IPL desk in Mumbai 26 March 2012 - 07:54pm IST
Jayawardene strikes 30th Test ton
DD batsman hits unbeaten 168 as SL finish Day 1 at 289/8 against Eng
The hosts were in trouble early on after captain Jayawardene won the toss and opted to make first use of the wicket at the Galle International Stadium. James Anderson and Stuart Broad did the early damage for England as they quickly reduced Sri Lanka to 15 for the loss of three wickets before the completion of the fourth over. Thilan Samaraweera (20) was then run out backing up at the non-striker’s end with the score at 67.
Jayawardene, though, managed to hold the innings together. After a 52-run stand with Samaraweera, the DD batsman struck a 61-run stand with Dinesh Chandimal during which he surpassed Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar as the eighth-highest run-getter in Test cricket. Then, after Samit Patel had Chandimal (27) caught by Ian Bell, James Anderson trapped Prasanna Jayawardene (23) lbw and Suraj Randiv (12) was run out by a direct hit from Andrew Strauss. Mahela Jayawardene then took the Lankan score past 250 thanks to a 62-run stand with Rangana Herath.
While Herath (5) showed tremendous fight during his 30-ball stay at the wicket, Jayawardene went on to bring up his 30th Test ton in the 69th over of the Lankan innings by paddle sweeping Graeme Swann to the fine leg boundary.
After bringing up his century, Jayawardene switched gears. Where his first 101 runs came off 200 deliveries (strike-rate 50.50), the Lankan ace took just 90 deliveries to score his next 67 runs (strike-rate 74.44) as Sri Lanka finished the day at a competitive 289 for eight.
Jayawardene’s century today also has him tied in eighth spot with Australian Matthew Hayden on the list of batsmen with most Test centuries in a career.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 1st innings 289/8 (Mahela Jayawardene 168*, James Anderson 3/56, Samit Patel 2/27)