AHAMEDABAD: Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and Prasanna Jayawardene broke a 72-year-old world record today as India conceded a massive first-innings lead in the first Test.
Sri Lanka declared their first innings at 760-7 — thanks to a 351-run sixth-wicket stand between the Jayawardenes — which earned visitors 334-run lead. It was the highest Test innings total ever scored in India. India, who made 426 in their first innings, were 190-2 in their second at stumps on the fourth day and lost the crucial wicket of first innings centurion Rahul Dravid (38). Gautam Gambhir was unbeaten on 74 while nightwatchman Amir Mishra (12) saw off the last five overs.
The home team still trails by 144 runs. Dravid and Gambhir put on 88 runs before Chanaka Welegedara trapped Dravid leg before wicket. Virender Sehwag played in his typical attacking style. Sehwag paid for his aggressiveness when he gave a skier to Angelo Mathews at mid-on soon after completing his half century off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
Earlier, former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene (275) stretched his innings across three days after Sri Lanka resumed at the overnight 591-5 before the declaration came after lunch. He faced 435 balls and hit 27 boundaries and a six in his 275. The duo broke the world record when Mahela reverse swept Sehwag for a single soon after lunch. Australia’s Don Bradman and Jack Fingleton held the previous record of 346 runs, made against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1937.
Soon after breaking the world record, leg-spinner Mishra finally broke the partnership when he had Mahela clean bowled. Mahela also completed 9,000 Test runs.
Prasanna (154 not out) notched the best score by a No 7 Sri Lankan player in a Test. He hit 11 boundaries in his 314-ball knock before Sri Lankan declared when Prasad holed out in the deep. Prasanna, 84 overnight, completed his century when he guided Ishant Sharma to the third man boundary.
India’s bowlers toiled on a batting-friendly wicket with Zaheer Khan (2-109), Ishant Sharma (2-135) and offspinner Harbhajan Singh (2-189) getting some reward. Mishra, who got the prized wicket of Mahela, conceded 203 runs off his 58 overs — the most runs conceded by a bowler in Test cricket this year.