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

Late defensive play gave Pakistan opening - Sangakkara

Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Colombo

July 3, 2012

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Thilan Samaraweera was out without scoring, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, Colombo, 4th day, July 3, 2012
Kumar Sangakkara: "Those overs at the end ... we were playing for the end of the day and they were trying to pick up wickets." © AFP
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Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, who remained unbeaten on 144 at the end of the fourth day in Colombo, has said Pakistan 'shifted the momentum their way' by taking late wickets. The loss of Mahela Jayawardene forced Sri Lanka to go on the defensive, he said, allowing Pakistan to regain control.

"Junaid Khan bowled a pretty good spell and he made the difference at the end of the day," Sangakkara said. "By getting Mahela out … I thought that was quite an important wicket, especially with about 12 overs to go. The batsmen coming after that had to play a kind of a negative game and that usually allows the bowling side to take the upper hand.

"I thought Dilshan batted beautifully, but unfortunately he got out at that time. Pakistan held their nerve and with the old ball reversing they managed to kind of shift the momentum their way. Those overs at the end were tailor made for their bowlers, because we were playing for the end of the day and they were trying to pick up wickets."

Sri Lanka's main target on day five, he said, would be to play out a session and save the follow-on. "Tomorrow, if we bat a session that's going to be a solid effort from us. We need to get another 74 runs to avoid the follow-on. That's our first target, with everyone chipping in trying to rotate the strike. We'll get to that target and then assess things from there."

This hundred was Sangakkara's 30th, putting him ahead of Don Bradman in the list for the most centuries. This, Sangakkara said, was a 'great honour'. "The fact is that I have played a lot more Test matches than he has [110 Tests to 52]. If he had played the amount that I have, there would have been no chance of catching him. But it's a great honour to get to 30 hundreds.

"It is something that I had always set myself when I started playing cricket and when I started getting hundreds. Thirty is a solid mark for a batsman."

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