Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal (left) in a discussion with Kumar Sangakkara on the fourth day © AFP
Aug 9, 2014
Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews‘s unbeaten 81-run stand for the fourth wicket against Pakistan helped Sri Lanka reach 338 for three at lunch on the fourth day of the opening Test at Galle. Sri Lanka are still 113 runs behind in the 1st Test, which looks heading for a draw.
Sri Lanka, who resumed play on Day Four with Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene at the crease, were dealt at early blow. Junaid Khan trapped Jayawardene in front of the wickets for 59 as Pakistan sensed opportunity to make further inroads into the Sri Lanka batting line-up.
Jayawardene faced 112 balls to score 59 runs, and with Sangakkara he added as many as 113 runs as Sri Lanka replied strongly after Pakistan’s first innings total. The hosts would have aimed to not lose wickets early on the fourth day, but Junaid’s strike jolted them early.
Mathews carried on his excellent form into this innings as well as he reached 43 not out off 92 balls, hitting five boundaries. On the other hand, Sangakkara continued to make merry on a batting-friendly wicket with another hundred. He consolidated his position to 140 not out, coming off from 298 balls and 18 fours.
Earlier on the third day, play was called off due to heavy rain. Though the official closing time is 6 pm but because of heavy rain late in the day, the ground was flooded and no more play is possible today. Sri Lanka just lost one wicket in the whole day and is in the driver’s seat. Pakistan will have to take early wickets at the start of fourth day to get back in the game.
Earlier rain has stopped the proceedings couple of time before at Galle. A sharp shower has descended after Lunch and the ground was under cover. 35 minutes was lost at that time. After the brake players resumed play, but after few overs it was raining again. The players went back but it was a short delay. But they were not third time lucky as the third delay came before the tea and it was raining heavily. The tea session has been extended and finally it was called off at 4.32 local time.
Pakistan 451 (Younis Khan 177, Asad Shafiq 75, Sarfraz Ahmed 55; Dilruwan Perera 5 for 137 Rangana Herath 3 for 116) lead Sri Lanka 338 for 3 (Kaushal Silva 64, Kumar Sangakkara 140*, Mahela Jayawardene 59, Angelo Mathews 43*; Mohammad Talha 1 for 45 ) by 113 runs.
Complete coverage of Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka here
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)