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26 February 2024

Sangakkara joins elite-12,000 runs club

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara bats on day one of the second international Test cricket match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on January 3, 2015. (AFP)

By Reuters

Kumar Sangakkara became the fastest player to reach 12,000 test runs and will look to rebuild Sri Lanka's innings after they were left teetering on 78 for five at the end of the first day's play in the second test against New Zealand.

Sangakkara was 33 not out while wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene was dismissed for six in the final over on Saturday in reply to New Zealand's 221 on the green Basin Reserve pitch.

Doug Bracewell took two quick wickets and Trent Boult another as New Zealand reduced the visitors to 29 for three.

The tourists then slumped to 58 for four after Tim Southee dismissed Angelo Mathews, before Bracewell had Jayawardene caught in the slips in the final over.

"We are definitely satisfied with the day," Bracewell, who finished the day with figures of 3-23 from 7.4 overs, told reporters. "They're 70 for five and we have an opportunity to make that 70 for six, 70 for seven tomorrow.

"I think it was a good day. The boys are pretty excited about going into tomorrow and seeing what happens."

Sangakkara had entered the game needing five runs to become the fifth man to surpass 12,000 runs, which he achieved with two off his hip into the leg side off Trent Boult.

Sangakkara has accumulated his runs in 224 innings, compared to India's Sachin Tendulkar and Australia's Ricky Ponting, who both needed 247 innings to surpass the mark.

The left-hander, who spent the majority of his career also keeping wickets, was given a standing ovation by the crowd of almost 5,000, though he barely acknowledged the milestone.

New Zealand had been dismissed just after the tea break after they lost their last eight wickets for 80 runs.

The hosts had been in control of the match having raced to 141 for two after lunch, with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor well set.

Nuwan Pradeep then sparked the collapse as New Zealand lost five wickets for 41 runs before tea with the visitors taking advantage of poor shot selection from the hosts, though Bracewell said the pitch was proving tricky to bat on.

"I think it’s the sort of wicket where you can lose wickets in clumps," he added.

"It's the sort of wicket if you bowl badly you can get punished but if you stay disciplined and hit good areas and stay patient then you'll get rewarded.

"Looking at where we've got them at the moment 220 looks alright.”