Vandort, Jayawardene put Lanka in control

Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 12:29 [IST]
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Colombo: Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene and Michael Vandort put on 178 for the unbroken third wicket to keep England at bay in the second cricket Test here at Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka, replying to England's first innings total of 351, emerged unscathed from the morning session on the third day to take their overnight score of 105-2 to 200 without further loss by lunch.

Jayawardene and Vandort, who joined hands on Monday afternoon with their team struggling at 22-2, flayed the England bowlers on the slow pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

Tall left-hander Vandort was unbeaten at the break on 106, his fourth Test century that was studded with 16 boundaries.

Jayawardene was on 82 not out at his favourite hunting ground where he scored 374 against South Africa two years ago during a world record stand of 624 with Kumar Sangakkara (287).

England, who lost the first Test in Kandy last week, were denied quick wickets after removing the prolific Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga cheaply on Monday.

Sangakkara hit 152 in Kandy to become the first batsman in history to compile 150-plus scores in four consecutive Tests.

But the tourists were frustrated by the slow wicket that offered no assistance to the bowlers.

Leading Test bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, who grabbed a five-wicket haul in England's first innings, said before the start of the day's play that the slow wicket may not produce a result.

"It's going to get lower and lower, and slower and slower, and it will be very hard to get a result unless something extraordinary happens," the off-spinner said.

"It's a normal SSC wicket and someone has to bat very badly to lose this Test match."

Brief Scores (at lunch, D-3):

England Ist innings 351 Vs Sri Lanka 200/2 (Vandort 106*, Jayawardene 82; Sidebottom 2 for 58)


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