Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, the most prolific duo in international cricket, put on many memorable partnerships between 2000 and 2015. They batted together as many as 293 times, amassing a staggering 13,368 runs at an average of 48 in international cricket.
But their best partnership, without a shred of doubt, was the epic 624 they put on for the third wicket against South Africa at the Singhalese Sporting Club (SSC) in Colombo 15 years from today.
South Africa were without the experienced duo of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. The visitors faltered against the spin of Muttiah Muralitharan and the pace of Dilhara Fernando and were bowled out for 169.
A young, charged up Dale Steyn removed the openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga early. When Tharanga was dismissed at the score of 14 for two, skipper Jayawardene joined Sangakkara in the crease.
Sangakkara was dropped on 7 by Jacques Rudolph at slips off Steyn. The next ball, Steyn steamed in and cleaned up Sangakkara. But it was called a no-ball as Steyn overstepped. Sangakkara was lucky for the second time. Rudolph and Steyn had no idea what was in store for them.
Both Sangakkara and Jayawardene reached their fifties before the end of play on day one. Sangakkara was unbeaten on 55 and Mahela on 54. Sri Lanka were 114 for two.
The next day the duo didn't give the Proteas any chance at all and made them toil hard without a wicket. Sangakkara and Mahela scored at a good pace and amassed 357 runs on day two. Both of them reached their double hundreds and the partnership was unbroken on 473.
With history beckoning, they were a bit nervous. So they took their wives out to a nearby Thai restaurant, had fun and after an ice bath and a session with the physio, they were ready to go again.
On day three, Sangakkara and Mahela started from where they left off. They batted out another two chanceless sessions and at tea, they were just six runs away from breaking the record of the iconic Sanath Jayasuriya- Roshan Mahanama partnership which yielded 576 runs.
Just after the resumption of play after tea, the duo made history and scripted the highest partnership for any wicket in the history of Tests. The SSC celebrated the achievement with impromptu fireworks. They also bettered the record of Gul Mohamed and Vijay Hazare (577-run partnership) and became the pair with the highest partnership in first-class cricket.
The duo added 624 before Sangakkara was dismissed by Andrew Hall on a career-best 287. But Mahela Jayawardene kept on piling up runs. At one stage, it looked like he would break Brian Lara's record. But Mahela was bowled by an Andre Nel delivery that kept very low and ended his marathon innings on 374. It is still the fourth-highest individual innings in Tests and the second-highest by a captain.
These two batted 157 overs together, the most by any duo in international cricket. Sri Lanka went on to win the match by an innings and 153 runs.