Sri Lanka rides on Sangakkara magic

Kumar Sangakkara became only the second batsman in history to score a triple-century and a century in the same match as Sri Lanka pressed for victory in the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Friday (February 7).

Sri Lanka, who had taken a 161-run first-innings lead, declared its second knock at 305-4 in the final session of the fourth day’s play at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium. Bangladesh, set an improbable target of 467 to record a series-levelling win, were 12-0 at stumps.

Sri Lanka will need to take all ten wickets to sweep the two-match series, while Bangladesh requires another 455 runs in a minimum of 90 overs.

Sangakkara followed his 319 in the first innings with 105 in the second, joining the former England captain Graham Gooch as the only batsmen to achieve the rare feat. Sangakkara’s match tally of 424 runs was the third highest in Test history, behind Gooch’s 456 runs and Mark Taylor’s 426 against Pakistan in October 1998.

Sangakkara, added one more to the tally of 34 three-figure scores, with a six off Sohag Gazi after tea, but was bowled off the next delivery.

Dinesh Chandimal remained unbeaten on 100, having shared a fourth-wicket stand of 145 with Sangakkara after Sri Lanka struggled at the start.

Earlier, Bangladesh was bowled out for 426 in its first innings in reply to Sri Lanka’s 587. Ajantha Mendis finished with 6 for 99, having claimed both remaining wickets after Bangladesh resumed the day at 409 for 8.

Mendis accounted for Mahmudullah with the first session’s fourth delivery, forcing a catch to short leg. Al-Amin Hossain was bowled for 9, leaving Abdur Razzak unbeaten on 11.

When Sri Lanka batted a second time, Mahmudullah dismissed openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva in his first three overs before lunch to make it 49 for 2.

Shakib Al Hasan then trapped Mahela Jayawardene in front for 11 early in the post-lunch session as Sri Lanka slipped to 78 for 3. However, Sangakkara took over from there to ensure it ended in a strong position.

(Courtesy: International Cricket Council)