Cricket: Atapattu in command as Sri Lanka stage recovery

Sri Lanka's Marvan Atapattu hit a career-best unbeaten 129 to help his side reach 265 for 4 on the opening day of the first Test against Zimbabwe at the Sagiriya stadium in Kandy yesterday.

Sri Lanka won the toss, but Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama both quickly fell to Heath Streak. With two wickets down and only 33 runs on the board, Atapattu lifted Sri Lanka with a splendid effort, sharing in a 140-run stand for the third wicket with Aravinda de Silva, who made a rapid 75.

Atapattu's second Test century included 17 fours, three of which came in one over from the spinner Paul Strang.

Sri Lanka won toss

SRI LANKA - First Innings

S T Jayasuriya lbw Streak 6

M S Atapattu not out 129

R S Mahanama c Campbell b Streak 7

P A de Silva c Whittall b Huckle 75

*A Ranatunga b Whittall 27

H P Tillakaratne not out 11

Extras (1lb, 9nb) 10

Total (for 4, 90 overs) 265

To bat: R S Kaluwitharana, W P U J C Vaas, K R Pushpakumara, M Muralitharan, K J Silva.

Fall: 1-16, 2-33, 3-173, 4-226.

Bowling: Streak 24-8-58-2; B Strang 21-4-65-0; P Strang 20-6-69-0; A Whittall 14-2-31-1; Huckle 11-2-41-1.

ZIMBABWE: *A D R Campbell, G W Flower, G J Rennie, M W Goodwin, A Flower, C B Wishart, H H Streak, P A Strang, A R Whittall, A G Huckle, B C Strang.

Umpires: B C Cooray and M J Kitchen.