Sri Lankan cricket was on a high after their breakthough World cup 1996 win. They had build up a settled team confident to beat anyone, anywhere..
And if not win, Lankans used to kill the test match with their strong batting lineup which exactly what they did against a solid Indian first innings total of 537/8 declared at Premadasa stadium in Colombo in that August 1997 test match. With centuries from Navjot Singh Sidhu (111), Sachin Tendulkar (143) and Mohammad Azharuddin (126), visitors pushed for a win but didn't knew what was coming next..
Sanath Jayasuriya (340) + Roshan Mahanama (225) = 576 runs partnership, spanning nearly 250 overs during which Indian bowlers did loads of leather chasing. Nilesh Kulkarni, probably the tallest left arm spinner to play for India, made his debut and got wicket off his very first ball in test cricket, but went on to give away 195 runs from his 70 overs for no further success! Interestingly, Jayasuriya was open with a chance to break the world record for highest score by a batsman in test cricket but was dismissed without adding a single run after his partner Roshan Mahanama was trapped leg before wicket by Anil Kumble.
This was a record for highest partnership in tests before Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara broke it against South Africa a decade later.
Highest partnership by a pair of Indian batsmen against Sri Lanka belongs to Mohammad Azharuddin and Kapil Dev for their 272 runs for 6th wicket at Kanpur. Azharuddin was out for 199 (oops!), while Kapil made 163 from only 165 balls.
Highest opening partnership in India vs Sri Lanka test match is by Manoj Prabhakar and Navjot Singh Sidhu for their 171 runs back in 1993 at Sinhalese stadium in Colombo. Sidhu made 104 but Prabhakar was unlucky to miss his century as he was out for 95 from 187 balls.