Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Sri Lanka in command

Published:Sunday | August 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka congratulates bowler Rangana Herath (right) for a nine-wicket haul during the second Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Colombo, Sri Lanka, yesterday.-AP

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP):Kumar Sangakkara scored a half-century and shared an unbroken 98-run third-wicket stand with Mahela Jayawardene to give Sri Lanka a strong 165-run lead against Pakistan in the second Test.

Sri Lanka reached 177-2 in its second innings at stumps on day three yesterday after Rangana Herath earlier took 9-127.

Sangakkara, unbeaten on 54, became the fifth-highest Test run scorer - surpassing the total of 11,953 from West Indies great Brian Lara. Sangakkara reached the feat in his 128th Test.

Players ahead of him are India's Sachin Tendulkar, Australia's Ricky Ponting, South Africa's Jacques Kallis and India's Rahul Dravid, all of whom have retired.

Sangakkara faced 121 deliveries and hit four boundaries and Jayawardene was unbeaten on 49, playing his final Test innings.

Herath snared an extraordinary nine wickets to end Pakistan's first innings for 332 in reply to Sri Lanka's 320. Herath became only the second Sri Lankan to take nine wickets in an innings after Muttiah Muralitharan - and the first of any nationa-lity to do so since 'Murali' in 2002. Herath on Friday went past his 250th Test wicket, playing in his 57th match.

Sri Lanka coach Marvan Atapattu praised Herath's achievement.

"His greatest strength is being accurate. We always tend to compare somebody, a spinner with Muralitharan ... I don't think that is fair by anybody. He (Muralitharan) is a freak, he's a genius," Atapattu said.

"This guy (Herath) has different strengths ... to get 50 wickets in a year, to get five-fors 20 times, 16 of them coming after Muralitharan's retirement is a big achievement."

Atapattu said Sri Lanka will bat until they feel that the pitch has deteriorated enough to help the spinners.

"There is a lot of cricket to be played, Test cricket can change very quickly," he warned.