Sanga dominates with many records
Kumar Sangakkara plays a square cut during the fourth day of the
first Test match at Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy, yesterday.
Vice captain Kumar Sangakkara continued his remarkable run of success
in Test cricket and rewrote history books as Sri Lanka put themselves in
a strong position to win the first Test match against England at the
Asgriya Stadium in Kandy yesterday.
After Sri Lanka had declared at 442 for 8 shortly before stumps
England reached 9 for 1 in their second innings chasing 350 runs to win
the match on the fifth and final day and take a one nil lead in the
three match series. Chaminda Vaas just like he did in the first innings
managed to get the edge of opener Alistair Cook in the very first over
of the innings.
Spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharn may have stole the limelight on the
previous day with his new record Test wicket haul but the fourth day
completely belonged to Sangakkara who became the first ever player to
make four successive scores of over 150 runs. This includes two unbeaten
double hundreds against Bangladesh at home and 192 against Australia at
The elegant left hander followed up with another magnificent 152 with
19 boundaries and with the innings lasting for a marathon 402 minutes.
Sangakkara who missed out a century in the first innings by a mere eight
runs again batted with increasing confidence while stroking the ball to
all parts of the ground.
Even then he collected most of his runs through the off side where he
hammered a series of boundaries between extra cover and cover point
areas. His knock had a great amount of significance as this was his
first hundred against England and the 16th overall while playing in his
69th Test match.
In addition he joined a select band of players and also became the
ninth player and the second Sri Lankan batsman after Marvan Atapattu to
score a century against all Test playing nations. But the biggest
achievement for Sangakkara was that he became the first ever player to
make scores of over 150 runs in four successive Test matches.
This includes two unbeaten double hundreds against Bangladesh at home
which was followed by a trail blazing knock of 192 against Australia in
the second Test match at Hobart.
In fact Sangakkara was well set for another double century but was
dismissed for a superb 152 which included 19 delightful boundaries. He
showed tremendous amount of concentration and commitment with the
innings lasting for a marathon 402 minutes and 269 deliveries.
He seems to be having a special liking while batting on his home
grounds as he also became the first player to complete one thousand runs
at this venue.
Sangakkara and skipper Mahela Jayawardena completely took the game
away from England with a second wicket partnership of 122 runs from 151
minutes. In fact the 60 runs they shared in the first hour came at an
even pace with Sangakkara extending his superlative form with a
half-century from 88 deliveries.
Since relinquishing the wicket keeping gloves 18 months ago,
Sangakkara has averaged in excess of 150, struck seven hundreds,
including two double hundreds, and two half-centuries.
This was also the sixth successive occasion that Sangakkara had
passed the fifty run mark in Test cricket. His first two boundaries of
the day were edges but he soon settled down and seized on anything loose
to hit regular fours.
However Sangakkara spent some anxious moments in the nervous 90's and
had a close call when he was dropped on 98 by Ian Bell while fielding at
first slip from the bowling of paceman Ryan Sidebottom. Earlier skipper
Mahela Jayawardena was out for a well compiled 65 while edging Hoggard
on the leg side having struck nine boundaries from 108 delivers.
Chamara Silva joined Sangakkara and the pair added a further 71 runs
for the fourth wicket in almost even time as Sri Lanka kept the pressure
on the England bowlers. Silva was dismissed shortly before tea for 37
having struck seven boundaries.
Matthew Hoggard was England's most successful bowler but he was
forced to leave the field later with a back injury.
Hoggard, 30, sent down the first two overs with the new ball in the
second session but succumbed to the discomfort which has plagued him
throughout the second innings - worryingly it was damaged facet joints
in his back which caused him to miss last summer's Test series against
SRI LANKA 1st innings: 188 (K. Sangakkara 92, P. Jayawardene 51, M. Hoggard
4-29, M. Panesar 3-46)
ENGLAND 1st innings: 281 (I. Bell 83, P. Collingwood 45, M. Muralitharan 6-55)
SRI LANKA 2nd innings (overnight 167-2)
M. Vandort c Bell b Anderson 49
S. Jayasuriya lbw b Hoggard 78
K. Sangakkara c Vaughan b Collingwood 152
M. Jayawardene c Prior b Hoggard 65
C. Silva lbw b Panesar 37
J. Mubarak c sub (Swann) b Panesar 9
P. Jayawardene b Collingwood 20
C. Vaas not out 6
L. Malinga b Panesar 2
D. Fernando not out 9
EXTRAS: (b5, lb10) 15
TOTAL (for eight wickets declared) 442
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-113 (Jayasuriya), 2-166 (Vandort),
3-288 (M. Jayawardene), 4-359 (Silva), 5-387 (Mubarak),
6-423 (P. Jayawardene), 7-426 (Sangakkara), 8-429 (Malinga).
BOWLING: Hoggard 18-5-55-2, Sidebottom 25-5-65-0, Panesar 45-5-132-3,
Anderson 23-4-128-1, Bopara 8-3-16-0, Vaughan 3-0-6-0, Collingwood 8-0-25-2.
ENGLAND 2nd innings
A. Cook c Silva b Vaas 4
M. Vaughan not out 1
J. Anderson not out 4
TOTAL (for one wicket) 9
FALL OF WICKET: 1-4 (Cook).
BOWLING: Vaas 2-0-7-1, Malinga 1-1-0-0, Muralitharan 1-0-2-0, Jayasuriya 1-1-0-0.