Jayawardene hundred spurs Sri Lanka to 305 for three (Tea Report)July 24th, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS
By Rex Clementine
Colombo, July 24 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s captain Mahela Jayawardene hit his 23rd Test hundred and the fourth against India as the hosts took a firm control of the first Test at the Singhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo. Sri Lanka moved to 305 for three at tea on the second day of the Test with Jayawardene unbeaten on 105 and Thilan Samaraweera on 51.
It was hard work for the Indian bowlers as the Sri Lankan captain consolidated his team’s position in good batting conditions.
India managed just the wicket of opener Malinda Warnapura on day two, but the situation could have been different if not for some poor work behind the stumps by Dinesh Karthik.
The wicketkeeper had put down Jayawardene when he was 55 before lunch off Anil Kumble and he was given another reprieve when Karthik dropped a catch off the same bowler with the batsman just seven runs short of his hundred.
Earlier, V.V.S. Laxman had put down a difficult chance of Warnapura when the batsman was on 113. That at least did not cost the Indians much as Warnapura was picked up by Rahul Dravid at first slip off Harbhajan Singh.
Warnapura, who earlier reached his second Test hundred, was out for 115 in 202 balls with 14 boundaries and a six.
Jayawardene, who was batting fluently before lunch, became more subdued after the dismissal of Warnapura. He added 155 runs for the third wicket with the left-hander and an unbroken 93 for the fourth wicket with Samaraweera, who reached his 15th half-century.
Jayawardene, meanwhile, reached a significant milestone, equalling the world record for most number of hundreds at one venue when he completed his ninth Test hundred. Only Sir Don Bradman has scored nine centuries at one ground. While Jayawardene scored his nine hundreds at his home ground, Bradman had completed the milestone at the MCG.
Earlier in the morning, Warnapura too entered the record books by becoming the first player to be referred to the television referral umpire.
When on 86, he was referred by umpire Mark Benson to the television referral umpire. After a Harbhajan delivery struck on the batsman’s pad, an appeal by the Indians was turned down, but on the insistence of wicketkeeper Karthik, Kumble asked the head umpire to review the decision and after consultation with colleague Rudi Koertzen, Benson ruled the decision in batsman’s favour.