Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, Colombo, 4th day

Sangakkara, Dilshan take Sri Lanka close to safety

The Report by Sidharth Monga

July 3, 2012

Comments: 56 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 278 for 5 (Sangakkara 144*, Dilshan 121, Junaid 3-56) trail Pakistan 551 for 6 dec by 273 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kumar Sangakkara went past Don Bradman with century No. 30, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, Colombo, 4th day, July 3, 2012
Sangakkara and Dilshan both scored centuries © Associated Press
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Rain fell from the sky, records fell by the wayside, but in all likelihood the wickets fell too late in the day. A wet outfield in the morning and obligatory showers in the afternoon meant a result was the farthest thing on people's minds despite four strikes towards the end of the day, inspired by a spirited burst from Junaid Khan. The prospects of a result have been so bleak that, surreally, even the steel bands have given this Test a miss.

There was nothing surreal about Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan filling their boots on their favourite surface and against their favourite opposition. This was Sangakkara's ninth century against Pakistan, 30th overall, overtaking Don Bradman's tally of 29. Like Sangakkara, Dilshan too scored his second century of the series. He also became only the eighth Sri Lankan to reach 5,000 Test runs. There was another statistical event: late in the day Mahela Jayawardene registered his first duck at the SSC, but it seemed like his first score of under 100 here.

The pitch only began to misbehave when the two were approaching their centuries. That, combined with the time lost to weather, meant there was little scoreboard pressure on the two all through. It always seemed a matter of when, not if, when the two would get to their centuries. Sangakkara, in particular, looked certain he would get one, and make it a big one. Along the way came instructive milestones. When he nudged Junaid to fine leg for his 57th run, he became only the fourth man to have scored 2000 runs at a single venue, behind Graham Gooch at Lord's, Jacques Kallis at Newlands, and Mahela Jayawardene in Galle and at the SSC. Two overs later, when he pulled Junaid behind square, the couple took him to 2090 runs against Pakistan, more than anybody else, then at an average of 87.

Sangakkara began the day on 22, and kept on clipping balls off his pads with ease. The only time he looked in any discomfort was when he drove at wide deliveries to edge them just out of reach of gully. Dilshan carried his reckless approach from day three in to this morning too, but after two plays and misses he put his head down and cut out all the risks. He didn't mind Sangakkara overtaking him even though he began the day 24 ahead. He scored just 14 runs in the first session, but was a much more reassuring sight than in the last session on day two.

Smart stats

  • Kumar Sangakkara's century is his 30th in Tests, taking him past Don Bradman on the list of batsmen with the most Test centruries. Among Sri Lanka batsmen, only Mahela Jayawardene has more centuries than Sangakkara.
  • During the course of his knock, Sangakkara went past Sunil Gavaskar on the list of batsmen with the most runs against Pakistan.
  • Sangakkara's century is his ninth against Pakistan and takes him past Aravinda de Silva on the list of batsmen with the most centuries against Pakistan.
  • Tillakaratne Dilshan's century is his third against Pakistan and his second in consecutive Tests in this series. It is only the third series in which he has managed to score two centuries.
  • Dilshan became the eighth Sri Lanka batsman to cross the 5000-run mark in Tests. He now has exactly 5000 runs in 81 Tests at 41.32.
  • The 225-run stand between Dilshan and Sangakkara is the highest second-wicket stand for Sri Lanka against Pakistan, and their third-highest overall for the second wicket.

Dilshan's extravagance nearly cost him his wicket when he went after an Aizaz Cheema delivery so wide it would have been called in ODIs. Cheema managed to get another delivery to lift towards Dilshan's chest early on in the day, but that was the only inconvenience the pitch caused in the morning, especially once the batsmen decided they could do without undue risks. Only the rare quick turning delivery from Abdur Rehman in the last over before lunch managed to beat the bat.

After a sumptuously long lunch break, thanks to the rain, Rehman remained the only semblance of a threat. Still Dilshan picked up the rate, and the only contest to observe was the race to the centuries. Sangakkara was 72, and Dilshan 60 at lunch. An hour-long middle session later, Dilshan had reached 85, and Sangakkara 90, with Rehman posing the only questions.

When on 86, Sangakkara played back to a full ball from Rehman, and was beaten. Just like the last over before lunch, the last over before tea from Rehman featured one rare sharp turner that beat Dilshan. An inside edge denied him an lbw next ball. The pitch had become to offer some turn now, making you wonder if this would have been a tame draw if we hadn't lost so much time to rain.

After tea, the two found themselves level at 98, but Dilshan burst through the photo finish with a six off Saeed Ajmal. Sangakkara chose the quieter way to get to the century. Dilshan grew adventurous again, scoring 23 off the last 19 balls he faced. Junaid, though, came back and squeezed one through from round the stumps to catch him plumb in front.

Even as Sangakkara marched on, Junaid's round-the-stumps angle troubled the other batsmen. Jayawardene shouldered arms to a delivery that looked like harmlessly wide, but was hit slightly above the knee roll just outside off. Simon Taufel took his time before raising the finger, and Pakistan could sense room for one final push. With 102 still required to avoid follow-on, they attacked.

Thilan Samaraweera edged Ajmal just short of leg gully. Junaid came back with another impressive lbw shout from the same angle, and was denied. Pakistan had absolutely surrounded Samaraweera by then. There was no letting up of pressure. Samaraweera finally succumbed for an 18-ball duck, missing an Ajmal offbreak from round the stumps. The innings now featured only centuries and ducks.

Suraj Randiv came out as the nightwatchman, safety still 93 runs away and a maximum of 38 minutes to stumps. Junaid tested Randiv for an over, drawing another close lbw shout and making him keep a yorker out. With Sangakkara the immovable object, Randiv hung on for dear life until he fell to a Rehman arm ball that also proved to be the last ball of the day. The 15.4 overs since Dilshan's dismissal were edgy stuff, the only edgy stuff of the day. Arguably, the match.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Im waiting to see sanga break 12 test double century record from great don brabmon

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

East or west sanga is the best,,proud to be a lion

Posted by ameen85 on (July 4, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

@ Jst Chill Chill. Sanga scored 49 in the WC final and put up a good partnership with mahela nad Dilshan. He is one of the three subcontinental batsmen who averages 50 plus in TEST out side subcontinent with Sachin and Dravid..... He a s classy player who can score any where. He has scored 150 plus six times out side subcontinent..

Posted by Resultpredictor on (July 4, 2012, 6:15 GMT)

Sanga demolishing Pak bowling superbly...

Posted by anver777 on (July 4, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

Certainly heading for a tame tame draw...........

Posted by siriherath on (July 4, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

True, Sangakkara saying SL were playing towards the close during the last 15 overs or so. But in that time (and as a result of), SL lost the momentum swaying in their favour and gifted the opportunity to have some purposeful wind in their sails or tails (up) of the Paks. Bowl after bowl if you keep prodding, which more often ends up with close-in catches , the opposition's confidence naturally rise. Inevitably, once they bring down one in the process, the negativity in the batting gets even worse and they all fall like lemmings.Before getting out, Paranawithana, Mahela and Thilan had spent 18,17 and 23 minutes respectively, just defending and scoring nothing. In the end, they had to give. Though risky, an attacking stroke or two by this trio, might have made the Pak bowlers to curl up their tails a bit.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 4, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

Pakistan should only and only go for win. Try hard for it. If Kumble alone can take 10 wickets of Pakistan team at Kotla, why can't the complete Pakistan team take 15 wickets at SSC; this should be the thinking of all the players and all should try for win till last ball. All the best Pakistan. Miracles happen with Humans , not with Robots.

Posted by Gazz_85 on (July 4, 2012, 3:49 GMT)

People need to stop making uninformed comments regarding Sanga's batting record. Any batsmen that averages over 50 at home as well as away deserves respect.

To call Asian tracks flat bullies whilst western teams struggle is utterly ridiculous. The fact is that players are most comfortable in home style conditions. Recent example would be England beating India 4-0 at home but getting whitewashed against Pakistan.

Also, in the spirit of sticking to the facts:

Of the 36 matches that have been played on the SSC 23 matches have ended in a result (63% of matches played produced a result).

To contrast Lords has hosted 124 matches of which 77 match have produced a result (62% of matches played produced a result).

Please do some research before making ignorant comments!!!

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

Dont be hurt man Sanga will regain his #1 in test rankings

Posted by applethief on (July 4, 2012, 1:56 GMT)

@Fezz You're not quite right, the same reprieves WERE handed to England in the UAE, even on 3rd umpire review (Strauss caught at silly mid-on, lbw before that, Broad run out, Anderson lbw, Cook lbw X2). Pak only survived through DRS, which they didn't always use well, and England's complete inability to cope with the pressure of high-quality spin and Umar Gul. DRS would have helped this series plenty, though nothing much can be done about the rain. Plus, Sri Lanka know what they're doing in their own backyard, and were always favourites to take the series, though I was hoping for a closer contests, which is where Pakistan have disappointed

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

Pakistan cannot win the series, they can only level it if they win the last test. But if the pitch in the 3rd test is similar to this one, SL would want to hold onto the 1-0 lead.

Posted by Sinhaya on (July 4, 2012, 1:40 GMT)

@WickyRoy.paklover, ok if your team got another 30 overs dont forget wickets would have fallen easily as Pakistani tail is not strong enough. Wait till Sanga excels again today. Sanga scored 211 in Abu Dhabi last year so he should hopefully pass 250 today and help us reach 500.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

@piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda I think you meant to say Tendulkar and Sehwag. Who couldn't get bat to ball in the last two tours to England and Australia? Even Dilshan made 192 in England.

Posted by coolitbaby on (July 4, 2012, 0:16 GMT)

You have to pity Pakistani batsmen. They keep failing miserably always, and in the one odd match they manage to score some runs by luck, they do not get any result. LOL. In next match they will start getting out for ducks again, and will end up losing yet again.

Posted by just_chill_chill on (July 4, 2012, 0:14 GMT)

Well can't help but congratulate Sanga again (sarcastic). Now he can score runs on these nonsensical flat pitches and boost his average and lankan fans start jumping up and down. But in crucial matches like world cup finals, he fails miserably. He needs to learn to perform when it matters.

Posted by cricsavvy on (July 3, 2012, 23:09 GMT)


Posted by piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on (July 3, 2012, 22:34 GMT)

Flat track bullies Mahela and Sanga are making merry again !!

Posted by grizzle on (July 3, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

Terrible, terrible pitch! Such flat tracks only help subcontinental batsmen inflate their averages...

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 20:59 GMT)

unfortunately, rain has been a real spoilsport in this match..... if it hadn't sl wud have been in trouble with the scorecard as is overnight.... the only way pak can be interested in this is if: 1. rain stays away tomorrow (extremely unlikely) 2. sangakkara gets out early 3. pak wrap up the sl innings within 70 runs even then they will hav to get a further 10 wickets and the pitch hasn't shown any such big demons that cud trouble the batsmen considerably

Posted by Fezz on (July 3, 2012, 20:59 GMT)

@BABasher! How can u say that both teams benefitted from umpiring mistakes in the first test ? SL batsmen were let off for about 8 times in the first innings , which allowed SL to score nearly 500 runs, and then 3 wrong decisions were given against Pakistan batsmen in the first innings (including their best batsman who has test average of 52). After all this, if a couple of decisions went in favour of Pakistan, it was far too late for that. The fact is that umpires had already effectively the match to SL after day 2. If the same reprieves were given to English batsmen in UAE, Pakistan would have lost that series 3-0. No team can't win on a flat track after 10 + umpiring decisions against them.

Posted by golgoal on (July 3, 2012, 20:45 GMT)

@ WickyRoy.paklover : You are right for a change. India and SL bowling can't be compared to Pak bowling. Nobody chokes in high pressure games like Pakistan. Simply incomparable.

Posted by Muhtasim13 on (July 3, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

This really would have been an exciting Test had it not rained in the last few days :(

Posted by Resultpredictor on (July 3, 2012, 20:18 GMT)

Sanga, the tormentor of Pakistan will definetly make double century tomorrow and draw is the result

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

this is insane pak deserves this with sl dont draw is just gona be a slap on pakistan effort and brilliance in this match...get sanga out pak will win unless draw is for sure certain..

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

What an innings by both Sanga and Dilshan! A delight for a cricket fan to watch! Unlucky that the partnership between them was broken but I'm happy that Sanga is still playing! I really hope Sanga gets a double hundred this time, unlike last time!

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (July 3, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

There u go,now nobdy shoud cmpare sl and ind bowlng unit with pak's(pak's bowlng z way betr).MAHELA GOT D WRONG 1.JUNAID WAS FANTASTIC,HE HAS PROVD THAT WHY HE Z SO SUBSTANCIAL IN COUNTY,i gues he deservs chance on respnsive pitchs to prove much more dangrous.@BABASHR,I WOULD love to disagre with u 100 out 100 times,on these flat wickts,even if 1 or 2 batsmen can click,any team can fancy 400 pls,what about lankan batng? Only sanga,dilshan r respndng n sl already hav 472 and 300+ in ths ining so ur point doesn't make any sense at al,@SINHAYA,U SIMPLY CANNT IGNORE 120+ OVERS,if pak could get anothr 30 ovrs,they would have scord 650 pls n ur team definitly would have been struglng even in more intensified maner

Posted by applethief on (July 3, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

@BABashar explain how bad umpiring benefited both teams equally. Even if you choose not to use math, you still won't be able make a half-decent case

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

Congrats to Pakistan for their hard work on such a dead pitch. Had those over 100 overs not lost to rain, Pakistan would have been in ideal postion to go for the win. Its such a shame that the most rainy place in the world has such a placid cricket track that even if a team plays well the rain will force a draw on it.

Having said that if Pakistan can take the last 5 wickets in the next 30 overs under 74 runs, they may push for a win in 70 overs. But again who can bet against the ever present rain in columbo

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (July 3, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

Vow 2 centuries and 3 0's...I wonder how many times this has hapenned in a test match? In any case rain is playing the spoil sport and barring a miracle it is going to end in a tame draw. Can anyone explain why we still have 2-test match series?

Posted by thelivesport on (July 3, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

With talent, rain, pitch, and umpires [in a way] all contributed, now lets hope for a positive result.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

It is shocking to note that the three batsmen who have got ducks are playing in their own home ground the SSC. This test match looks like one to reach milestones. Sanga it is upto you to go ahead and get the best out of it.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

had i been there ,, i would have scored a century on my debut ,, provided the rain didnt came in play :P

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

When game meanders like this they should call it off...

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

Sanga & Dilly looked very easy in that pitch but JUNAID could seam the ball impressively in dead pitch. Tilan and Mahela(unlucky!) went for ducks in their home ground.PAK have slight chance in the final day,Only If PAK would dismiss Sanga early, Weather is clear tomorrow & Both Sanga & Dil fail to do it in 2nd Inn.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

If Dilshan "has exactly 5000 runs", then how can he be " the eighth Sri Lanka batsman to CROSS the 5000-run mark "?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 3, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

That SL scorecard is the most ridiculous I've ever seen. Two centuries and then three ducks and a 5?! That's crazy. Did they switch pitches mid-innings?

Posted by BABashar on (July 3, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

@Syed_Imran_Abbas - I do not agree that Pakistan lost the first match due to bad umpiring. I commented after the first match the the bad umpiring was beneficial for both the teams equally. It was the dismal batting performance by the so called players with firm back up. Imagine in the same match and at the same venue Pakistan could not manage to demonstrate their skills and did not play to their potential which costed them the match. In this match - its a batsmen paradise pitch and batsmen from both sides are equally enjoying the pleasure. I bet - on a sporting wicket Pakistan can never show the resistance when it comes to the terms against the world class bowling attack. I am also a sincere patriot Pakistani but regret to register my comments not against the team but against the selectors and the pcb set up.

Posted by khurramsch on (July 3, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

there is lot of debate about pitch but i think main reason for draw is rain not pitch. over 115 overs lost in 4 days & certainly pak is in good poition if all overs were bowled but again its part of game. umpiring much better than last but still, hafez was given not out, younas was given, samarwra was not given , mj was given. but much improved than 16 in 4 days.well played by sanga & dilshan to make it a draw confirmed.

Posted by icricketing on (July 3, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

What is the point of playing this meaningless cricket? These kind of dead cricket pitches are not doing any good for any form of cricket, let alone test version. Cricket can be enjoyed when there is a balance between bat & ball. You can't imagine a game that is being played over 5 days still can end without a result. Even crickets need to be sensible & positive while playing on these type of wickets. Instead of piling on tons of runs,

Posted by KingOwl on (July 3, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

I hope the next test will be played on a wicket that will help the bowlers. Pakistan are favorites on flat tracks like the SSC.

Posted by Jack_India on (July 3, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

All four LBWs today including two for ducks.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

Unfortunate that Great Mahela and Marvelous Thilan got out....Common Sanga go for the 300..Please Please rain stay away ! Let the greatest Test batsman of modern era to score his maiden 300 !

Posted by PadMarley on (July 3, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

i keep my fingers crossed for sanga to be the fastest to get career runs 10,000. he has to maintain an average of about 40 in his next 9 innings ....

Posted by ameen85 on (July 3, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

For those who complain about SSC pitch. SL have won 15 matches drawn 5 and lost 5 in SSC during the legendary spinner Muralis's period. SL Didnt make it a batting paradise to keep the series alive. Its a well known factor by the world cricker fans that SSC is a batting surface. People start screaming and complaining and coming with some lame excuses when they are frustrated and losing. Hats off to the GREAT SANGA!!!!! the highest run getter against his favorite opposition pakistan at an avergae of 80+

Posted by samincolumbia on (July 3, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

Great advert for Test cricket!! Thank you Sri Lanka.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (July 3, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

So dissappointing to see pakistan in such a good position but can't win becuase of rain.. This series wasn,t scheduled at right season. Its like ruining all the hard work of players.. they lost first match because of umpires and second because of rain.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Sri lankan made this batting paradise because they want to make sure that lead of 1-0 stay alive..!!

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 3, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

I sincerely hope that Pakistan some how get that inspiration from some where to say themselves that ' nothing is impossible'. I sincerely pray for Pakistan to win this ( not a joke) because, nothing can be ruled out. Kumble(India) taking 10 wickets against Pakistan on a single day, why not Pakistan do it 15 a day?? I pray for Pakistan to try hard and think of a winning and trying for it till the last ball of the test match. Pakistan should also not get thinking that it is not possible. ..Once again Pakistan i am really praying to god for your win, i mean it- From an Indian

Posted by mohanan on (July 3, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

T.S. scored the best of ducks off 18 balls ;)

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

if pakistan get 5 wickets for 50 in 1 hour and if the rain stays away than it will be very intresting

Posted by inzamam_ul_haq on (July 3, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

Rain has ruin the game, like in the the odi the rain has it share in this game as well the rain has it share, if there was no rain it would have been an interesting contest.

Posted by SriLa72 on (July 3, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

I would hate to be a bowler in these types of pitches. Full credit to players who scored centuries on both sides, however, credit also to those bowlers for working hard to get wickets in these types of flat pitches. Curators at SSC could have done a lot better to produce a match winning pitch. Result oriented pitches will keep the game alive for many more years (in my opinion).

Posted by Balumekka on (July 3, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

Good contest appeared on a dead pitch on last session. Excellent hundreds by Sanga and Dilshan. Really impressive comeback by Pakistan. However, a result seems to be far from reality as it needs another 15 Sri Lankan wickets on final day (for all four days only 11 wickets have fallen). Simon Taufel again showed how badly needed thing DRS is! Mahela's LBW was nowhere (even though he was not offering a shot). and next over he did not give a plumb LBW of Samaraweera. Anyway Junaid Khan was absolutely impressive on a dead pitch.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

Just like the first match. Sanga saving SL and DIlly giving him magnificent support. Go SL

Posted by mr.truth on (July 3, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

world class batting from them. dilshan gets 5000 tests runs sanga must get 10000 test runs end of this tour. pak rebuild.another good innings from pak.

Posted by Sinhaya on (July 3, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

Come on Sanga go for 250 plus tomorrow. Just bat on and ensure we get to 500 so that if not, Pakistan will say rain saved Sri Lanka. Well Mahela got a dreadful decision but well that is the real result when there is no DRS.

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