Jayawardena leads Sri Lankan run fest

Mahela Jayawardena became the sixth-highest run getter in Test cricket with an unbeaten double century as Sri Lanka compounded Bangladesh’s misery on the third day of the first Test in Mirpur on Wednesday (January 29).

Jayawardena made a 272-ball 203, his seventh double century in 33 three-figure knocks, as Sri Lanka declared its first innings at 730 for 6 at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. That gave Sri Lanka a lead of 498 runs and Bangladesh had managed to get only 35 of those for the loss of one wicket by close of play.

Rangana Herath, brought on after just three overs, struck with his third delivery when he forced Tamim Iqbal to mistime a catch to point. When play was called off, Shamsur Rahman was unbeaten on nine with Marshall Ayub accompanying him on 11. Bangladesh was still 463 behind.

Earlier, Jayawardena leapfrogged Allan Border (11,174 runs) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (11,219) to move behind Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid and Brian Lara in the list of top scorers in Test cricket.

Jayawardena, 36, ended on 11,236 runs in 142 Tests, and equalled team-mate Kumar Sangakkara’s Sri Lankan record of 33 Test centuries in the process.

Jayawardena hit 16 boundaries and four sixes in a typically elegant innings, reaching his double century with a six over midwicket off Nasir Hossain.

Resuming on 375 for 5, Sri Lanka first had Angelo Mathews partnering Jayawardena in a sixth-wicket stand of 179, making 86 before being dismissed just before tea. Mathews missed his third century when he mistimed a drive against Sohag Gazi and was caught at short mid-on by Ayub.

That turned out to be Bangladesh’s lone success in the day as Kithuruwan Vithanage helped Jayawardena add 176 for the seventh wicket before Mathews closed the innings. Vithanage scored an unbeaten 103 – his maiden Test ton – with 12 fours and two sixes as Bangladesh conceded its highest ever total, surpassing the 648 for 9 by West Indies in Khulna in November 2012.

The only time Jayawardena appeared in trouble was when he survived a loud appeal for lbw on 119 as he attempted to reverse sweep Gazi. Television replays favoured the bowler, but the Decision Review System is not being used in the series.

Shakib Al Hasan was Bangladesh’s most successful bowler with three wickets, but his 43 overs cost 159 runs.

(Courtesy: International Cricket Council)