Jayawardene flays England

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/j/jayawardane.jpg' class='caption'> Sri Lanka, replying to England's first innings score of 351, were 379-4 at stumps on the third day of the second cricket Test on Tuesday.

Updated: December 12, 2007 07:44 IST
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Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene took over from Sanath Jayasuriya as his country's leading run-maker as the hosts pulverised England in the second Test on Tuesday.

Jayawardene made 167 not out and Michael Vandort hit 138 as Sri Lanka, replying to England's first innings total of 351, piled up 379-4 by stumps on the third day at the Sinhalese Sports Club Cricket (SSC).

Sri Lanka go into the fourth day's play leading by 28 runs with six wickets in hand and almost certain to put England under pressure when the tourists bat a second time.

England coach Peter Moores said his team had worked hard on an unresponsive wicket and hoped to limit Sri Lanka's advantage when play resumed.

"We kept them under three runs an over which is a great effort on a flat wicket," said Moores.

"It is frustrating for the lads, but they have kept at it.

"We will work very hard to try and stay in this game. The lads will come back tomorrow for another go. We have to come back and fight."

Jayawardene, on 43 overnight, batted the whole day to surpass the recently-retired Jayasuriya's career tally of 6,973 runs and also equalled Aravinda de Silva's Sri Lankan record of 20 Test centuries.

The 30-year-old now has 7,030 runs from 92 Tests while Jayasuriya played 110 matches before retiring from the longer format of the game after the first Test in Kandy last week.

Jayawardene shone once again on his favourite hunting ground where he scored 374 against South Africa two years ago during a world record stand of 624 with Kumar Sangakkara (287).

The Sri Lankan captain has 2,034 runs from 19 matches at the SSC, the most by any batsman at a single venue, surpassing former England captain Graham Gooch's 2015 runs from 21 Tests at Lord's in London.

Jayawardene, who has hit 13 boundaries and a six, and Vandort put on 227 for the third wicket after coming together in the post-lunch session of the second day with Sri Lanka struggling at 22-2.

The pair batted through Tuesday's morning period before left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom broke the stand with his fourth delivery with the second new ball an hour after lunch by trapping Vandort leg-before.

Vandort hit 18 boundaries, and a six off Monty Panesar, but failed by two runs to surpass his Test best of 140 against Bangladesh in 2002.

Chamara Silva helped his captain put on 128 for the fourth wicket, making 49 before he fended a short ball from Steve Harmison to Ravi Bopara at point.

England, who lost the first Test by 88 runs, were denied quick wickets after they had removed the prolific Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga cheaply on Monday.

The nearest England came to taking a wicket in the morning session was when Panesar got one to spin sharply across Jayawardene's bat, but wicketkeeper Matthew Prior failed to take the thin edge.

Jayawardene moved to 88 when he edged Harmison to gully where Ian Bell dived in front, but indicated to the umpires he had picked up the ball on the half-volley and was not claiming a catch.

Kevin Pietersen was given out similarly on the first day after umpire Daryl Harper declined to call for television replays which showed that Chamara Silva had grassed the ball before holding it.

Sidebottom was England's most successful bowler on the slow pitch, claiming three wickets for 72 runs. Panesar went for 111 runs from his 32 overs.

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