The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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England need 323 for victory
- Jayawardene, Muralidharan frustrate visitors

Galle: Mahela Jayawardene scored a patient unbeaten 86 as England were set 323 to win the first Test on Friday.

The hosts, who resumed the fourth day on 99 for five, were bowled out for 226 after a string of useful partnerships between Jayawardene and the lower order. England had reached four for no wicket when rain ended the day’s play prematurely, with Marcus Trescothick on four and captain Michael Vaughan on nought.

Jayawardene grafted hard for five hours and 11 minutes for his 86 runs from 173 balls, including only two fours.

It was the 26-year-old’s highest Test score since his 107 against England in May 2002.

England had pulled themselves back into the game with the new ball, taking three wickets for 17 runs as Sri Lanka collapsed to 180 for nine.

But Muttiah Muralidharan (13) followed his first innings 38 with another useful cameo, helping add 46 vital runs for the last wicket. Jayawardene had earlier put on 38 for the sixth wicket with Chaminda Vaas (19) and 40 for the seventh with Upul Chandana (19).

Spinner Ashley Giles was England’s most successful bowler, taking four for 63 to finish with figures of eight for 132 in the match. The highest total ever chased in the fourth innings to win a Test match in Sri Lanka was the 326 scored by the hosts to defeat Zimbabwe in 1997-98 at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

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