Sri Lankan Sangakkara’s ton frustrates England in first Test

KANDY, Sri Lanka, Dec 4, 2007 (AFP) – Kumar Sangakkara hit an unbeaten century as Sri Lanka tightened the screws on England in the first cricket Test here on Tuesday. Sri Lanka, resuming after lunch on the fourth day at 292-3, moved to 392-5 in their second innings by tea, an overall lead of 299 with five wickets in hand.

Left-handed Sangakkara followed his 92 in the first innings with an attractive 137 not out as the hosts looked to set England an imposing fourth innings target at the Asgiriya stadium.

It was Sangakkara’s 16th Test century — the sixth in his last 10 innings — and made him only the ninth batsman in history to score a hundred against all the other nine Test-playing nations.

But he almost did not get there as Ian Bell at first slip dropped an easy catch off left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom when the batsman edged a rising ball on 98.

Sangakkara took a single to move to 99 and then drove James Anderson uppishly past Ravi Bopara in the covers to reach three-figures with his 14th boundary.

He has so far hit 19 fours.

Sangakkara celebrated his hundred with a powerful cut off Anderson to the cover fence and partner Chamara Silva j