Sangakkara denied double century

GALLE: Kumar Sangakkara was stranded on an unbeaten 199 even as Sri Lanka took charge of the first cricket Test against Pakistan in Galle on Saturday.

The left-hander’s monumental nine-hour effort saw the hosts move from 335/5 to post 472 in their first innings on the second day.

Pakistan were tottering at 48 for five in reply at stumps with seamer Nuwan Kulasekara and off-spinner Suraj Randiv both taking two wickets each off successive deliveries.

Kulasekara removed opener Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali, while Randiv dismissed skipper Mohammad Hafeez (20) and nightwatchman Saeed Ajmal in gloomy conditions.

Asad Shafiq fell to Rangana Herath, leaving veteran Younis Khan unbeaten on 15 with Pakistan still 225 runs away from saving the follow-on.

Sangakkara missed out on his ninth double-century in Test cricket partly due to an error in the scoreboard on the ground which showed him on 194 when his score was actually on 193.

With last man Nuwan Pradeep at the other end, Sangakkara smashed Ajmal for a six and raised his arms in celebration believing he had reached the double.

Team mates, who saw the correct score on television, immediately signalled to him that he still required one more run.

Unable to get a run off the last ball of the over, Sangakkara watched as Pradeep was bowled by Hafeez for no score in the next over.

Sri Lanka relied on Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, who also made a century, yesterday. Four of their other batsmen were out for ducks. (AFP)