Dhaka: Mahela Jayawardene become Test cricket's sixth-highest run-getter with a glorious unbeaten double-century as Sri Lanka compounded Bangladesh's misery in the first Test in Dhaka yesterday.
Mahela Jayawardene (left) acknowledges the crowd after reaching 200 as teammate Kithuruwan Vithanage looks on yesterday. Pic/AFP
The veteran right-hander made 203 not out, his seventh double-century in 33 three-figure knocks, as the tourists piled up 730-6 declared on the third day at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. Having gained a mammoth lead of 498 runs, Sri Lanka reduced Bangladesh to 35-1 in nine overs before stumps to step closer to an overwhelming victory in the first match of the two-Test series.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, brought on after three overs, struck with his third delivery when he forced Tamim Iqbal to mistime a catch to point.Shamsur Rahman was unbeaten on nine and Marshall Ayub was on 11 at close, with Bangladesh still trailing by 463 runs.
Jayawardene leapfrogged Allan Border (11,174 runs) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (11,219) to move behind record-holder Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid and Brian Lara in the all-time list.
Level with Sanga
The 36-year-old former captain, who now has 11,236 runs in 142 matches, equalled team-mate and close friend Kumar Sangakkara's Sri Lankan record of 33 Test centuries. Jayawardene said he was not aware of the personal milestones, insisting the team's needs always took precedence.
"It probably feels good, but at the end of the day what matters is that we put up a decent score on the board," he said. "Along the way if you achieve those things it gives a tremendous feeling." Jayawardene refused to take victory for granted despite his team being in such a commanding position.
"Cricket is a funny game and I have played enough to realise that nothing happens easily," he said. "We just need to be patient, create pressure and grab those opportunities that come our way.
"We have two days to go, so I hope that is enough time. We will wait and see."
Jayawardene smashed 16 boundaries and four sixes in a typically elegant innings, reaching 203 with a six over mid-wicket off Nasir Hossain.
Vithanage hits 103*
Kithuruwan Vithanage joined the run-spree with an unbeaten 103 as Bangladesh conceded their highest ever total, surpassing the 648-9 by the West Indies in Khulna in November 2012.
Vithanage, a 22-year-old left-hander playing his third Test, hit 12 fours and two sixes in his maiden
century. Bangladesh struggled to contain the runs on the even-paced wicket after Sri Lanka resumed the day on 375-5.