Sangakkara surpasses Lara record, nears Bradman

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The veteran Kumar Sangakkara struck an superb double century, as Sri Lanka climbed to 533 for nine – and reduced Pakistan to four for one – on day four of the first Test match at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday.

The veteran Kumar Sangakkara struck an superb double century, as Sri Lanka climbed to 533 for nine – and reduced Pakistan to four for one – on day four of the first Test match at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday.

The milestone registered Sangakkara's 10th 200-plus score in the longest format of the international game, surpassing the nine amassed by West Indian Brian Lara. The late Don Bradman of Australia's 12 is the most.

Resuming on 252 for two, the Sri Lankans gradually fashioned a formidable 82-run lead. Sangakkara and captain Angelo Mathews led the charge, before tail-ender Dhammika Prasad and spin bowler Rangana Herath continued the dominance.

While the retiring Mahela Jayawardene was unable to mark an emotional penultimate Test with a century, instead perishing early in the day for an unfulfilled 59, the left-handed Sangakkara capitalised entirely.

Sharing a commanding 181-run alliance with the right-handed Mathews, he struck two dozen boundaries en route to a gratifying 221 before being stumped by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

The dismissal was one of a quick succession for spinner Saeed Ajmal, who went without a breakthrough for a substantial period before completing a belated five-for amid a relative collaspe from the hosts. The host skipper, meanwhile, fell nine runs short of three figures.

Indeed, Sri Lanka lost the last seven wickets for just 95 runs. Prasad's late-order cameo, though, ensured 500 was reached and a further 33 runs added. Herath later hampered Pakistan's response, dismissing opener Khurram Manzoor.

Manzoor fell for a mere three for the second time this match, after feathering a thin edge to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella. The dismissal offered Herath – and fellow slow bowler Dilruwan Perera plenty of promise – ahead of the fifth and final day, when the home side will be eager to defy expectations of a dull draw by snaring a vital lead in the two-match series.

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