Samaraweera's double ton put SL on top

Updated: 02 March 2009 12:05 IST

Thilan Samaraweera notched his successive Test double hundred as Sri Lanka posted an imposing first-innings score of 606 in the 2nd Test against Pakistan.

Lahore, Pakistan:

Thilan Samaraweera notched his second successive Test double century and Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed an aggressive 145 Monday as Sri Lanka posted an imposing first-innings score of 606 in the second Test against Pakistan.

Samaraweera, who scored 231 in the drawn first Test at Karachi, made 245 off 338 balls and Dilshan struck his eighth Test century off 170 deliveries before the touring side was bowled out in the last session.

Paceman Umar Gul finished with a career-best 6-135 _ surpassing his previous best of 5-31 achieved against India at the same Gaddafi Stadium in 2004.

Pakistan _ needing 407 to avoid the follow-on _ began its first innings positively and racked up 110-1 before stumps were drawn on day two. Khurram Manzoor was unbeaten on 59 with 11 boundaries but Salman Butt (48) was run out in the last over of the day.

Both Samaraweera and Dilshan were run out on either side of the last session after sharing Sri Lanka's record-breaking 207-run fifth-wicket stand against Pakistan in three hours of powerful strokeplay.

Samaraweera became the sixth batsman after Walter Hammond, Don Bradman, Vinod Kambli, Kumar Sangakkara and Graeme Smith to score successive double centuries in Test matches. Hammond and Bradman had twice hit successive double centuries in consecutive Test matches.

Pakistan was let down by its sloppy fielding with Misbah-ul-Haq dropping a simple slips catch when Dilshan was on 127, though Gul went on to have Prasanna Jayawardene caught behind for 15 in the same over.

Gul clean bowled Thilan Thushara (10) on the last ball before tea and then returned to claim the wicket of Ajantha Mendis off his first ball after the break. Dilshan was run out off a direct throw from Yasir Arafat after hitting 21 boundaries during his four-and-a-half hour knock.

Muttiah Muralitharan (22 off 16 balls) ensured that Sri Lanka passed the 600-run mark for the second successive time in the series. He hit rookie fast bowler Mohammad Talha for three consecutive boundaries before he was bowled by the right-arm paceman for the Pakistan bowler's first Test wicket.

With the Gaddafi Stadium wicket proving increasingly friendly to the batsmen, Samaraweera and Dilshan punished any loose deliveries with some attractive pull shots and cover drives.

Their 207-run fifth-wicket stand bettered the previous best of 143 against Pakistan between Romesh Kaluwitharana and Russel Arnold at the same venue in 1999.

The Pakistan bowlers toiled hard in the two sessions, but the three seamers got little assistance from the wicket, while Danish Kaneria was unable to trouble the Sri Lanka batsmen with his legspin.

Samraweera hit 32 boundaries _ mostly on the off-side of the wicket _ in his impressive knock lasting just under seven hours.

He completed his double century with a gentle push to short cover shortly after lunch and Dilshan soon achieved his century off 109 balls when he cut Kaneria for his 14th boundary of the innings.

Samaraweera was finally run out in a mix-up with Dilshan, who refused a quick single after initially taking a few steps.

Earlier, after resuming at the overnight score of 317-4, both Samaraweera and Dilshan scored at a rapid pace and added a further 135 runs in the two hours before lunch to take the total to 452-4.

Samaraweera, 133 overnight, reached 150 runs off 235 balls when he cut Kaneria to the boundary _ his 22nd four of the innings.

Dilshan raised his half century off just 52 balls, when he pulled paceman Gul to square-leg fence.

Kaneria (0-183) finished wicketless while Talha (1-88) had a disappointing start to his Test career, bowling too many short-pitched balls before he uprooted Muralitharan's middle stump.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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