Colombo, July 24:

Mahela Jayawardene equalled former Australian legend Don Bradman’s record of nine centuries at one venue to put Sri Lanka in a commanding position in the opening Test against India here on Thursday.

Skipper Jayawardene cracked 136 to help his side post 422-4 in the first innings at stumps on the second day. The Sri Lankan captain’s ton at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground equalled Bradman’s nine at one venue — the Australian great’s coming at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

But Jayawardene was not the lone batsman to feast on India as opener Malinda Warnapura (115) and Thilan Samaraweera (111 not out) also contributed to their team’s total. Tillakaratne Dilshan was unbeaten on 20 after earning a reprieve under a new experimental rule allowing players to seek a second opinion on umpiring decisions.

Dilshan was on one when given out caught behind off left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan by umpire Mark Benson, but asked the official to review the decision. Benson consulted TV umpire Rudi Koertzen before changing his decision as the ball had not made contact with the bat.

Jayawardene earlier added 155 for the third wicket with Warnapura and 148 with Samaraweera. He hit one six and 10 fours in his 23rd hundred in 96 Tests. Left-hander Warnapura, 50 overnight, smashed 14 fours in his second Test century in five matches.

India took just two wickets in the day after the hosts resumed at 85-2, with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and fast bowler Ishant Sharma the successful bowlers. India were also let down by wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, who dropped Jayawardene on 55 and 93 off leg-spinner Anil Kumble.

Jayawardene fell in the closing session when he was caught behind off Sharma. Warnapura completed his hundred when he cut Sharma for his 13th four. The opener survived a leg-before appeal off Harbhajan when on 86 after Kumble asked Benson to review the initial not-out decision. The official consulted the TV umpire and was proved right.

India’s second leg-before appeal — this time against Dilshan off Harbhajan — was also unsuccessful. The rule is on trial in the current three-Test series. A batsman or fielding captain can request a review of any decision by referring it to the third official monitoring television replays. Each team is allowed three unsuccessful review requests per innings.


Sri Lanka — 1st Innings (Overnight 85-2)

M Warnapura c Dravid b Harbhajan 115

M Jayawardene c Karthik b Sharma 136

T Samaraweera not out 111

T Dilshan not out 20

Extras: 25 (b4, lb5, nb16)

Total: 422/4

FoW: 1-7, 2-57, 3-212, 4-360

India bowling: Zaheer 27-2-112-1,

Sharma 25-3-97-2, Ganguly 8-1-24-0,

Harbhajan 29-2-88-1, Kumble 27-3-75-0,

Sehwag 4-0-17-0