Galle, Jun 23: Sri Lankan left-hander Kumar Sangakkara was stranded on 199 as the hosts were bowled out for 472 in their first innings against Pakistan on the second day of their first Test here at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday.
For any batsman, a Test double hundred is always special. But for the 34-year-old Sangakkara, it was a case of so near yet so far. He left losing partners and the other end and even though he shield the tail-enders, it could not get him to the landmark.
Sangakkara's brilliant knock came off 387 balls with 18 fours and two sixes. Sri Lanka were all out for 472 in 153.2 overs. This was Sangakkara's 29th Test ton, which he had completed during the first day's play.
However, Sangakkara, at one moment, thought he had touched 200 when the ground scoreboard erroneously displayed the number 200 against his name.
As Sangakkara swept Saeed Ajmal for a six over midwicket, he removed his helmet and started celebrating only to know few seconds later that the scoreboard was wrong.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene gestured towards Sangakkara pointing out that he needed one more run to reach double hundred. But the next over, last man Nuwan Pradeep was bowled by offspinner Mohammad Hafeez to leave Sangakkara on 199 not out.
It could have been Sangakkara's ninth double century in Tests. Sir Don Bradman leads the pack with 12 followed by Brian Lara with 9.
Sangakkara joined former Zimbabwean wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Flower, who too was stranded on 199 against South Africa in Harare in 2001.
Bradman had more disappointment way back in 1932 when he had to remain unbeaten on 299 against South Africa in Adelaide.
There have been batsmen who have been dismissed for 199, though. Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin, Ian Bell (England), Younis Khan, Mudassar Nazar (both Pakistan), Matthew Elliott (Australia), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) and former Australian skipper Steve Waugh are the seven batsmen out for 199.
Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe was dismissed for 299 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in 1991.