Sri Lanka in command after Sangakkara triple

Kumar Sangakkara became the fastest player to reach 11,000 runs in Test cricket en route a career-best 319, as Sri Lanka ended Day 2 of the second Test against Bangladesh in a commanding position at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Wednesday (February 5). Sangakkara’s knock helped Sri Lanka post an imposing 587. In reply, Bangladesh was at 86 for 1 when stumps were drawn, still staring at a massive 501-run deficit.

Sangakkara’s maiden triple ton also marked his 9th score of 200 plus in Tests, with only Sir Don Bradman having more scores of 200 plus (12). The former Sri Lankan captain, playing in his 122nd Test, also became the ninth batsman to reach the 11,000-run mark, getting there in just 208 innings. Brian Lara, who took 213 innings to get to the landmark, was the fastest to achieve the feat previously.

Sangakkara with 11,046 runs to his credit, is on ninth place in the list of leading run-scorers in Test cricket headed by Sachin Tendulkar (15,921 runs).

On a day that belonged to him from start to finish, Sangakkara, resuming on his overnight score of 160, smashed 32 boundaries and eight sixes during his 482-ball knock, adding 116 in the company of the last three batsmen.

Exerting his dominance over a hapless Bangladesh attack on a slow pitch, Sangakkara was on 286 with just Nuwan Pradeep, the No. 11 batsman to keep him company, when he launched an attack on Shakib Al Hasan, the left-arm spinner, carting him for a four and two sixes off consecutive deliveries, to get to his triple century in blazing fashion. Pradeep played second fiddle to his dominant partner, contributing just four in a last-wicket stand of 54.

Sangakkara’s marathon effort was brought to an end by Nasir Hossain, as he attempted to force the pace, only to be caught by Sohag Gazi at long on to be the last man dismissed.

Earlier, Kithuruwan Vithanage added 90 runs with Sangakkara for the sixth wicket, to help Sri Lanka, resuming the day on 314 for 5, cross the 400-run mark. However, with Vithanage, the first Test centurion, and Dilruwan Perera departing in the space of five deliveries, Sri Lanka quickly went from 402 for 5 to 405 for 7.

Ajantha Mendis then joined Sangakkara to add 100 crucial runs for the eighth wicket. Mendis was trapped in front by Shakib soon after Sri Lanka crossed the 500-run mark. But, his contribution proved to be crucial as he stroked six boundaries on his way to 47, which he made in quick time, off 67 balls.

Bangladesh’s reply began on a poor note, as it suffered an early setback when Tamim Iqbal, the opener, was castled by Suranga Lakmal, the right-arm pacer, off the fourth ball of the innings.

Shamsur Rahman (45 not out) and Imrul Kayes (36 not out) then came together for an unbroken second wicket stand of 86, to prevent further damage.

However, both batsmen rode on luck to remain unseparated at stumps. Shamsur was dropped by Jayawardene on 36, while Pradeep spilt an easy chance offered by Kayes shortly before the end of day’s play.

Bangladesh suffered a setback as Mushfiqur Rahim, the captain, did not take the field due to a finger injury while Abdur Razzak was sidelined with a strained hamstring. Iqbal, the vice-captain, led Bangladesh in Rahim’s absence, while Rahman took over wicketkeeping duties.

(Courtesy:International Cricket Council)