Dilshan and Sangakkara flay Pakistan
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara struck centuries as Sri Lanka dominated the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan in Galle.
After Mahela Jayawardene had chosen to make first use of a dry surface, which did offer early assistance to the spinners, the hosts surged to 300 for two at stumps, with Sangakkara unbeaten on 111.
That represented the left-hander’s eighth hundred against Pakistan, and by reaching 29 Test centuries in all he has now drawn level with the legendary Sir Don Bradman.
Opener Dilshan had earlier been dismissed for 101, his first five-day ton in more than a year, while Jayawardene reached the close with 55 to his name.
Saeed Ajmal was the only Pakistan bowler to enjoy success, finishing with 2-81 from 24 overs.
It was Dilshan, at his dismissive best, who dominated the morning session, but opening partner Tharanga Paranavitana was unable to settle into his stride.
He was fortunate to escape when an inside-edge through to wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal off Umar Gul went unnoticed and also saw Azhar Ali miss a chance at silly point off Ajmal.
Paranavitana’s luck did not hold out, however, and he was duly stumped for 24 after being beaten in the flight looking to charge Ajmal.
Both Ajmal and Rehman caused plenty of problems in the period prior to lunch and Dilshan survived a host of lbw appeals.
Yet Sri Lanka soon asserted their control and 187 runs were on the board by the time Ajmal struck again.
After moving to three figures in the previous over with a swept four off Rehman, Dilshan was caught on the crease as he played back and adjudged lbw.
Sangakkara, who eschewed risk in favour of sensible accumulation, continued to progress serenely, although Jayawardene struggled to find his usual level of fluency.
The skipper took 16 balls to get off the mark, but then did so with a cheeky scoop for four, which was followed by an even more audacious reverse-sweep to the boundary.
Jayawardene also survived a strong lbw appeal from the luckless Gul as Pakistan toiled.
They were unable to make another breakthrough and saw Sangakkara bring up his century - from 159 balls - courtesy of a tight single to mid-off, just about the only chance the left-hander offered in a classy innings.