What is the highest partnership in Test cricket?

According to Guinness World Records, the highest partnership in Test cricket is 624, achieved in the first innings of the first Test of the South Africa tour of Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo, Sri Lanka between July 27 and July 29, 2006. South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first, but scored only 169 all out in the first innings, with Abraham Benjamin (AB) de Villiers top-scoring on 65.

In reply, Sri Lanka lost both openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga cheaply to feared fast bowler Dale Steyn, the former trapped lbw for 4 and the latter caught at the wicket for 7. Thus, Sri Lanka were 14-2 after 3.3 overs when Kumar Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardene came together at the crease. However, both batsmen remained unbeaten at close of play on the second day and, remarkably, also at the end of third day, having scored 229 and 224, respectively. They still weren’t finished, though; by the time Sangakkara was caught at the wicket, off lively medium-pacer Andrew Hall, for 287 on the third day, the pair had been in the middle for exactly 157 overs and taken the score to 638-3.

Jayawardene batted on for another 25 overs, bar two balls, and was, in fact, the last man out – cleaned bowled by Andre Nel for 374 – as Sri Lanka declared on 756-5, with a colossal first innings lead of 587 runs. Understandably, South Africa were always fighting a losing battle, but made a much better fist of their second innings, with Jacques Rudolph (90), Andrew Hall (64), captain Ashwell Prince (61) and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher (85) all making significant contributions. Nevertheless, the tourists were dismissed for 434, giving Sri Lanka victory by an innings and 153 runs.

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