Ton-up Sangakkara keeps Pakistan on bay in first Test

ABU DHABI, October 21, 2011 (AFP) – Kumar Sangakkara put his wealth of experience on show with a pugnacious unbeaten hundred to keep Pakistan’s victory bids on hold in the first Test here on Friday. Walking into bat after Sri Lanka lost opener Tharanga Paranavitana off the very first ball of their second innings on Thursday, Sangakkara batted with resolve as Sri Lanka, resuming at 47-1, reached 125-1 by lunch.

Pakistan then hit back by dismissing Thirimanne soon after lunch, run out after the opener, taking a second run but failed to beat a throw from the fine-leg by Azhar Ali.

Seven runs later, Mahela Jayawardene (four) played on to off-spinner Saeed Ajmal before paceman Junaid Khan bowled skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan through the gate for nine, leaving Sri Lanka at 191-4.

Despite losing partners, Sangakkara kept his cool, hitting Khan for his 11th boundary to reach three-figure mark, his sixth against Pakistan. He has so far hit 16 boundaries off 295 balls.

Sangakkara said it was one of his best hundreds.

“It would have been nice had I got it in the first innings but it was a tough fight and one of my better hundreds,” said Sangakkara. “But there is still work left and if w