Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, 4th day July 3, 2012

A case of centuries and ducks

Plays of the day from the fourth day of the second Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Colombo

Shot of the day
Kumar Sangakkara was in such ominous form that he managed to work around the defensive field placements for him against the spinners. Three men were placed in the deep on the leg side for Abdur Rehman and he bowled a full one outside the off stump, but the field and delivery made no difference. Sangakkara still got down on his knee, swept it firm and bisected the gap between fine leg and deep-square leg. Sangakkara couldn't have timed or placed it better.

Race of the day
With Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sangakkara both progressing towards their centuries at similar strike-rates, it was a question of who would get there first. There was little to separate the two as they reached the late 90s. Batting on 98, Dilshan decided it wasn't time to hang around and took the fast lane to his 14th Test century. He charged Saeed Ajmal, launched him over wide long-on for a six and won the race to a hundred.

Irony of the day
You don't often get Mahala Jayaewardene and Thilan Samaraweera out cheaply at the SSC, as both average 77 here. Junaid managed to send Jayawardene back in an inspired spell of fast bowling with the old ball. Jayawardene made the mistake of padding up to a ball coming into him with the angle from round the wicket and was lbw. There was an element of doubt regarding the height, but it's fundamental that if you pad up, you're asking for trouble. Samaraweera was nearly dismissed in a similar manner to the same bowler. Trapped on the back foot, he failed to get his bat behind the line and a confident shout was turned down. Samaraweera failed to capitalise on that let off though, when he was caught on the back foot again, this time off Ajmal. Junaid could have had both, but he wouldn't have minded as Pakistan had sent back two players who have tormented several bowlers over the years at the SSC.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo