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Mahela Jayawardene Repels South Africa

Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene celebrates after reaching Test century number 34
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 305-5 (Jayawardene 140no) v
South Africa
Second Test, Colombo, day one

Team Line-Ups

Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews (c), Kithruwan Vithanage, Niroshan Dickwella (+), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Suranga Lakmal

South Africa: Alviro Petersen, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla (c), AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock (+), JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

Mahela Jayawardene struck his 34th Test century to guide Sri Lanka to stumps on day one of the second and final Test against South Africa on 305 for five.

At his home venue of the Sinhalese Sports Ground, where he will finish his Test career against Pakistan next month, he was unbeaten on 140 in 225 balls at the close of play.

Angelo Mathews also made a half-century as Sri Lanka, who must win the match to share the series, hit back from a poor start, being reduced to 16 for two inside the first hour.

They handed a debut to wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella and recalled both Kithruwan Vithanage and Ajantha Mendis to replace Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne and Shaminda Eranga while South Africa are unchanged from the side that won the opening Test by 153 runs in Galle.

After winning the toss, Sri Lanka had made just 16 when they lost both Upul Tharanga (11) and Kumar Sangakkara (0) in consecutive deliveries to Dale Steyn.

After playing a leading role in dismantling Sri Lanka in the opening Test, he startled Tharanga with a short ball that he could only fend to wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock.

Following it up with another bouncer to Sangakkara, he had him caught at mid-wicket as the left-hander tried to meet aggression with aggression but didn't get anywhere near enough of the shot.

That left Kaushal Silva alongside Jayawardene and the rebuilding process began, the pair almost making it to lunch together before Silva was caught by AB de Villiers at slip off JP Duminy.

Silva made 44 in 73 balls and added 99 with Jayawardene for the third wicket as Sri Lanka headed for lunch at 115 for three with Jayawardene unbeaten on 53.

He and Mathews batted through the middle session, advancing Sri Lanka to 212 for three at tea.

Breaking down Mahela's 34 Test centuries

11 at the SSC, Colombo
7 in Galle
3 in Kandy
2 at the P Sara Oval, Colombo, Lord's, London and Mirpur
1 each in Karachi, Ahmedabad, Dubai, Hobart, Bulawayo, Georgetown, Napier

23 in Sri Lanka, 2 each in Bangladesh and England, 1 each in Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, UAE, West Indies and Zimbabwe

Shortly before the break, Jayawardene brought up three figures for the 34th time - and 11th time at this ground - after Mathews reached his 16th Test half-century.

He made it to 63 in 135 balls before Duminy, who was providing more penetration than Imran Tahir, struck again to have him caught behind by de Kock.

Vithanage's return to Test cricket was not a happy one as he struck a four and a six only to make 13 in 38 balls and failing to deal with a steepling delivery from Morne Morkel, although it took a good catch from AB de Villiers, running backwards from slip, to complete the wicket.

Debutant Dickwella then helped Jayawardene see out the rest of the day by making 12 in 30 balls.

The day belonged to the veteran, though, hitting 16 fours and a six to give the crowd at the SSC, and those watching on elsewhere, of just what they will be missing when he hangs up his Test equipment after the Pakistan series next month.

Steyn finished the day with figures of two for 55, Duminy two for 58 and Morkel one for 42 as Vernon Philander, Tahir and Dean Elgar went wicketless and South Africa ended the day four overs short of the 90 - as if taking a pounding from Jayawardene on a batsman-friendly pitch wasn't enough of a headache for Hashim Amla and his bowlers.

© Cricket World 2014