixes. Lanka claimed the game by eight wickets.
Atapattu and Jayasuriya (237): In a tri-series game Down Under in early 2003 played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Lankan openers amassed 237 runs in 33.4 overs while batting first. As expected, Atapattu was the more subdued of the two. He made 101 off 124 balls with the aid of five fours before being run out. Jayasuriya, on the other hand, slammed 122 in 105 balls, crunching 12 fours and four sixes before being dismissed. Following the opening partnership, Lanka ended up with a massive 343 for 5 and went on to clinch the game easily, by 79 runs.
Dilshan and Tharanga (231*): This was the quarter final of the 2011 World Cup played against England and Colombo, and hence has to be up there among the best. Batting first, England only managed a mediocre 229 for 6, with Johanthan Trott top-scoring with 86. Any faint hopes of an England revival were blown away by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga. They added 231 in 39.3 overs to advance to the semis without dropping a sweat. Tharanga remained unbeaten on 102 off 122 balls, scored with the aid of 12 fours and one six while Dilshan ended up on 108 not out, with 10 fours and two sixes.
Tharanga and Jayawardene (202): In the third ODI of the bilateral series played between Lanka and Pakistan in Dambulla in August 2009, the hosts chased down a tough target of 289 with ease, as Tharanga and Jayawardene knocked off 202 of those runs. The opening stand came off 33.3 overs, and put Lanka in total command. For a change, only one batsmen got to a hundred. Tharanga was dismissed for 76 from 96 balls, a knock which featured nine elegant fours. Jayawardene went on to caress 123 off 108 balls with the help of 14 fours and one six as Sri Lanka romped home by six wickets.
--By A Cricket Analyst