Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day August 8, 2014

Rain prevails after Sangakkara century


Play 05:44
Arnold: SL have batted themselves out of pressure

Sri Lanka 252 for 2 (Sangakkara 102*, Silva 64, Jayawardene 55*) trail Pakistan 451 by 199 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It rained water and milestones in Galle on the third afternoon. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene came together for their 18th century partnership in Tests, moving two short of the record of 20 set by Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. Sangakkara made his 37th hundred, Jayawardene his 49th fifty. It was Sangakkara's tenth century against Pakistan, making him the seventh batsman to do so against a team. All this was squeezed into 20 overs as periodic showers ate into an extended second session, and a threatening dark cloud forced tea to be taken five minutes early. The ensuing downpour prevented any further play, washing out the remaining 44 overs.

Kaushal Silva's fall was the only success for Pakistan on the day before the familiar partnership flourished. Sri Lanka added 75 in 26 overs in the morning session without taking much risk, and barring the odd jaffa from Saeed Ajmal, there was little encouragement for Pakistan from the placid surface. As the attack flagged in the afternoon, Sangakkara and Jayawardene took 78 at almost four an over between lunch and tea.

Ajmal, who had probed away almost through the entire first session, lost some control in the second. Abdur Rehman offered long hops often, and Sangakkara, in particular, capitalised. Both batsmen used the crease and also walked out to milk singles and twos. They watched deliveries closely and defended solidly. Jayawardene lofting a spinner over extra cover is usually a danger sign for opposition, and soon he paddled Rehman to reach fifty. Junaid Khan did ping him on the helmet with a sharp, angled bouncer, but that was against the run of play.

A few overs later, Sangakkara drove and cut the same bowler for two fours in an over to get to his fourth Test hundred this year, in addition to seven fifties, all of them over 16 innings.

The Pakistan quick bowlers tried gamely in unhelpful conditions, especially in the morning. Junaid even had Jayawardene padding up on 11, but the batsman reviewed successfully, replays showing the ball had not straightened enough and would have missed off. Mohammad Talha bowled a tight line outside off stump, and was rewarded when Silva nicked a drive to the wicketkeeper on 64, ending the second-wicket stand on 120.

Silva had been troubled the most by Ajmal. But he was quick to drive Ajmal for successive fours when the bowler was too short and too full, and was tighter against the quick bowlers. He pulled Junaid for four to reach his fifty, but was consumed by the fuller length from Talha just before drinks.

Jayawardene, given a long and loud welcome of bursting crackers in his penultimate Test, also had his nervy moments against Ajmal. He failed to read the doosra on occasion and also inside-edged past short leg but he was also prepared to take on the offspinner. He stepped out to loft him for four soon after he came in and whipped the next delivery, which went in the air, just past midwicket.

Sangakkara was more at ease against the offspinner, and a rushed single that needed him to slide in was his only moment of danger. He edged Talha past the cordon to move to fifty, but was in absolute control as he pulled Junaid in front of square to stride into the 90s. It came down to the rain to halt Sangakkara and Jayawardene. Play will start 15 minutes early on the fourth morning, but a fair chunk of this match has already been lost to bad weather.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dilip on August 9, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    @legfinedeep. batting on roads and scoring runs is not difficult man so dont compare colombi /galle track bullies wit sachin.

  • ESPN on August 9, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Galle should be renamed " Lifeless Pitch" this game had draw written on it from day 1.

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    if sanga played 3 years and SLC make soem test series Sanga will pass sachin most number of test century, most number of runs Bradman's record of most number of test double century

  • Android on August 9, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    well done sirilanka for making a pitch like a road no turn no swing lol thanks for making this test boring i waited very long for this series and first game will end up as a draw thank you so much

  • Vinod on August 9, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    many thanks to Sri Lankan Cricket Borad for giving us a 5-day tour of yet another national highway of Sri Lanka.

    Did someone say Ajmal is a wicket-taking spinner? Well, then, I am the price of Wales.

  • Dheeban on August 9, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    What's up with all these two-Test series? It's a joke. So much for the FTP. They might as well not play these Tests. Come on, be reasonable. Sub-continent teams both on the receiving and serving sides of such series. Countries like England and South Africa don't want to play more than two Tests with countries like Sri Lanka when they host the latter. Similarly the sub-continent teams are very particular to keep the series to two Tests when it involves oppositions that may not bring much revenue. Two Test series should be kept to just the 8th, 9th and 10th ranked Test team. Don't talk about sustaining Test cricket when you can't even play three Tests involving two quality teams. Two Tests never let anything to develop into a series. You need at least 3 Tests to be called a series. Otherwise call it a Two-off Tests and reduce the weightage given to it in the points value for Test rankings.

  • ESPN on August 9, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Well played sanga! I'm proud of Sri Lankan also sanga fan!!!! Mathews plss give some over mahala and sanga up to take wicket!

  • Nuwan on August 9, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    Hats off to Jayananda Warnaweera and his staff, for their efficiency in covering and taking care of the pitch during heavy rains. I believe there is lot to learn from him and his staff to the whole cricketing world.

  • ESPN on August 9, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    SaNGa the best classical batsman and also honest man! We expect to play sanga another 4years in the test match .this is minimum years! Always place for sanga In our SL !!!

  • Umer on August 9, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    It was written in one of the related articles that Sangakara understands Pakistan's bowling especially the variation of Ajmal. Then the question arises over the captaincy that why was'nt the DRS taken on when the Sanga was plum lbw at the start of his innings.