Sanga ton leads SL charge

Sanga ton leads SL charge

Evergreen Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara reached his 36th Test century as his side made stuttering progress towards avoiding the follow-on on the third day of the opening match against England at Lord's on Saturday.

The 36-year-old, Test cricket's eighth-highest run scorer, had never reached three figures at the home of cricket but reached one of the few milestones missing from his storied career shortly after lunch, smashing part-timer Joe Root through cover before being embraced by close friend Mahela Jayawardene.

The pair put on 126 before Jayawardene fell for 55 as Sri Lanka reached 309 for four at the interval, still 66 runs off making England bat again with six wickets remaining.

Sangakkara was batting on 121, while captain Angelo Mathews was unbeaten on 14.

Sri Lanka had started the day at 140-1 in reply to England's 575-9 declared.

On a pitch that has few demons, the visitors lost opener Kaushal Silva (63) before reaching lunch at a comfortable 212 for two.

Silva could only add a single run to his overnight score, and having already been troubled by one James Anderson bouncer, failed to get his bat down while evading another to allow Matt Prior grab a sharp chance.

Sangakkara, who scored 319 and 105 in his last two Test innings against Bangladesh in February, brought up his 50 with a lovely push through the covers off Liam Plunkett while Jayawardene, two places ahead of Sangakkara on the all-time run scoring list, was less fluent but still managed to fight his way through to a 47th Test half-century.

He fell shortly after England had taken the new ball when Stuart Broad clipped him on the front pad, with Jayawardene unsuccessfully reviewing the decision.

Lahiru Thirimanne went for two, hitting Anderson to Sam Robson at square leg as the England paceman claimed 2-21 from 11 overs for the day.