Friday, July 25, 2008

Jayawardene emulates Bradman to put Sri Lanka on top

Mahela Jayawardene equalled former Australian legend Don Bradman's record of nine centuries at one venue to put Sri Lanka in a commanding position in the opening Test against India here on Thursday.

Skipper Jayawardene cracked a stylish 136 to help his side post 422-4 in the first innings at stumps on the second day.

The Sri Lankan captain's ton at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground equalled Bradman's nine at one venue -- the Australian great's coming at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"I wasn't really thinking about all that," said Jayawardene.

"It is a very friendly venue for me as I've been playing almost 12 years of first-class cricket here."

Jayawardene was not the lone batsman to feast on the Indian bowling on a placid track as opener Malinda Warnapura (115) and Thilan Samaraweera (111 not out) also contributed handsomely to their team's total.

Tillakaratne Dilshan was unbeaten on 20 after earning a reprieve under a new experimental rule allowing players to seek a second opinion on umpiring decisions.

He was on one when given out caught behind off left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan by umpire Mark Benson of England, but asked the official to review the decision.

Benson consulted TV umpire Rudi Koertzen of South Africa before changing his decision as the ball had not made contact with the bat.

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