Kumar Sangakkara’s 319 left the statisticians gasping for breath © Getty Images
Feb 5, 2014
Kumar Sangakkara scored his first triple hundred in his chequered career to put Sri Lanka in the driving seat at tea in the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong.
After becoming the highest Sri Lankan run getter of all time, the former Sri Lankan captain trudged along like a gravy train and was ably supported by comeback man Ajantha Mendis, who was unfortunate to miss out on a half-century himself.
Mendis played some crisp shots and rotated the strike well to keep his more illustrious partner on strike. The Bangladesh frontline bowlers toiled hard but could not stop the Lankan from amassing more than 1,200 runs in the two times they have bowled against them in the series.
Sangakkara’s silky footwork and ability to pierce the fielders left statisticians gasping for breath and this innings also showed his prowess in clearing the ropes with ease. Since the time Sangakkara relinquished his keeping duties, the Kandy southpaw’s batting average is only second to Sir Don Bradman.
The lone bright spot for Bangladesh was Shakib al Hasan, who finished with a five-for. Shakib removed Mendis and ended Suranga Lakmal’s misery at the crease; both batsmen getting out leg before, making it six leg-before dismissals in the innings.
Once Sri Lanka was nine down, Sangakkara shifted to fifth gear in pursuit of the elusive triple-hundred and it was achieved by two back-to-back sixes against Shakib. The Sri Lankan had hammered eight sixes to get to the landmark score.
Trying to further up the ante, Sangakkara finally holed out to long on off the bowling of Nasir Hossian to Sohag Gazi. The marathon innings ended at 319 with Sri Lanka finishing at 587.
Sri Lanka 587 ( Kumar Sangakkara 319, Mahela Jayawardene 72, Ajantha Mendis 47; Shakib al Hasan 5 for 148, Nasir Hossain 2 for 16) vs Bangladesh.