Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day August 9, 2014

Sangakkara's golden run, and Ajmal's long wait

Stats highlights from a day which was completely dominated by Kumar Sangakkara
17

Kumar Sangakkara has scored 1329 Test runs in 2014, the highest by any Sri Lankan in a calendar year © AFP

501 Runs scored by Kumar Sangakkara off Saeed Ajmal in Tests. Ajmal has dismissed him Sangakkara only three times, giving the batsman an average of 167. The next-highest runs scored by any batsman off a bowler since May 2001 is 431, by Mahela Jayawardene against Harbhajan Singh.

10 The number of double-centuries Sangakkara has scored in Tests, next only to Don Bradman's 12. Sangakkara also has six scores of 150 or more against Pakistan, the second-best by a batsman against one opposition, after Bradman's 11 against England.

84.59 Sangakkara's Test average against Pakistan. In 38 innings against them, Sangakkara has scored 2707 runs, which is easily the best by any batsman facing Pakistan - the next-highest is Sunil Gavaskar's 2089 runs, scored in 41 innings.

9 Number of centuries for Sangakkara in his last 19 Tests, going back to June 2012. Sangakkara has scored 2504 runs in these 19 Tests - the highest by any batsman at an average of 83.46. Those nine hundreds include scores of 319, 221, 199 not out and 192.

1329 Sangakkara's Test aggregate in 2014, which is the highest by any Sri Lankan in a calendar year. He has scored those runs in 16 innings, at an average of 88.60. The previous-highest by a Sri Lankan in a year was 1271, by Sanath Jayasuriya in 19 innings in 1997.

18 The number of century partnerships in Tests between Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Only Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, with 20, have more century stands. However, Sangakkara and Jayawardene average 56.28 per completed partnership, compared to 50.51 for Tendulkar and Dravid.

91.15 Angelo Mathews' batting average in his last ten Tests. In 17 innings, ten times he has gone past 50, with three centuries, three scores in the 90s.

1094 Mathews' Test aggregate in 2014, in 16 innings, at an average of 91.16. Only Sangakkara has scored more runs this year. With Mahela Jayawardene scoring 919 and Kaushal Silva 792, the top four run-getters in Tests this year are all Sri Lankans.

933 The number of Test runs Mathews has scored against Pakistan, out of an aggregate of 2947, which means 31.6% of his total runs have come against Pakistan. His next-highest against any team is 449, against Australia.

46.2 The number of overs Ajmal bowled before getting his first wicket in the innings, which is the longest he has ever waited for his first scalp. In Abu Dhabi against Sri Lanka in 2013, Ajmal had figures of none for 115 from 49 overs. In an innings in which he did take at least one wicket, the longest he had waited for a first scalp before today was 41.2 overs, against England at Lord's in 2010.

166 The runs Ajmal conceded in Sri Lanka's innings, which is the most he has gone for when taking a five-wicket haul. His previous most expensive five-for was 5 for 151, against South Africa in Dubai last year.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 10, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    @JoshFromJamRock i think you got your stats a bit wrong. Sachin does not have 59 average in tests or 47 in odi's. He do have 53 and ~45 respectively. And to people who say sanga only got 59 average because if playing against weaker nations, then well sachin has 130+ average against Bangladesh and 70+ against Zimbabwe we and we can't blame the man for it, they were bottom test playing nations. Any batsman would've capitalized on it. While sachin only averages 42 against Pakistan sanga averages 80+. and he's better against SA, NZ as well. And sure they were players who started a decade apart. But in the stats game as long they had helmets we must count everyone equal. That's why Bradman is the greatest. And we can't discount bowlers of the 2000 era, cuz despite odds they have broken records held by the greats. Now I don't know why people insist on Kohli in this discussion, He's a good batsmen in ODI's. But in tests he don't even go near the top 30 list of batsmen or even 50.

  • Kavum on August 10, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    SL Playing without Sanga and Mahela will be similar to Pakistan without Younis and Misbah. Only Mathews (in his current run of form) is anything close to dependable and of test match standard among the other batters. Going back a few years, Gurusinha, Mahanama, Aravinda, Jayasuriya, Arjuna, Hashan and later Marvan, Thilan, Mahela, Sanga and Dilly were all solid, bankable and class players. In the post Sangawardena era SL might have a one man batting line up unless the youngsters put their hands up, think and play like international cricketers. Kaushal is maybe 50% there. All the other prospects are weak. The present situation is in no way comparable to the retirement of Arju and Ari. There is no obvious choice to take up Sangawardena's spots at 3 and 4. Take a bow, SLC!

  • whocared on August 10, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    OMG, Is Sanga the greatest? His 13 190+ of which only one is hard-earned which is 192 - vs Australia in Hobart, 2007 His only one double century in overseas is against zimbabwe, 270 Bulawayo, 2004 All the other achievements are either earned in Asia or against zimbabwe.

    Sanga never scored a single double ton outside asia against a decent team. Please do not compare sanga with Sachin/Dravid.

    Is Sanga the greatest? Hell yes. In test cricket he is better than kohli,Amla,dhoni and the likes. Please start comparing Sanga with Sachin/Dravid once sanga scores a double ton vs Aus/SA at their soil.

  • BillyCC on August 10, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    Sangakkara better than Tendulkar. The stats don't lie.

  • johnathonjosephs on August 10, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    People who are saying Tendulkar is greater than Sangakkara seriously need to stop being biased and check the stats. Tendulkar has played 200 matches which is why he amassed so many centuries. In 200 matches, Tendulkar could not get even one score over 250. In 200 matches Tendulkar only made 6 double centuries while Sangakkara has made 10 double centuries in half the amount of matches. As a pure batsman, Sangakkara averages 70. Let me repeat that again: he averages a mammoth 70. AS A PURE BATSMAN, he averages above 77 in Australia, 52 in England, and 134 in New Zealand. As a PURE BATSMAN he averages over 50 against every single Test Team except for England which he averages 47 against. This beats Tendulkar in all areas. This is not even mentioning the fact that he is the fastest to 8000 runs, 9000 runs, 10000 runs, 11000 runs, and soon the 12000 run mark. People who are not giving him his due credit are really blinded by bias

  • on August 10, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    Dear Indian fans you always try to fade away the achievement of other subcontinent. Players maybe due to jealous. You know if you check ICC ranking where you get best ever ranking. There Sangakkara is with 938 points where as Sachin is with 898 points.

  • on August 10, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    @JoshFromJamRock.. very well said.. couldn't agree more with you... Sanga is a great batsman in his own rights... but its not fair to compare him to Sachin.. as he started in 1989 and Sanga in 1999-2000... Sachin played and survived best bowlers in the world during 90s and luckily for sanga the bowling era was fading away when he started, which really extenuated his bating prowess.. but no doubt he is a great batsman too.... but its foolish to compare him to Sachin or any batsman of prior era..

  • on August 10, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    any great comparison has to have a lot of number analysis and a subkective quotient...quality of opposition forms part of that subjective quotient.

    sanga average is 59 and he also kept wickets, kallis average is 56 and he also took 292 wickets...in my mind there is no doubt that they both are more valuable to any team than a pure batsman. They have also won matches more often so they do deserve a place in the greats list.

    Tendulkar is an enigma and a genius because he started young. A person is only called a genius when he starts at a tender age. Which is why hussey never got that label. He changed world cricket

    If i were to pick a team of a 5 man cricket team on the basis of logic, quants and subjectivity and in chronological order it would be Bradman, Sobers, Warne, Kallis and Sanga.....2 solid batsmen in bradman and kallis, genius in sobers, sanga as wicket keeper batsman, 2 fast bowlers in sobers and kallis, 2 spinners in warne and sobers......and this is my alltime great list

  • on August 10, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    Hahaha, Indian fans are scared that Sachin will go down to number 3 slot in the all time list. So they are making all sorts of comparisons. Now the list is shaping to be as Sir Don, Sanga then Sachin. Oh another point, don't relax mates more is yet to come in the form of Angelo Mathews. He is also averaging around 90 now in Tests and that is in all forms of wickets like Sanga's case. Just enjoy the game friends.

  • on August 10, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    the best ever batsmen produced during modern era. keep it sanga keep the lion flag flying. proud of being straight forward like ur bat do the talking.

  • on August 10, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    @JoshFromJamRock i think you got your stats a bit wrong. Sachin does not have 59 average in tests or 47 in odi's. He do have 53 and ~45 respectively. And to people who say sanga only got 59 average because if playing against weaker nations, then well sachin has 130+ average against Bangladesh and 70+ against Zimbabwe we and we can't blame the man for it, they were bottom test playing nations. Any batsman would've capitalized on it. While sachin only averages 42 against Pakistan sanga averages 80+. and he's better against SA, NZ as well. And sure they were players who started a decade apart. But in the stats game as long they had helmets we must count everyone equal. That's why Bradman is the greatest. And we can't discount bowlers of the 2000 era, cuz despite odds they have broken records held by the greats. Now I don't know why people insist on Kohli in this discussion, He's a good batsmen in ODI's. But in tests he don't even go near the top 30 list of batsmen or even 50.

  • Kavum on August 10, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    SL Playing without Sanga and Mahela will be similar to Pakistan without Younis and Misbah. Only Mathews (in his current run of form) is anything close to dependable and of test match standard among the other batters. Going back a few years, Gurusinha, Mahanama, Aravinda, Jayasuriya, Arjuna, Hashan and later Marvan, Thilan, Mahela, Sanga and Dilly were all solid, bankable and class players. In the post Sangawardena era SL might have a one man batting line up unless the youngsters put their hands up, think and play like international cricketers. Kaushal is maybe 50% there. All the other prospects are weak. The present situation is in no way comparable to the retirement of Arju and Ari. There is no obvious choice to take up Sangawardena's spots at 3 and 4. Take a bow, SLC!

  • whocared on August 10, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    OMG, Is Sanga the greatest? His 13 190+ of which only one is hard-earned which is 192 - vs Australia in Hobart, 2007 His only one double century in overseas is against zimbabwe, 270 Bulawayo, 2004 All the other achievements are either earned in Asia or against zimbabwe.

    Sanga never scored a single double ton outside asia against a decent team. Please do not compare sanga with Sachin/Dravid.

    Is Sanga the greatest? Hell yes. In test cricket he is better than kohli,Amla,dhoni and the likes. Please start comparing Sanga with Sachin/Dravid once sanga scores a double ton vs Aus/SA at their soil.

  • BillyCC on August 10, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    Sangakkara better than Tendulkar. The stats don't lie.

  • johnathonjosephs on August 10, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    People who are saying Tendulkar is greater than Sangakkara seriously need to stop being biased and check the stats. Tendulkar has played 200 matches which is why he amassed so many centuries. In 200 matches, Tendulkar could not get even one score over 250. In 200 matches Tendulkar only made 6 double centuries while Sangakkara has made 10 double centuries in half the amount of matches. As a pure batsman, Sangakkara averages 70. Let me repeat that again: he averages a mammoth 70. AS A PURE BATSMAN, he averages above 77 in Australia, 52 in England, and 134 in New Zealand. As a PURE BATSMAN he averages over 50 against every single Test Team except for England which he averages 47 against. This beats Tendulkar in all areas. This is not even mentioning the fact that he is the fastest to 8000 runs, 9000 runs, 10000 runs, 11000 runs, and soon the 12000 run mark. People who are not giving him his due credit are really blinded by bias

  • on August 10, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    Dear Indian fans you always try to fade away the achievement of other subcontinent. Players maybe due to jealous. You know if you check ICC ranking where you get best ever ranking. There Sangakkara is with 938 points where as Sachin is with 898 points.

  • on August 10, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    @JoshFromJamRock.. very well said.. couldn't agree more with you... Sanga is a great batsman in his own rights... but its not fair to compare him to Sachin.. as he started in 1989 and Sanga in 1999-2000... Sachin played and survived best bowlers in the world during 90s and luckily for sanga the bowling era was fading away when he started, which really extenuated his bating prowess.. but no doubt he is a great batsman too.... but its foolish to compare him to Sachin or any batsman of prior era..

  • on August 10, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    any great comparison has to have a lot of number analysis and a subkective quotient...quality of opposition forms part of that subjective quotient.

    sanga average is 59 and he also kept wickets, kallis average is 56 and he also took 292 wickets...in my mind there is no doubt that they both are more valuable to any team than a pure batsman. They have also won matches more often so they do deserve a place in the greats list.

    Tendulkar is an enigma and a genius because he started young. A person is only called a genius when he starts at a tender age. Which is why hussey never got that label. He changed world cricket

    If i were to pick a team of a 5 man cricket team on the basis of logic, quants and subjectivity and in chronological order it would be Bradman, Sobers, Warne, Kallis and Sanga.....2 solid batsmen in bradman and kallis, genius in sobers, sanga as wicket keeper batsman, 2 fast bowlers in sobers and kallis, 2 spinners in warne and sobers......and this is my alltime great list

  • on August 10, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    Hahaha, Indian fans are scared that Sachin will go down to number 3 slot in the all time list. So they are making all sorts of comparisons. Now the list is shaping to be as Sir Don, Sanga then Sachin. Oh another point, don't relax mates more is yet to come in the form of Angelo Mathews. He is also averaging around 90 now in Tests and that is in all forms of wickets like Sanga's case. Just enjoy the game friends.

  • on August 10, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    the best ever batsmen produced during modern era. keep it sanga keep the lion flag flying. proud of being straight forward like ur bat do the talking.

  • JoshFromJamRock on August 9, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    Sangakkara started playing in the year 2000 therefore he can only be justifiably compared to only players who started their careers in this millennium. But I understand the need to compare him to other greats - BECAUSE HE IS WELL AHEAD OF EVERYONE else who started after the 1999 World Cup.

    Lara, Ponting, Kallis, Sachin, Inzaman, Dravid and Chanderpaul all began their careers before 1995 and therefore were exposed to bowling of better quality and played against it more often.

    Sachin Tendulkar is the standard by which every great batsman should be judged. He totally mastered both formats once averaging 59 in Tests and almost 47 in ODIs and played very well against everyone for 25 yrs.

    Its perfectly fine to compare Sangakarra to Alma, Clarke, AB, Kohli, Pujara and co. as they more or less have the same parameters for a valid comparison but as mentioned before. His run of form is unbelievable, only a handful have ever accomplished what he's done so far. And he's not finished yet!!!

  • DJRNZ on August 9, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    Any time I hear people talk about modern greats of the game I very rarely hear this guys name mentioned.... What about Sanga?? Look at his stats! For me this guy is amazing! Perhaps I listen to the wrong interviews / watch the wrong cricket shows but I wish the Black Caps had a guy of this quality!

  • LateefLabeeb on August 9, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    Sangakkara likes to hunt down Pakistani bowling line always and in contrast to his performance Jayawardene against Pakistan is always below his standard infact his average against Pakistan is mere 32 in more than 27 tests which is self explanatory that one's failure is others success or you can say mostly Sanga comes good versus Pakistan to cover up bad performance of his favourite mate Jayawardene..I am not trying to give out my point but facts and figures reveal that..just compare and have a look. Jayawardene scored one big double hundred versus Pakistan yet his average is hovering around 30's.

  • SMKhanRizvi on August 9, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    Surely sanga is a class apart....A modern day great but we have to give credit to pakistanis to let him score so many runs

  • on August 9, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    well I believe Pakistan is bonus round of sanga in both odi and test and stats proved it.

  • on August 9, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    Sanga is the best batsman in the world at present and he is in form of his life. Ajmal is clueless against SL especially against Sanga. Pakistan is favourite team for sanga and He scores big hundreds against Pak. One more test is remaining and who knows he may score one more big hundred.

  • crowe299 on August 9, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Lot of people who complain that Sanga has scored most runs in flat tracks tend to forget he has scored 37 centuries in less number of matches. Important point is that his stats against Ajmal shows he is a world class player of facing spin bowling in turning (south asian) tracks. Everyone should remember that scoring against spin bowling in turning tracks is equally difficult as scoring against quick bowlers in green tracks.

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  • crowe299 on August 9, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Lot of people who complain that Sanga has scored most runs in flat tracks tend to forget he has scored 37 centuries in less number of matches. Important point is that his stats against Ajmal shows he is a world class player of facing spin bowling in turning (south asian) tracks. Everyone should remember that scoring against spin bowling in turning tracks is equally difficult as scoring against quick bowlers in green tracks.

  • on August 9, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    Sanga is the best batsman in the world at present and he is in form of his life. Ajmal is clueless against SL especially against Sanga. Pakistan is favourite team for sanga and He scores big hundreds against Pak. One more test is remaining and who knows he may score one more big hundred.

  • on August 9, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    well I believe Pakistan is bonus round of sanga in both odi and test and stats proved it.

  • SMKhanRizvi on August 9, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    Surely sanga is a class apart....A modern day great but we have to give credit to pakistanis to let him score so many runs

  • LateefLabeeb on August 9, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    Sangakkara likes to hunt down Pakistani bowling line always and in contrast to his performance Jayawardene against Pakistan is always below his standard infact his average against Pakistan is mere 32 in more than 27 tests which is self explanatory that one's failure is others success or you can say mostly Sanga comes good versus Pakistan to cover up bad performance of his favourite mate Jayawardene..I am not trying to give out my point but facts and figures reveal that..just compare and have a look. Jayawardene scored one big double hundred versus Pakistan yet his average is hovering around 30's.

  • DJRNZ on August 9, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    Any time I hear people talk about modern greats of the game I very rarely hear this guys name mentioned.... What about Sanga?? Look at his stats! For me this guy is amazing! Perhaps I listen to the wrong interviews / watch the wrong cricket shows but I wish the Black Caps had a guy of this quality!

  • JoshFromJamRock on August 9, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    Sangakkara started playing in the year 2000 therefore he can only be justifiably compared to only players who started their careers in this millennium. But I understand the need to compare him to other greats - BECAUSE HE IS WELL AHEAD OF EVERYONE else who started after the 1999 World Cup.

    Lara, Ponting, Kallis, Sachin, Inzaman, Dravid and Chanderpaul all began their careers before 1995 and therefore were exposed to bowling of better quality and played against it more often.

    Sachin Tendulkar is the standard by which every great batsman should be judged. He totally mastered both formats once averaging 59 in Tests and almost 47 in ODIs and played very well against everyone for 25 yrs.

    Its perfectly fine to compare Sangakarra to Alma, Clarke, AB, Kohli, Pujara and co. as they more or less have the same parameters for a valid comparison but as mentioned before. His run of form is unbelievable, only a handful have ever accomplished what he's done so far. And he's not finished yet!!!

  • on August 10, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    the best ever batsmen produced during modern era. keep it sanga keep the lion flag flying. proud of being straight forward like ur bat do the talking.

  • on August 10, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    Hahaha, Indian fans are scared that Sachin will go down to number 3 slot in the all time list. So they are making all sorts of comparisons. Now the list is shaping to be as Sir Don, Sanga then Sachin. Oh another point, don't relax mates more is yet to come in the form of Angelo Mathews. He is also averaging around 90 now in Tests and that is in all forms of wickets like Sanga's case. Just enjoy the game friends.

  • on August 10, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    any great comparison has to have a lot of number analysis and a subkective quotient...quality of opposition forms part of that subjective quotient.

    sanga average is 59 and he also kept wickets, kallis average is 56 and he also took 292 wickets...in my mind there is no doubt that they both are more valuable to any team than a pure batsman. They have also won matches more often so they do deserve a place in the greats list.

    Tendulkar is an enigma and a genius because he started young. A person is only called a genius when he starts at a tender age. Which is why hussey never got that label. He changed world cricket

    If i were to pick a team of a 5 man cricket team on the basis of logic, quants and subjectivity and in chronological order it would be Bradman, Sobers, Warne, Kallis and Sanga.....2 solid batsmen in bradman and kallis, genius in sobers, sanga as wicket keeper batsman, 2 fast bowlers in sobers and kallis, 2 spinners in warne and sobers......and this is my alltime great list