Jayawardene relieved for Sangakkara

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Batsman Mahela Jayawardene lauded the outstanding performance of centurion Kumar Sangakkara, as Sri Lanka moved to 415 for seven – in response to England's 575 for nine declared.

Batsman Mahela Jayawardene lauded the outstanding performance of centurion Kumar Sangakkara, as Sri Lanka moved to 415 for seven – in response to England's 575 for nine declared – on day three of the series opener on Saturday.

Sangakkara was superb alongside opener Kaushal Silva's patient 63 and captain Angelo Mathews' fluid 79 not out, welcoming a maiden Test century at Lord's en route to a fine 147.

The right-handed Jayawardene, meanwhile, contributed a complementary half-century – and was at the crease when the left-handed Sangakkara welcomed three figures in front of an appreciative crowd.

"I was happy for Kumar. A lot of people were talking about it back home as well. I was quite relieved. He was a man with a purpose – the way he batted. I was thrilled for him," said Jayawardene.

"I haven't seen him leave so many balls outside the off-stump for quite some time. There were a few he could have probably gone after, but he didn't. He was quite determined to get that."

"His record in the last eight years or so is amazing. It was good for the team in that he anchored the innings and most of the guys batted around him, so it was an okay situation going into the fourth day."

The milestone vigil spanned 258 deliveries and featured 16 boundaries, before a top edge off the bowling of spinner Moeen Ali afforded wicketkeeper Matt Prior a simple catch. Sangakkara departed to a relatively large standing ovation.

"It's something I've always wanted to do. I just did a bit of preparation, changed a bit in my technique right from the start and I'm pretty happy it worked," added Sangakkara.

"Lord's is a very special place to play your cricket at, and Sri Lankans have done pretty well individually here. It feels very special to get on the honours board.''

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