sport

​Sangakkara fires double ton

A superb double-century from Kumar Sangakkara handed Sri Lanka the upper hand against Pakistan on the fourth day of the first Test in Galle.

The seasoned batsmen faced 425 balls and struck 24 balls on his way to his 10th Test score of 200 to help the Sri Lankans declare on 533-9 - a lead of 82.

He was finally dismissed for 221 in the evening session, stumped by Sarfraz Ahmed off Abdur Rehm.

Rangana Herath then quickly dismissed Khurram Manzoor as Pakistan reached 4-1 by the close.

Although a draw still looks the most likely outcome at Galle International Stadium, Sri Lanka could yet make a last-day push for victory, and that is largely thanks to Sangakkara.

His brilliant knock lifted the 36-year-old one clear of Brian Lara in the list of most Test double hundreds, with only Sir Don Bradman ahead of him with 12.

It also continued Sangakkara's remarkable record against Pakistan, which sees the left-hander averaging almost 85 from 20 matches, with three double tons and seven centuries - including an unbeaten 199 and 192.

He started the penultimate day on 102 with Sri Lanka on 252-2 in pursuit of Pakistan's 451 all-out.

Sangakkara soon lost his overnight partner, Mahela Jayawardene only adding four runs to his 55 before he was trapped lbw by Junaid Khan, but Sri Lanka's record Test runscorer was then joined by captain Angelo Mathews and they put on 181 for the fourth wicket.

Those two got Sri Lanka to within 13 runs of Pakistan's total before their stand was finally ended when Mathews fell for 91, becoming the first of five victims for spinner Saeed Ajmal (five for 166).

With the breakthrough made, Ajmal continued to make regular inroads into the Sri Lanka lower order with Kithuruwan Vithanage, Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera all departing for five.

Sangakkara remained unmoved though, and he reached his 200 with a single off Ajmal in the 150th over - the same over that saw the dismissal of Perera.

Sangakkara and Dhammika Prasad (31) added 36 runs for the eighth wicket to take Sri Lanka past the 500 mark before Sangakkara's stay was eventually ended midway through the final session.

The veteran batsman now has 11,886 Test runs, leaving him just 67 runs behind fifth-placed Lara on the list of all-time record runscorers in Test cricket.

Following Sangakkara's departure, Prasad helped add another 22 runs with Herath before the former became Ajmal's fifth victim, after which Mathews called his players in to leave Pakistan an awkward six overs before the close - during which time they lost opener Manzoor.