Sangakkara, Jayawardene guide Sri Lanka to 252-2
GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Kumar Sangakkara notched his 37th test century and Mahela Jayawardene grafted a fine fifty in his last series as Sri Lanka moved to a solid 252-2 at tea on the rain disrupted third day of the first test against Pakistan on Friday.
Sangakkara was batting on 102 and Jayawardene, who will be retiring after the second test, was not out on 55 after Pakistan had scored a healthy 451.
Rain disrupted the post-lunch session but both batsmen batted out solidly and had added 108 runs for the third-wicket stand.
Pakistan’s lone success came in the first session when fast bowler Mohammad Talha induced a thick outside edge of Kaushal Silva’s bat after Sri Lanka resumed at 99-1.
Silva, 38 overnight, scored 64 off 147 balls with 11 fours and added 120 runs with Sangakkara.
Rain twice intervened after lunch before it came down heavily and took the players off the field for tea as Sangakkara and Jayawardene continued to thwart Pakistan bowlers without much trouble.
Ace spinner Saeed Ajmal, who has bowled 29 wicketless overs, was watchfully played by both batsmen as the offspinner could not find the breakthrough on a flat wicket.
Jayawardene, playing at one of his favorites grounds, completed his half century when he paddled left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman to fine leg for two runs.
Sangakkara, who has scored over 1,000 test runs this year, played some attractive drives on both sides of the wickets and raised his century with 13 fours off 216 balls by driving and cutting Rehman for two boundaries in one over.
Earlier, fast bowler Junaid Khan caused both seasoned batsmen some trouble after Sri Lanka lost Silva in the morning session.
Children queued up and raised their bats in a guard of honor for Jayawardene as firecrackers exploded around the Galle International Stadium when he walked out to bat.
Jayawardene successfully had English umpire Ian Gould’s lbw decision overturned when he was on 11 as television replays showed the ball would have just missed the off stump after pitching in line with the stumps.
Sangakkara also escaped a confident appeal against Khan not long after — this time Pakistan went for the Decision Review System but the ball again appeared to be missing the line of off stump.
Sangakarra resumed Friday at 36 and added a further 45 runs in the first hour with Silva.
Silva completed his half century when he pulled Khan to the square leg boundary and Sangakkara raised his 50 by cutting Talha through the vacant slip region to the third man boundary.
Talha finally broke the century-stand stand when Silva attempted a drive but got a thick outside edge that carried to diving wicketkeeper Ahmed Sarfraz.