Jayawardene's record-breakers

Captain's staggering 624-run stand with Sangakkara rewrites history books

Sri Lanka's captain, Mahela Jayawardene, scored a magnificent 374 and helped break the record for the highest partnership in Test matches in a mammoth 624-run stand with Kumar Sangakkara on the third day of the First Test against South Africa yesterday.

Jayawardene's marathon innings, the highest score by a Sri Lankan and the fourth highest in the all-time individual list, guided his team to a formidable 756 for 5 declared.

The hosts' score, the second highest in history by Sri Lanka, left South Africa facing a daunting 587-run deficit. Their fight for survival started well, with the openers, Andrew Hall (13 not out) and Jacques Rudolph (24 not out), taking them to 43 without loss at the close.

Jayawardene and Sangakkara put on 624 in 160.3 overs before Andrew Hall finally found the outside edge of the latter's bat with a full-length delivery. The previous 576-run record, set by compatriots Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama against India in 1997, was broken when the South Africa wicketkeeper, Mark Boucher, conceded four byes off the bowling of the left-arm spinner Nicky Boje.

Celebrated with firecrackers around the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, the new milestone was reached with Jayawardene on 278 and Sangakkara on 273. The partnership was also the highest stand in first-class cricket.

When he was finally bowled by an Andre Nel delivery that kept low, the 29-year-old Jayawardene, who also passed 6,000 Test runs during his innings, had faced 572 balls and hit 43 boundaries, including one six. His elegant innings was all the more remarkable for the fact that he did not offer South Africa's fielders a single chance and was only rarely beaten.

The crowd had swollen throughout the afternoon as spectators sensed an opportunity to watch Jayawardene break Brian Lara's record Test score of 400. But the carnival atmosphere was punctured when his off-stump was knocked back shortly after South Africa took the second new ball.

The previous highest score by a Sri Lankan was the 340 scored by Jayasuriya against India at Colombo in 1997. Jayawardene and Sangakkara also became only the second pair in Test history to score 250s in the same innings, after Sir Garfield Sobers and Conrad Hunte for West Indies against Pakistan in 1957-58.

Sangakkara's 287, also a personal best after his 270 against Zimbabwe in 2004, spanned 457 deliveries and included 35 fours.

After Sangakkara's dismissal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, who had to wait for more than 11 hours to come in, hit 45 to add another 100 with his captain, who declared after his innings ended.

"It was a fantastic feeling when we got there," Jayawardene said about the 624-run partnership record. "Kumar and I are very good friends on and off the field, and I am privileged to be involved in this partnership with him."

The smash hits: Highest individual test scores

B C Lara 400no West Indies v England, Antigua 2004

M L Hayden 380 Australia v Zimbabwe, Perth 2003

B C Lara 375 West Indies v England, Antigua 1994

D P M D Jayawardene 374 Sri Lanka v South Africa, Colombo 2006

Best test stands

K C Sangakkara & Jayawardene 624 Sri Lanka v South Africa 2006

S T Jayasuriya & R S Mahanama 576 Sri Lanka v India, Colombo 1997

A H Jones & M D Crowe 467 New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Wellington 1990

W H Ponsford & D G Bradman 451 England v Australia, The Oval 1934

Message from Oz: You're welcome down here, Fred

Justin Langer flew back to Australia last week in fine fettle after spending some quality time with Somerset. By scoring 344 against Surrey, the Aussie opener proved the completeness of his recovery from a brutal blow to the head in the Johannesburg Test in the spring. Langer is happy with the idea that Andrew Flintoff should play club games in Australia in November to assist his own recovery. "Any game of cricket does you good," he says. Although Langer doubts whether Flintoff would get enough games to make the trip worthwhile, Western Suburbs in Sydney have already offered him a berth.

Of all England's injuries, Langer identifies Flintoff's as the most crucial: "He was the catalyst of England's Ashes victory." No black propaganda from Langer here: "England have got a very good side. No doubt about it. It's going to be a good series."

His 344 was only one run short of the highest score by an Australian in England (Charlie Macartney got 345.) "Nice, isn't it," says Langer. "It was an easy pitch, but Surrey's is probably the best bowling attack in the country." Mostly, he played Twenty20 cricket. He arrived a sceptic and left a convert. "I really enjoyed it," he says.

Stephen Fay

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower