Sangakkara ton takes Sri Lanka to comfortable draw
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Player:KC Sangakkara, TT Samaraweera, AD Mathews, Umar Gul
Event:Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009

DateLine: 24th July 2009


Kumar Sangakkara shelved his aggressive shot-making instincts to grind out a patient century, his first as captain to help Sri Lanka maintain a clean slate over Pakistan in the third and the final Test of the series. Pakistan would have fancied their chances of pulling off a consolation victory, but Sangakkara in the company of Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews defied the Pakistani bowling attack, which lacked the necessary bite to put Lanka under any pressure. The hosts, set a world record target of 492 runs, were 391-4 in their second innings when the captains settled for a draw with 15 overs remaining in the fifth day's play.


When the play began, it was obvious that Sangakkara and Samaraweera would prefer to play safe rather than take risk to win the match. The pacers did not get any purchase from the track, while the spinners were thwarted brilliantly with decisive footwork from the Lankan batsmen. Samaraweera was the classy of the two as he found the boundary ropes more often than Sangakkara. The only shot of aggression from the Sri Lankan skipper was when he danced down the track against Kaneria to hit him past midwicket for a boundary. But barring that shot Sangakkara seemed to be content in playing out the day.


Samaraweera on the other hand was the aggressor of the two as he played a perfect straight drive and then played a beautiful looking cover-drive to drive Gul off to distraction. Umar Gul was a major disappointment as he struggled with his rhythm throughout the day. He could not locate his line and length and was more often than not way off the target. Though he caused some level of discomfort for Samaraweera, the deliveries that troubled the batsmen were less frequent and was scattered among many poor deliveries.


After lunch Samaraweera was affected by cramps and a bye-runner was called for. It looked that it would disrupt Samaraweera's concentartion but he played played a beautifully timed straight drive past a forlorn looking Younis Khan at mid-off. It looked he might battle it out but then he was foxed by a doosra by Ajmal to be caught behind. It looked like Sri Lanka had found a opening but then Mathews in the company of his skipper put paid to such thoughts. Sangakkara serenely collected his 19th Test century, the first as captain to further dispel of any hopes of late fightback b Pakistan.


There was no late drama as the teams decided to call for a draw with 15 overs to go in the day.



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