Sangakkara surpasses Dravid record

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The veteran Kumar Sangakkara recorded a momentous 37th Test century, as Sri Lanka moved to 252 for two – in reply to Pakistan's 451 all out – on day three of the series opener at the Galle International Stadium on Friday.

The veteran Kumar Sangakkara recorded a momentous 37th Test century, as Sri Lanka moved to 252 for two – in reply to Pakistan's 451 all out – on day three of the series opener at the Galle International Stadium on Friday.

The milestone saw Sangakkara surpass former India captain Rahul Dravid's tally of 36 centuries in the longest format of the international game. The stalwart left-hander now has the fourth most Test centuries, after Indian Sachin Tendulkar's 51, South African Jacques Kallis' 45 and Australian Ricky Ponting's 41.

The prolific feat – and a complementary half-ton from fellow former skipper Mahela Jayawardene – were the loan highlights on a day otherwise marred by inclement weather. Rain, in fact, allowed for a mere 46 overs.

Resuming on 99 for one, the Sri Lankans boasted reasonable hope of forcing a first-innings lead. While sodden conditions hampered this bid, a forecast of sunnier skies on Saturday will buoy Sangakkara and company.

Fast bowler Mohammad Talha's removal of opener Kaushal Silva was the day's only wicket. A superb catch from diving wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed ended the burgeoning vigil. Silva struck 11 boundaries en route to a patient, 140-delivery 64.

His exit paved the way for another guard of honour for the retiring Jayawardene, who is playing a final Test match in Galle. Characteristically and dutifully, he commenced a fine alliance with Sangakkara.

The pair were largely untroubled by a considerably uninspired Pakistan attack, arguably over-reliant on spinner Saeed Ajmal. The much-touted slow bowler went without a wicket across 29 fruitless overs.

An unbroken partnership will be afforded the chance to span beyond 108 on day four, when the hosts will require a decidedly quicker run-rate than the current 3.15 to potentially bring a declaration.

The sub-continental rivals have been allowed just two Tests, rather than a standard three, leaving an early lead more coveted than usual. Sangakkara and Jayawardene, not out on 102 and 55 respectively, have an enviable relationship to further invest.

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