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Sangakkara hits another ton as Sri Lanka eye win

Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara acknowledges the crowd after scoring a double century during the second day of the second Test match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on February 5, 2014. (AFP)


Kumar Sangakkara became the second batsman in history to score a triple-century and a hundred in the same match as Sri Lanka pressed for victory in the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Friday.

The tourists, who led by 161 runs on the first innings, declared their second knock at 305-4 in the post-tea session of the fourth day’s play at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.

Bangladesh, set an improbable target of 467 to record a series-levelling win, were 12-0 at stumps with Tamim Iqbal on seven and Shamsur Rahman on four.

Sri Lanka will begin the final day needing 10 wickets to sweep the two-match series, while Bangladesh require another 455 runs in a minimum of 90 overs.

Left-handed Sangakkara followed his 319 in the first innings with 105 in the second, joining Englishman Graham Gooch as the only batsmen to achieve the rare feat.

Gooch made 333 and 123 against India at Lord’s in 1990.

Sangakkara, with 34 three-figure knocks already under his belt, added one more to the tally with a six off Sohag Gazi after tea, but was bowled off the next delivery.

Dinesh Chandimal remained unbeaten on 100, having shared a fourth-wicket stand of 145 with Sangakkara after Sri Lanka wobbled at the start.

Sri Lankan opener Kaushal Silva said there was enough time left in the match to force a win.

“With this target, we will be able to put pressure on the Bangladesh batsmen and set attacking fields,” the opener said.

“If we bowl our overs quickly tomorrow, we can even get in 100 overs. That should be good enough to bowl them out.

“The key will be to get some early wickets in the morning. The ball is turning a bit and it won’t be easy for the batsmen. We just have to be patient and bowl a consistent length and line.”

Silva described Sangakkara as a “fabulous” player, adding that it was great to have him and the other senior pro, Mahela Jayawardene, in the side.

“They are two legends of the game,” he said.
“They have been in the team for almost two decades and its a great experience for the youngsters in the side to be playing with them.”

Bangladesh’s Imrul Kayes conceded it will be tough to win the Test, but hoped the hosts can pull off a draw.

“If we can bat till lunch without losing a wicket, we will be able to draw the match easily,” he said. “It won’t be wise to chase the runs because its a big target.”

Bangladesh were bowled out for 426 in their first knock within 25 minutes of the start in reply to Sri Lanka’s 587.

Spinner Ajantha Mendis finished with six for 99, having claimed both the remaining wickets after Bangladesh resumed the day at 409-8.

Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera supported Mendis with three wickets, while seamer Suranga Lakmal took one.

When Sri Lanka batted a second time, off-spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah dismissed both openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Silva, in his first three overs before lunch to make it 49-2.

Left-handed Karunaratne was snapped up smartly in the slips by Nasir Hossain for 15, while Silva was trapped leg-before for 29.

Shakib Al Hasan then claimed Jayawardene leg-before for 11 early in the post-lunch session as Sri Lanka slipped to 78-3.

The tourists won the first Test by an innings and 248 runs in Dhaka last week.