Third Test Match

Sri Lanka v Pakistan 2000

Toss: Sri Lanka. Test debut: H. A. P. W. Jayawardene.

Just when Sri Lanka looked to have the measure of the Pakistan bowling, running up their highest total at home against them, foul weather allowed only restricted play on the first three days and washed out the last two. In the 11 hours and four minutes of play that were possible, nearly eight were occupied by the opening pair, Atapattu and Jayasuriya, who put together Sri Lanka's highest first-wicket partnership in Test cricket, 335, the fifth-best start in Test cricket and the first over 300 since Australia's Mark Taylor and Geoff Marsh put on 329 against England at Nottingham in 1989. It was also Sri Lanka's highest for any wicket against Pakistan.

For 114 overs, Sri Lanka's captain and vice-captain blunted and then mastered the bowling with an approach that had been lacking previously in the series. Jayasuriya certainly rode his luck; he was missed four times between 50 and 140 as he marked his 50th Test with his first hundred as captain. His eventual 188, containing two sixes and 17 fours, was the highest innings by a Sri Lankan captain and took him past 3,000 runs.

Atapattu batted in copybook fashion for his third Test double-hundred, and his second at Kandy. He came in on the second evening unbeaten on 199, and in the 15 minutes of play that was possible late on the third day he moved on to 207, made from 457 balls with a six and 19 fours. While Atapattu stood rocklike at one end, Pakistan had their little moments of success at the other, when Abdur Razzaq and off-spinner Arshad Khan picked up four middle-order wickets for 33.

© John Wisden & Co