Galle - Veteran Kumar Sangakkara was nearing a 200-plus score for the 10th
time as Sri Lanka closed in on Pakistan's first innings total of 451 in
the first Test in Galle on Saturday.
The prolific left-hander was
unbeaten on 189 as the hosts moved to 449-4 by tea on the fourth day,
trailing by just two runs with six wickets in hand.
second only behind Australian legend Don Bradman's tally of 12 scores of
above 200, has so far hit 21 boundaries in his 37th Test century.
Angelo Mathews made 91 during a fourth-wicket stand of 181 with
Sangakkara before he was caught in the slips off Saeed Ajmal just before
It was the fifth time in his career that the Sri Lankan
captain had been dismissed in the 90s, and the third time he went on 91
Kithuruwan Vithanage kept Sangakkara company at
tea on five as the opening match of the two-Test series headed for a
draw unless Sri Lanka bowled Pakistan out quickly in the second innings.
paid heavily for dropping Sangakkara off the first ball of the day when
Abdur Rehman spilled a chance at point off left-arm seamer Junaid Khan.
Junaid struck three deliveries later as Mahela Jayawardene was adjudged leg-before through the Decision Review System (DRS).
Ian Gould turned down a loud shout from the bowler, but Pakistan earned
a positive verdict after appealing for a review from the TV official.
Replays showed the ball hitting the top of the off-stump.
who is due to quit Test cricket after the series ends in Colombo later
this month, made 59 in a third-wicket stand of 113 with Sangakkara.
36-year-old Sangakkara had on Friday risen to fourth place in the list
of century-makers with his 37th hundred, the seventh three-figure knock
in his last 14 Tests.
Only the retired trio of India's Sachin
Tendulkar, with 51 centuries, Jacques Kallis of South Africa, who had
45, and Ricky Ponting of Australia on 41, have scored more hundreds.
The second and final Test will be played on Jayawardene's home ground at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo from August 14.