Galle: Sri Lanka cruised to a commanding 361-3 at stumps against an ordinary Bangladesh bowling on the first day of the first Test at Galle International Stadium on Friday. Former captain Kumar Sangakkara took centre stage with his 31st Test hundred, equaling the Sri Lankan record held by colleague Mahela Jayawardene, who will miss the two match Test series because of a broken finger.
Sangakkara underwent surgery in December after breaking his left index finger during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, Australia. He looked in serene touch from the moment he walked in, picking up singles in front of the wicket and punishing loose balls, which were plenty, square to the boundary. During his knock, Sangakkara also went past 1,000 Test runs against Bangladesh, the first batsman to achieve the milestone.
Sangakkara was dropped on 111 by former captain Mohammad Ashraful at mid-on off Sohag Gazi, who was the only bowler to test the Sri Lankans. Gazi eventually claimed Sangakkara's wicket when the left-hander attempted a full blooded drive, but was snapped up at short extra cover. Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed 54 off 63 balls with nine fours before failing to clear mid-off. He was the only batsman to be dismissed before lunch.
Dimuth Karunaratne was trapped leg before wicket for 41 with the total on 181. He had to retire hurt in the morning after he was struck on the elbow by fast bowler Shahadat Hossain, but returned to resume the innings at the fall of Dilshan's wicket. A 124-run stand for the third wicket followed between Lahiru Thirimanne and Sangakkara before the latter fell for 142. He hit 16 fours and three sixes among 226 balls.
Thirimanne was unbeaten on 74 at stumps with captain Angelo Mathews on 25. Bangladesh took the second new ball soon after it was available, but failed to make a breakthrough. The Sri Lankans were unaffected in scoring at 4.2 runs an over. The game was called off early due to rain with still four overs left.
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