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Sanga, Mahela power Lanka on rain-hit day

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene after the formerís century, in Galle, on Friday

Galle: Kumar Sangakkara struck his 37th Test hundred as he and his Mahela Jayawardene powered Sri Lanka to 252 for two before rain washed out the final session on Day III of the first Test against Pakistan, here, on Friday.

In reply to Pakistan’s first innings total of 451, Sri Lanka were cruising when rain forced an early tea and a subsequent heavy downpour ensured not another delivery was bowled at the water-logged Galle International Stadium.

Sangakkara was batting on 102 off 218 balls, having hit 13 fours en route his 10th century against Pakistan, while Jayawardene is at the crease on 55.

The pair so far added an unbroken 108 runs for the third wicket, the 18th century partnership between them, with the hosts still trailing Pakistan by 199 runs.

Sangakkara brought up his century shortly before the early tea break with a cut through point region, off left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, for four. The 36-year-old left-hander as well as Jayawardene, who quits Tests after the two-match series against Pakistan, survived strong leg-before appeals to deny the tourists any success in the rain-shortened 85 minute afternoon session.

Jayawardene, on 11, did not offer any shot to a delivery from Junaid Khan and was given out by the umpire. But after he called for a review, the replays showed the ball was missing the off stump and he was given a reprieve.

Pakistan lost another review of a leg-before decision when Junaid hit Sangakkara’s pad with the batsman on 62. But the point of impact was found to be outside the off-stump.

The only wicket to fall in the morning session was that of opener Kaushal Silva, who was out for 64 off 140 balls, with 11 fours in his compact innings. Silva shared a 120-run stand with Sangakkara, but was out to Mohammad Talha when he got a thick edge to wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who dived forward to hold onto a fine catch.

Jayawardene, playing his final Test at this venue, was given a guard of honour by local schoolboys when walking out to bat. He got off the mark with a single and off the third ball, he square-drove Ajmal for a boundary to show positive intent.

Jayawardene, though, did have a few nervy moments against Ajmal. He failed to read the doosra on an occasion and also inside-edged past short-leg. But later, he looked pretty confident against the off-spinner, ready to take him on.

Pakistan bowlers now have a major task on hand.