Jayawardene defiant as weather aids Sri Lanka
by AFP

Ground:Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood
Event:Sri Lanka in England 2006

DateLine: 14th May 2006


Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene led from the front with a defiant unbeaten century as bad light gave the tourists some respite on the fourth day of the first Test at Lord's here Sunday.


Jayawardene was 103 not out, his 14th Test hundred and second at Lord's when the increasing gloom saw the players leave for an early tea.


Sri Lanka, following-on, were 339 for five - still 20 runs short of making England bat again after the hosts had piled up 551 for six declared.


Tillakaratne Dilshan was unbeaten on 18 with England, despite his skipper's heroics, still in the driving seat.


Test debutant fast bowler Sajid Mahmood made the first breakthroughs Sunday, his two wickets in quick succession after lunch restoring England's morale after Sri Lanka had got through the morning without losing a wicket.


Sri Lanka, following on, were 258 for three at lunch, with Jayawardene 70 not out and nightwatchman Farveez Maharoof unbeaten on 38 after both men had earlier been dropped in the slips.


Maharoof, growing in confidence, pulled luckless pace bowler Liam Plunkett for an impressive six to go to his second Test fifty.


The 21-year-old then struck Mahmood for two resounding fours. But two balls after his last boundary he checked a drive against the Lancashire fast bowler and was caught by Kevin Pietersen in the covers.


In all he faced 145 balls in nearly three hours at the crease, putting on 113 in 41 overs with Jayawardene.


Maharoof's exit soon led to another with Thilan Samaraweera, one of four Sri Lankan batsmen out for nought in the first innings, caught behind for six off the lively Mahmood, who'd taken two wickets for five runs in 13 balls.


It was the 24-year-old's second impressive burst of the match after a spell of three wickets for no runs in nine balls during Sri Lanka's first innings.


Jayawardene, on 98 then pushed England captain Andrew Flintoff for a tight single. Mahmood's shy from mid-on missed the stumps at the bowler's end and went for four overthrows to give Jayawardene a five and his fourth Test century against England.


He'd faced 191 balls with 11 fours, batting for five fours after top-scoring with 61 in Sri Lanka's meagre first innings 192.


Earlier, England did not help themselves by dropping two slip catches.


Maharoof, on 30, edged a drive off Flintoff with third slip Paul Collingwood just failing to hold what would have been a spectacular catch.


Next over, Andrew Strauss put down a far easier third slip chance when Jayawardene, on 58, nicked Matthew Hoggard, who on Saturday had become the tenth England bowler to take 200 Test wickets.


Sri Lanka resumed Sunday on 183 for three, 176 runs adrift.


England's total, their highest score against Sri Lanka, was built around hundreds from Pietersen (158) and Marcus Trescothick (106).

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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