Sri Lanka ride on twin tons
Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan once again frustrated Pakistan with centuries as Sri Lanka edged towards safety on day four of the second Test in Colombo.
Further showers ensured only 70.4 overs were possible today, but there was enough time for Sangakkara and Dilshan to each compile hundreds for the second successive game.
The former captains extended their second-wicket stand to 225 before Sri Lanka - 1-0 ahead in the three-match series - reached stumps 273 runs in arrears on 278 for five. Remarkably, the other three members of the hosts’ top five were dismissed for ducks.
Sangakkara, unbeaten on 144 at the close, has now moved above Sir Don Bradman in the list of Test century-makers with 30, while Dilshan, who struck 121 before becoming the second of three victims for left-arm seamer Junaid Khan, became only the eighth Sri Lankan to reach 5,000 runs in the premier form of the game.
A late flurry of wickets, which saw Pakistan claim four scalps for the addition of 42 runs, offered the tourists hope of enforcing the follow-on tomorrow, but a draw appears by far the most likely outcome.
Sri Lanka made untroubled progress for much of the day after resuming on 70 for one in reply to their opponents’ mammoth 551 for six declared.
Dilshan quickly knuckled down after a hyperactive start, while Sangakkara punished Pakistan’s tendency to bowl too straight with a series of elegant clips through the leg side.
Rain forced an extended lunch interval and there was evidence of increased turn thereafter as both batsmen closed in on three figures.
After tea, it was Dilshan who brought up his century first, courtesy of a six over wide long-on off Saeed Ajmal.
Sangakkara was celebrating soon after, but Pakistan finally injected some life into the encounter with a quartet of late strikes.
Dilshan was plumb lbw to Junaid, operating from round the wicket, and the same bowler trapped Mahela Jayawardene leg before for nought as the skipper shouldered arms.
Thilan Samaraweera also failed to score before falling to Ajmal and nightwatchman Suraj Randiv fell for five in the final over of the day to a fourth consecutive lbw decision. Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman was the successful bowler.