South Africa 169 Sri Lanka 485-2: Pair close in on record partnership as Sri Lanka turn screw

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The Independent Online

An unbeaten third-wicket partnership of 471 between double centurions Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene enabled Sri Lanka to establish a healthy cushion over South Africa on day two of the first Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo.

The hosts finished the day on 485 for two with a lead of 316 over the Proteas, with Sangakkara still at the crease on 229 and Jayawardene alongside him on 224.

The duo's stand is already the second highest in Test history, and they are closing in on surpassing the record partnership held by fellow Sri Lankans Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama, who combined to score 576 against India in 1997.

That was also in Colombo, in the Premadasa Stadium, when Sri Lanka registered an enormous 952 for six declared.

South Africa's laboured attack had no answer to the flawless strokeplay of the pair, who had joined forces after tea on the opening day with Sri Lanka in a spot of bother on 14 for two.

The hosts began Friday with the score at 128 and with Sangakkara and Jayawardene already sitting on 50s.

Sangakkara was the first to reach his century, in the 43rd over of the innings, although he can count himself fortunate having been dropped on 99 by Jacques Rudolph - the player who also put down a catch on Thursday when the same batsman was on seven.

It was Sangakkara's 10th Test hundred.

Jayawardene quickly followed suit, reaching his 15th three-figure score when the sides resumed after lunch.

The pair quickly surpassed the highest third-wicket partnership against South Africa by any country and when the stand reached 388, it became the highest-ever partnership against the Proteas.

After tea, Sangakkara made it to his fourth double century, having faced 272 balls, as did Jayawardene, who had faced 52 more deliveries.

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