SL pile on the runs

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayardene fell 26 runs short of Brian Lara’s world record of highest individual score in Test cricket, as the hosts piled on the runs on the third day of the first Test against the visitors, South Africa.

On a day, where several records, including the one for the highest partnership in Test or first class cricket, it seemed eminent that Jayawardene will get to that world record by becoming the second man to score 400 in a Test innings. However, he was clean bowled on 374, ending a marathon innings which put him at the top of highest individual scores in an innings by a Sri Lankan.

Jayawardene shared a mammoth 624-run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara, who himself, missed out on a triple century when he was caught off an outside edge to the bowling of Andrew Hall. The two passed the previous best partnership in Tests, held by fellow countrymen Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama, and then went on to top it among first class partnerships too.

It was surprising that there was just the one six in the entire partnership, but it also goes to show how the two grafted runs with minimal risks. In fact, in the more than 10 hours that they batted together, they hardly gave a sniff to the bowlers. Sangakkara’s dismissal was probably the first comprehensive win that the bowlers had against the two; prior to that, they weren’t even allowed the slightest of opportunities to break the partnership.

The Sri Lankans finally declared their innings after Jayawardene’s dismissal, at 756 for 5, without doubt in the driver’s seat, and with ample time remaining to bowl out the Proteas. The visitors got off to a good start though, reaching 43 without loss at close of play. However, two more days still remain in the match, and it would probably need a Herculean effort from the South Africans, matching the one put forth by Jayawardene and Sangakkara, to have any chance of saving the match.

South Africa 169 and 43-0
JA Rudolph 24*
Sri Lanka 756-5 dec.
KC Sangakkara 287, DMPD Jayawardene 374
DW Steyn 3-129

South Africa trail by 544 runs with 10 second innings wickets in hand.

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