Karachi, February 22:
Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera smashed double hundreds during a world record stand of 437 as Sri Lanka left Pakistan with a mountain to climb in the opening Test here on Sunday.
Jayawardene innings ended on 240 and Samaraweera struck a career-best 231 as the tourists declared their first innings at 644-7, their best ever total against Pakistan, on the second day. Pakistan, who must score 445 to avoid the follow-on in their first Test in 14 months, were 44-1 at stumps with debutant Khurram Manzoor on 18 and Younus Khan yet to score.
With the twin threats of Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan, the world record-holder, looming large on a pitch likely to take spin, Pakistanâ€™s task looks daunting. Muralitharan gave signs of what is in store when he dismissed opener Salman Butt (23) in the penultimate over to underline a dominant day for the tourists.
Jayawardene and Samaraweera, who came together on Saturday evening at 177-3, punished the new-look Pakistan attack with their stand, which was the eighth best for any wicket in Test history. The overnight pair beat the previous best fourth-wicket stand of 411 between Englandâ€™s Peter May and Colin Cowdrey against the West Indies at Birmingham in 1957.
Resuming at 406-3, they also beat Sri Lankaâ€™s previous best fourth-wicket stand 240, set by Asanka Gurusinha and Arjuna Ranatunga against Pakistan in Colombo in 1986. The partnership also took Sri Lanka past their highest Test total against Pakistan, overhauling 528 at Lahore in 2002. Samaraweera improved his previous highest Test score of 142 against England at Colombo in 2003.
The two batted through all but two overs in the first two sessions before the Pakistani bowlers were rewarded with three wickets for an unchanged score of 614. Jayawardene fell when he miscued a sweep shot off spinner Shoaib Malik and was caught one-handed by wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.
The Sri Lankan skipper hit 32 boundaries during his 531-minute stay at the crease. Samaraweera was bowled by leg-spinner Danish Kaneria after hitting 31 boundaries during his 457-minute innings, while Kaneria finished with 3-170.
Jayawardene also shares the record for the highest ever partnership of 624 in Test
cricket â€” made for the third wicket with Kumar Sangakkara â€” against South Africa at Colombo three years ago.