GALLE // Kumar Sangakkara smashed his 10th double century as Sri Lanka declared its first innings at 533 for nine for a lead of 82 runs over Pakistan on the fourth day of the first Test.
Pakistan lost opener Khurram Manzoor to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath to finish the day on four for one – still 78 runs behind.
Sangakkara’s imperious 221 in 11-and-half hours off 425 balls was studded with 24 fours as the master batsman made Pakistan pay for dropping him off the first ball of the day and later on 168.
Sangakkara is just two behind Don Bradman’s all-time record of 12 double centuries.
Abdul Rehman, who missed a first-ball sitter of Sangakkara, had the left-hander finally stumped late in the last session before Pakistan’s tough time in the field ended with the declaration.
Angelo Mathews made a splendid 91 and fell to offspinner Saeed Ajmal (5-166), who finished with a five-wicket haul after only taking his first wicket in his 47th over.
“I think everyone is second to the Don,” Sangakkara said after his majestic knock. “I’m pretty happy that I’m two double-hundreds behind him, but that’s probably the only way I can even get close to reaching him, so I’m pretty happy with the day’s play.”
Pakistan’s bowlers got little support from their fielders on a placid wicket as Sangakkara shared three century-stands in the home team’s response to Pakistan’s 451. 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.
“There was quite a bit of hard work, and quite a bit of luck, (but) if you spend enough time out there, there’s runs on offer,” Sangakkara said.
Jayawardene, playing his last series before retiring, was beaten by his first delivery and then edged a boundary through slips off the next ball before falling to one from Khan that jagged back.
Sangakkara, who added 120 with opening batsman Kaushal Silva on the third day, shared the second century-stand 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 loose deliveries and played some elegant drives on both sides of the wicket to frustrate Pakistan.
Sangakkara got a second chance in his marathon knock when Younis Khan spilt a chance in lone slip just before the offspinner removed Mathews.
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