Sri Lanka inspired by Sangakkara century

SRI LANKA 150 & 340-7

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The left-hander's delight at his landmark was understandable for it was the first of his eight Test hundreds at the Asgiriya Stadium that, outside of international cricket, serves as the sports ground of Trinity College where he first learned to make life miserable for opposing bowlers.

Dismissed for a first-ball 0 and 6 in his two previous innings, Sangakkara contained his usual aggression to hold together an innings shaken by the loss of two wickets in successive overs.

By the close, Sri Lanka had moved from their overnight 146 for 2 to 340 for 7 in the 56.5 overs available between the weather interruptions. It put them 342 ahead of opponents who have provided spirited competition in both Tests of the brief series in spite of the withdrawal of 10 of the originally selected players over a dispute with the board over sponsorship.

But their feeble batting has been dismissed for 113 and 148 in their last two innings. They will be hard pressed to make a fight of it over the last two days. Sangakkara entered on the second afternoon at 55 for 2 after the openers, Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya, were dismissed in successive overs. Sri Lanka had two more jolts when play began an hour and three-quarters late.

They declined to 155 for 4 as Jermaine Lawson's pace plucked out Mahela Jayawardene's off stump and accounted for Thilan Samaraweera to a tumbling leg-side catch.

But Sangakkara and Tillekaratne Dilshan, who made 39, steadied the innings with a partnership of 109, the highest by either side in a low-scoring series.

The West Indies claimed two more wickets before the close, but they could not dislodge Sangakkara,whose main scoring shots were 19 fours from 265 balls, 27 of them without a run scored in the second session.