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Sangakkara century comes before rain

Rain halted Sri Lanka's steady progress with the bat against Pakistan on day three of the first Test in Galle.

Kumar Sangakkara scored an unbeaten 102 and was ably assisted by half-centurions Kaushal Silva and Mahela Jayawardene as the hosts reached 252 for two before heavy downpours brought play to a premature end on Friday.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene, unbeaten on 55 in his last series before retirement from the five-day game, will resume Sri Lanka's innings earlier than usual on Saturday.

The hosts are still 199 runs shy of Pakistan's 451 total - their highest first innings Test match effort for eight years.

Resuming on 99 for one on Friday morning, Silva and Sangakkara added a further 45 runs to their second-wicket partnership before Silva, having notched his sixth Test fifty, mis-timed a Mohammad Talha delivery and edged behind to Sarfraz Ahmed.

Silva faced 140 deliveries in his 64, which included 11 fours.

His second-wicket partnership with Sangakkara heralded 120 runs from 42.2 overs and was just what Sri Lanka required after they were restricted to 24 for one when Upul Tharanga was dismissed late on Thursday.

Sangakkara, who had passed the half-century mark not long after Silva had done so, picked up where he left off and, with Jayawardene at the other end, Sri Lanka reached 200 shortly after a half-hour break for rain.

Jayawardene, who had been given a guard of honour as he walked out to bat in his last Test at this venue, was given out lbw while on 11. He opted to review the decision, and was vindicated when replays showed Junaid Khan's delivery was missing off stump.

Eager to take advantage of his reprieve, Jayawardene kept the scoreboard ticking over and brought up his 49th Test fifty from 91 balls, including six fours.

Not to be outdone, Sangakkara gave the majority of those assembled inside the Galle International Stadium another reason to celebrate when he cut Abdur Rehman to the ropes to record his 37th Test century shortly before the heavens opened once again.

An extended tea break was subsequently taken but with the rain showing no sign of abating, umpires Ian Gould and Bruce Oxenford decided to bring an end to the day's play.

Play will begin earlier than normal on Saturday to make up for Friday's stop-start action, meaning 98 overs could be possible on the fourth day.