Sri Lanka gain lead with ton-up Sangakkara

August 9, 2008 (AFP) – Kumar Sangakkara cracked a solid unbeaten 107 to help Sri Lanka gain a slender advantage over injury-hit India in the crucial third and final Test here on Saturday. The left-hander was involved in two valuable partnerships as the hosts reached 251-6 in their first innings at stumps on the second day in reply to India’s 249. Prasanna Jayawardene was unbeaten on one.

Sangakkara put on 95 for the third wicket with nightwatchman Chaminda Vaas (47) and 60 for the fifth with Thilan Samaraweera (35) on an absorbing day of cricket.

Sangakkara rarely erred in shot selection during his long innings, driving, cutting and pulling remarkably well on the way to his 17th hundred in 76 Tests.

He has so far struck 11 fours in his 226-ball knock.

“He (Sangakkara) held the innings together. We needed someone to anchor the innings and that’s exactly what he did. The concentration he showed is what makes him a world-class batsman,” said Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss.

“We will be looking to try and get as far ahead as possible and then bowl them out again. A lot of hard work has to be done by both the teams.”

India struck twice in the final session just w