A day of centuries and ducks at SSC
Sangakkara goes past three greatsJuly 3, 2012, 10:03 pm
Kumar Sangakkara, on left, plays a shot on the 4th day of the 2nd cricket Test against Pakistan at SSC, Colombo on Tuesday, July 3. On right is Tillekeratne Dilshan playing a shot yesterday during his ton. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
by Rex Clementine
Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara was majestic yet again scoring his second century in the series and in the process went past three former greats of the game achieving some key milestones as the fourth day of the second Test against Pakistan produced an exciting day of cricket after two days of heavy rain at SSC yesterday.
Sangakkara smashed an unbeaten 144 while Tillekeratne Dilshan scored 121 as the two former captains shared a 225-run stand for the second wicket yesterday.
Left-arm seamer Junaid Khan spiced things up towards the end when he came round the wicket and trapped Dilshan leg before wicket.
Mahela Jayawardene then was ruled leg before wicket to Junaid, when he shouldered arms to collect his first duck at SSC in 37 innings. Samaraweera too was dismissed for a duck, his first at SSC in 21 innings, to join his captain and Tharanga Paranavithana as the third SSC player to make a duck in the innings.
Night-watchman Suraj Randiv was dismissed with two balls to go for stumps and with still 74 runs required to avoid the follow on, the danger still looks large for the Sri Lankans, particularly with the track offering the bowlers some assistance. The new ball is only four overs old.
Resuming from his overnight score of 22, Sangakkara became only the fourth Test cricketer to score 2,000 Test runs at a single venue when he pushed Junaid Khan for a single. Other batsmen to score over 2,000 runs at a single venue in Test cricket are Mahela Jayawardene, who has achieved the feat at SSC and Galle, Graham Gooch and Jacques Kallis. While the South African has over 2,000 runs to his credit at his home ground in Cape Town, the former England captain has completed the feat at Lord’s.
Two overs later, he became the highest run-scorer against Pakistan in Test cricket when he clipped Junaid Khan for a couple going past India’s Sunil Gavaskar. The former Indian captain scored 2,089 runs against them in 25 Tests and 41 innings while Sangakkara has now scored 2,125 runs in 15 Tests and 28 innings at an average touching 90.
Play was suspended after lunch due to rain and both Sangakkara and Dilshan were going neck to neck for the century. Dilshan was the first to get there when he came down the track to Saeed Ajmal and smashed him for a six over mid-wicket to complete his 14th Test hundred. He also completed 5,000 Test runs against Sri Lanka becoming only the eighth batsman to achieve the milestone. Dilshan’s 121 came off 195 deliveries with 13 fours and a six.
Sangakkara reached his hundred with a single, his 30th in Test cricket, and that meant that Sir Don Bradman was pushed from the list of top ten century makers. The world’s greatest batsman, however, made his 29 Test hundreds in just 52 Tests.
His century is also his ninth against Pakistan breaking Aravinda de Silva’s record for most centuries against them.
The 225-run stand between Sangakkara and Dilshan is a Sri Lankan record for the second wicket against Pakistan improving on the 217-run stand between Sidath Wettimuny and Roy Dias, away back in 1982.
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Last Updated May 23 2013 | 10:49 pm