Samaraweera hammers Pakistan

Lahore, March 2:

Thilan Samaraweera became just the sixth batsmen in Test cricket to notch a double hundred in consecutive matches as Sri Lanka made Pakistan toil in the second and final Test today.

The 31-year-old followed his 231 in the drawn first Test with an imperious 214 to lift Sri Lanka to 606 in their first innings and shared a record 207-run stand for the fifth wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan (145). Despite being under pressure to score 407 to avoid the follow-on, Pakistan got off to a confident start, finishing the second day on 110-1 with opener Khurram Manzoor unbeaten on 59. Salman Butt was run out in the last over for 48.

Khurram, playing only his second Test, hit eleven boundaries in his maiden half-century on a day when Sri Lanka once again dominated with the bat. Before Samaraweera, Australia’s Don Bradman and England’s Walter Hammond achieved the feat of hitting double hundreds in successive Tests twice. Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, South Africa’s Graeme Smith and India’s Vinod Kambli have also done it.

Samaraweera was eventually run out after failing to beat a throw from the covers after being sent back by Dilshan.

He batted for 414 minutes, faced 338 balls and hit 32 boundaries and in the company of Dilshan erased the previous best stand of 143 for the fifth wicket against Pakistan set by Russel Arnold and Romesh Kaluwitharana on the same ground in 1999.

Dilshan also joined in, plundering a hapless Pakistan attack before he too was run out as Sri Lanka lost their last four wickets for 40 runs. Dilshan, who flopped in the first Test in Karachi, made amends as he knocked 21 boundaries during his 170-ball innings.