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Wednesday, Aug 05th

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Sangakkara ton tops off rain-marred day in Galle

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Hosts Sri Lanka posted a strong reply to Pakistan's 451 as they reached 252-2 at stumps on a rain-hit third day in Galle thanks to a composed century from Kumar Sangakkara who was well supported by his close friend Mahela Jayawardene, who was unbeaten on 55.

Sri Lanka continued from their overnight score of 99-1 with Sangakkara steering one through backward point to set things off. The two batsmen started steadily, with Kaushal Silva, who soon brought up his half century, cashing in too with a crisp cover boundary off Junaid Khan. Sangakkara reached his half-century in streaky manner, top-edging one through the vacant third slip for four.

Silva gladly put Saeed Ajmal away for consecutive boundaries but was soon caught behind for 64 off Mohammed Talha, with keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed showing great agility. A traditional punch through extra-cover got Mahela Jayawardene going. Stepping down the wicket and dismissing Ajmal over mid-wicket, Jayawardene eased in with the bat as he and Sangakkara not surprisingly strung together a solid stand as the hosts went into lunch at a comfortable 174-2.

Play was a bit delayed after lunch, though action soon begun and Jayawardene and Sangakkara continued with the runs. Sangakkara whacked Abdur Rehman through covers before Mahela tickled one down to third man to bring up the fifty-run stand. As dark clouds started to hover above, rain halted play once more for a wee bit but the Lankans surpassed the 200-run mark soon after. Jayawardene settled in solidly once again as Sangakkara fed on some boundaries his end. Mahela went inside out over cover against Rehman before knock over a brace to get to a solid fifty.

Sangakkara got closer to the three figure mark with a delight through extra covers before cutting one through point three balls later to notch up his 10th hundred against Pakistan, his 37th overall. However, rain interrupted play once again as the covers made their way onto the ground, with Sri Lanka firmly poised at 252-2. Sadly, an extremely soggy outfield meant no further play could happen as 44 overs were lost with the officials calling for stumps.

Mini Scorecard:

Pakistan 1st Innings, 451 all out (140.5 overs)

Y Khan 177 (331)  D Perera 5-137 (31.5)

A Shafiq 75 (147) R Herath 3-116 (38)

Sri Lanka 1st Innings, stumps 252-2 (80 overs)

K Sangakkara 102* (218) Mohd Talha 1-45 (14)

M Jayawardene 55* (109) J Khan 1-71 (20)