Angelo Mathews fell short of his fifth Test century © Getty Images
Angelo Mathews fell short of his fifth Test century © Getty Images (File photo)

By Devarchit Varma

Aug 9, 2014

Kumar Sangakkara was unbeaten on 189 while Angelo Mathews fell after scoring 91, as Sri Lanka reached 449 for four against Pakistan at tea on Day Four at Galle in the first Test match. Pakistan lead by just two runs in the first innings.

Mathews was dismissed by Saeed Ajmal close to the tea break, as the Sri Lankan batsmen continued to dominate the Pakistanis with splendid batting display at Galle. Mathews and Sangakkara added 181 runs for the fourth wicket, which helped their side to inch close to Pakistan’s first innings total.

The Sri Lankan captain made most of his good run in this innings as well, smashing nine fours and a six to score 91 off 188 balls. It was perhaps a lapse in concentration which resulted in his dismissal, as the delivery was way outside the off-stump and Mathews had to reach out to it. The ball brushed the bat and Younis Khan did well to take a low catch.

But before his dismissal, Mathews al0ngwith Sangakkara ensured that Sri Lanka continue to dominate on their home turf. They batted with command, not giving the Pakistanis any chance to capitalise. The poor form of their spinner Ajmal, who was certainly not his usual best, did not help Pakistan at all.

Earlier at lunch, Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews‘s unbeaten stand for the fourth wicket against Pakistan helped Sri Lanka reach 338 for three. Sri Lanka were 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.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 451 (Younis Khan 177, Asad Shafiq 75, Sarfraz Ahmed 55; Dilruwan Perera 5 for 137 Rangana Herath 3 for 116) lead Sri Lanka 449 for 2 (Kaushal Silva 64, Kumar Sangakkara 189*, Mahela Jayawardene 59, Angelo Mathews 91; Junaid Khan 2 for 94) by 2 runs.

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(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)