LONDON, (Reuters) – The evergreen Kumar Sangakkara struck his 36th test century, and first at Lord’s, as he guided Sri Lanka past the follow-on mark to finish on 415 for seven on the third day of the first test against England yesterday.
The 36-year-old, the eighth highest run scorer in tests, had never reached three figures at the home of cricket and achieved one of the few milestones missing from his glittering career after lunch.
Sangakkara went to three figures by smashing part-time spinner Joe Root through cover before being embraced by close friend Mahela Jayawardene.
“He was a man with a purpose today. I haven’t seen him leaving so many balls outside the off stump for quite some time, there were a few he probably could have gone after,” Jayawardene told a news conference. “I didn’t say anything to him (when he reached 100). I knew he was overwhelmed, he said, ‘I’ve ticked that box’. “I was a bit worried when he was in the 90s, he looked a bit nervous, but he batted really well.” The pair put on 126 for the third wicket before Jayawardene fell for 55 but Sangakkara and captain Angelo Mathews saw off the new ball to steer the tourists past their initial target of 376.
Sangakkara fell nine runs later, giving debutant all-rounder Moeen Ali his first test wicket. Mathews was 79 not out at the close while Rangana Herath was unbeaten on nought. Sri Lanka started the day on 140 for one in reply to England’s mammoth 575 for nine declared after the 23-year-old Root had made 200 not out.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl
England first innings 575-9 declared
Sri Lanka first innings
D. Karunaratne c Prior b Jordan 38
K. Silva c Prior b Anderson 63
K. Sangakkara c Prior b Moeen 147
M. Jayawardene lbw b Broad 55
L. Thirimanne c Robson b Anderson 2
A. Mathews not out 79
P. Jayawardene c Bell b Plunkett 6
N. Kulasekara c Prior b Jordan 9
R. Herath not out 0
Extras (b-7, lb-1, w-6, nb-2) 16
Total (for 7 wickets, 124 overs) 415
Fall of wickets: 1-54 2-151 3-277 4-289 5-385 6-400 7-413
To bat: N. Pradeep, S. Eranga
Bowling: Anderson 24-6-73-2 (w-1), Broad 24-7-60-1 (w-1), Jordan 27-4-98-2 (w-1), Plunkett 30-2-113-1 (nb-2, w-3), Moeen 16-2-56-1, Root 3-1-7-0 (Compiled by Josh Reich, edited by Tony Jimenez)