Sangakkara motors Sri Lanka to 449-4
GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Kumar Sangakkara continued to prosper against reckless Pakistan fielding and spurred Sri Lanka to 449-4 at tea on the fourth day of the first test on Saturday.
Sangakkara, who was dropped off the first ball of the day and again on 168, was eyeing a double century and was unbeaten on 189 off 377 balls, hitting 21 fours.
Sri Lanka is now just two runs behind Pakistan’s first innings score of 451.
Captain Angelo Mathews made a splendid 91 off 188 balls with nine fours and a six before giving offspinner Saeed Ajmal his first wicket in his 47th over of the innings.
Sangakkara featured in the third century-stand when he crafted 181 runs with Mathews as Pakistan could only get the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene (59) in Junaid Khan’s eventful first over with the new ball in the first session.
Sangakkara, 102 overnight, played a loose drive off fast bowler Junaid Khan’s first delivery but Abdul Rehman dropped a sitter at point after Sri Lanka resumed at 252-2.
Jayawardene, playing his last series before retiring after the second test, was beaten by his first delivery and got an edged boundary through slips off the next ball before falling to Khan’s immaculate delivery that jagged back into the batsman.
Sangakkara shared the second century-stand in the innings by putting on 113 runs with Jayawardene before he continued to frustrate Pakistan bowlers in the post-lunch session with Mathews.
Both batsmen waited for the lose deliveries and played some elegant drives on both sides of the wickets as Pakistan bowlers got virtually no help from a placid wicket.
Sangakkara got the second chance in his marathon knock of just over 10 hours which began on the second day when Younis Khan spilled a chance in the lone slip just before the offspinner removed Mathews.
Mathews was out for 90s for the third time in test matches since last Christmas when he misread a doosra and Khan grabbed a low catch to his right.
Khan, who bowled with some spice early in the day with the new ball, was the pick of the bowlers with 2-94.