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Sangakkara Sparkles In Strong Reply

Joy unconfined for Kumar Sangakkara (left) as he celebrates his Test century at Lord's
Joy unconfined for Kumar Sangakkara (left) as he celebrates his Test century at Lord's
©REUTERS / Action Images
Mahela Jayawardene (right) joins in the celebrations
Mahela Jayawardene (right) joins in the celebrations
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 575-9 dec. (Root 200no, Prior 86) v
Sri Lanka 415-7 (Sangakkara 147)
First Test, Lord's, day three

Kumar Sangakkara scored a Test century at Lord's for the first time as Sri Lanka avoided the follow-on and closed day three of the first game against England on 415 for seven.

Just two weeks after he notched a One-Day International century at the home of cricket, the left-hander made 147 on as bat dominated the ball for the majority of the day, particularly once the Sri Lankans had got themselves in.

Kaushal Silva (63), Mahela Jayawardene (55) and Angelo Mathews (79 not out) all made half-centuries as Sri Lanka issued a strong response to England's 575 for nine declared.

On a placid pitch, England toiled hard and got some reward late on with three wickets in the final session although this was undeniably Sri Lanka's day.

James Anderson and Chris Jordan ended the day with a brace of wickets to their name and Sangakkara became Moeen Ali's first Test wicket.

Stuart Broad and Liam Plunkett have a wicket each.

Resuming the day on 140 for one, Sri Lanka added 11 runs before Silva was caught by Matthew Prior as he failed to negotiate an well-directed Anderson bouncer.

That brought Sangakkara and Jayawardene together and during the course of their 126-run stand for the third wicket, they became the most prolific partnership in all international cricket, surpassing the previous record of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

From 212 for two at lunch, the pair advanced the score to 277 when Jayawardene, who faced 105 balls was trapped in front by Broad. He decided - strangely, as the ball hit him right in front - to review but there was to be no reprieve.

Sangakkara had by then completed his century in 182 balls but Lahiru Thirimanne made just two before he flicked a full delivery from Anderson into the hands of Sam Robson at mid-wicket

Sangakkara had added 96 with Mathews when, on the brink of reaching 150, he tried to cut Moeen and was caught behind by Prior.

There has as yet been no sign of the doosra that Moeen has reportedly been working hard on developing, but he at least claimed a memorable first Test scalp.

In all, Sangakkara's 36th Test century spanned 258 balls and included 16 fours and until he was dismissed, he offered nothing that could be called a chance to England.

As Mathews made solid progress at the other end towards the end of the day, Prasanna Jayawardene (6) and Nuwan Kulasekara (9) fell cheaply.

The former was brilliantly caught by Ian Bell at leg slip off Plunkett and the latter was caught by Prior off Jordan as a late flurry of action raised the remote possibility that the match may yet produce a positive result, one way or the other.

Mathews, unbeaten on 79 in 127 balls, may have a crucial role to play in the morning of day four in deciding which direction this match does end up taking.

© Cricket World 2014