Sangakkara repels England bowlers

Kumar Sangakkara, right, is in pursuit of his first Test century at Lord's

Kumar Sangakkara, right, is in pursuit of his first Test century at Lord's

First published in National Sport News © by

England had overhead conditions in their favour on the third morning at Lord's but could still muster just one wicket as Kumar Sangakkara shut them out on a steadfastly benign surface.

Heavy cloud cover meant floodlights were in use throughout, yet the tourists lost only opener Kaushal Silva (63) on the way from 140 for one to 212 for two in reply to England's 575 for nine declared in this first Investec Test.

Sangakkara (73no) joined forces with his great ally Mahela Jayawardene in an unbroken stand of 61.

The left-hander still has no Lord's Test hundred on his outstanding CV - he did make one in last month's one-day international here - and doubtless assessed, in what may be his final match for Sri Lanka at the home of cricket, that he can rarely have had a better opportunity.

Accordingly, he was risk free against a hard-working England attack.

After James Anderson conceded six runs in the first over of the day, including a cover-driven four for Sangakkara, the tourists registered only another four runs in the next seven overs.

Alastair Cook had catchers in place behind and in front of the wicket but, on this slow pitch, tempered his tactics with a boundary sweeper on either side to Sangakkara.

It was eventually Silva who succumbed to the grind.

Anderson broke the second-wicket stand on 97, doing well to find some life with a short ball which followed Silva and was deflected off the bat face to Matt Prior - who reacted well to the late change of direction.

Sangakkara was therefore joined by Jayawardene, his close friend and fellow pillar of Sri Lanka's past decade, and the old firm appeared entirely untroubled in the hour up to lunch.

Sangakkara moved past his 50 from 102 balls, but was far from satisfied yet.

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