Sangakkara sixth man to join exclusive club

Kandy, July 13:

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara became only the sixth batsman in the history of the game to score back-to-back double hundreds when he reached the milestone on the third day of the third Test against Bangladesh here on Friday.

The left-hander, who made an unbeaten 200 in the previous Test in Colombo, scored an unbeaten 222 at his home ground to help Sri Lanka to a massive 500/4 at stumps. That gives the home side a lead of 369 with six wickets in hand. The other players to score successive double centuries were Donald Bradman, Walter Hammond, Vinod Kambli, Ricky Ponting and Graeme Smith.

This was the 29-year-olds sixth double hundred and he equaled the Sri Lankan record for highest number of double hundreds held by former captain Mahela Jayawardene. Only Bradman (12), Hammond (9) and Javed Miandad (7) have scored more double hundreds than Sangakkara.

It was a run feast in Kandy against a bowling attack that posed no threat for the free scoring Sri Lankans. Sangakkara added a record 311-run third-wicket partnership with captain Mahela Jayawardene, who made 165. It is the best partnership against Bangladesh for any country for any wicket. The previous best was the 280 scored by Sri Lanka’s Tillekeratne Dilshan and Tilan Samaraweera in Colombo in 2005.

Sangakkara’s effort overshadowed that of captain Jayawardene, who scored his 18th Test hundred. The pair came together with the total on 74-2 and they batted for over four hours, putting Sri Lanka firmly in the drivers seat. The first two days of the test had been hampered by rain with only 55 overs of the scheduled 180 possible, but the Sri Lankans took advantage of better conditions Friday.

Sri Lanka scored over four runs an over during the afternoon session with both Jayawardene and Sangakkara picking up boundaries at will.

Bangladesh’s Syed Rasel, who had claimed two wickets in the morning session, finally got the third wicket when Jayawardene chipped one to opposing captain Ashraful at mid-off. His 165 came in 209 balls with 15 fours and three sixes.

Sangakkara was the hero of the day with his chanceless knock. He reached his double hundred pulling Ashraful for four. He faced 263 deliveries and hit 26 boundaries.


BANGLADESH — 1st Innings: 131

SRI LANKA — 1st Innings (overnight 30-0)

M Vandort b Rasel 43

U Tharanga lbw b Rasel 12

K Sangakkara not out 222

M Jayawardene c Ashraful b Rasel 165

C Silva run out 25

T Dilshan not out 17

Extras: 16 (b4, lb2, nb8, w2)

Total: 500/4

FoW: 1-47, 2-74, 3-385, 4-445

Bangladesh bowling: Mortaza 24-2-125-0, Rasel 31-1-104-3, Shahadat 16-1-71-0,

Rafique 14-1-72-0, Ashraful 12-0-74-0,

Imran 10-0-48-0