Southpaw hits 10th double hundred in Tests as Lanka put Pakistan in spot of bother
Galle: Veteran Kumar Sangakkara hit a 200-plus score for the 10th time to light up the fourth day's play in the first Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Galle on Saturday. The prolific left-hander made 221 as the hosts declared their first innings at 533-9 shortly before stumps, a lead of 82 runs over Pakistan's total of 451.
Kumar Sangakkara leaves the field after being dismissed for 221 on the fourth day of the opening Test against Pakistan at Galle on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath then had opener Khurram Manzoor caught behind for three to reduce the tourists to 4-1 in six overs before the close. Ahmed Shehzad was on one and nightwatchman Saeed Ajmal had yet to score when stumps were drawn, leaving Pakistan the task of batting out the final day to draw the opening encounter of the two-match series.
Sangakkara, second only behind Australian legend Don Bradman's tally of 12 scores of more than 200, took advantage of the easy-paced wicket to toy with the Pakistan attack for nearly 12 hours. He fell in the post-tea session, stumped off spinner Abdur Rehman trying to pick up the scoring rate in the company of tailenders.
"I think everyone is second to the Don," he said. "I am pretty happy that I am two double-hundreds behind him because that is probably the only way I can even get close to reaching him. It was quite a bit of hard work out there, and also a little bit of luck. But this game is not over yet. We need to get nine wickets. Our responsibility will be to make the batsman play as much as we can,"
Ajmal fights back
Pakistan's frontline off-spinner Ajmal, who went wicketless for 46 overs, grabbed five on either side of tea to finish with expensive figures of five for 166 from 59.1 overs. "Sangakkara played very well, but the story would have been different if some catches had been taken or some decisions had favoured us," said Ajmal. "We are confident that we will not lose this match, but we have to see how the first session goes tomorrow."
Pakistan paid heavily for letting Sangakkara escape off the first ball of the day when Rehman spilled a chance at point off left-arm seamer Junaid Khan. Junaid struck three deliveries later as Mahela Jayawardene was adjudged leg-before through the Decision Review System (DRS).
Umpire Ian Gould turned down a loud shout from the bowler, but Pakistan earned a positive verdict after appealing for a review from the TV official. Replays showed the ball hitting the top of the off-stump. Jaywardene, who is due to quit Tests after the series ends in Colombo later this month, made 59.
Pakistan 451 and 4-1 (R Herath 3-1); Sri Lanka 1st innings 533-9 decl (K Sangakkara 221, A Mathews 91, M Jayawardene 59; S Ajmal 5-166)
The number of Test centuries Kumar Sangakkara has scored at home. Jayawardene has 23