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Sri Lanka punish Pakistan on opening day

Last updated on: February 21, 2009 21:31 IST

Captain Mahela Jayawardene became the 10th batsman to score a century against each of the other Test countries on Saturday, helping Sri Lanka reach 406 for three on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan in Karachi.

Jayawardene (136 not out) and Thilan Samaraweera (130 not out) shared an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 229 as the skipper became the first Sri Lankan and only the 20th player ever to reach 8,000 Test runs.

The 31-year-old Jayawardene, who will step down as captain after this series, hit his 25th Test hundred from 169 balls with 15 fours while Samaraweera made his eighth century from 127 balls with 17 fours.

Misbah-ul-Haq, at short mid-wicket, took three catches but dropped Jayawardene when he was on 43. The Sri Lanka captain was again dropped on 123, also off luckless debutant fast bowler Sohail Khan, who went wicketless.

Pakistan's rustiness was evident in their first Test for 14 months and their new captain Younis Khan watched helplessly as Jayawardene and Samaraweera reached their hundreds in a final session that featured 158 runs from 35 overs.

"It is a very good batting wicket it is very flat. I thought we batted very well. But it is never easy for any team to come back to Test cricket after 14 months," Samaraweera told reporters.

"We want to win the series for Mahela who has always been a class act."

Kumar Sangakkara (70) and Malinda Warnapura (59) set the pace for the innings after debutant opener Tharanga Paranavitana fell to a first-ball duck in the first over caught at second slip off Umar Gul. They put on 90 brisk runs from 105 balls.

Sangakkara made his 29th Test fifty from 84 balls, striking six fours.

Warnapura was out just before lunch caught at second slip off pacer Yasir Arafat.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene put on 84 runs before leg spinner Danish Kaneria had the former caught at short mid-wicket in the second session.

Source:
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