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Cricket: Sangakkara ton boosts Sri Lanka

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Kumar Sangakkara hit a brilliant century to help Sri Lanka reach 247-2 at tea on the opening day of the first Test against Bangladesh in Galle on Friday.

The left-hander was unbeaten on 104 at the break with Lahiru Thirimanne (29 not out) as the hosts dominated the first two sessions after winning the toss on a good batting wicket.

Sangakkara, who completed his 31st Test hundred with two runs to mid-wicket off left-arm spinner Elias Sunny, has so far cracked one six and 12 fours in his 170-ball knock.

Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan (54) and Dimuth Karunaratne (41) were the other main scorers as Sri Lanka scored 132 in the morning and 115 in the afternoon for the loss of just two wickets.

Off-spinner Sohag Gazi bagged two wickets for 71 runs.

Dilshan played some attractive shots as he smashed four boundaries early in his innings, two each off seamers Shahadat Hossain and Abul Hasan. He then hit two successive fours off Gazi.

He completed his 22nd Test half-century in style when he drove Sunny past mid-on for a four before falling in the next over, caught by debutant Mominul Haque at mid-off off Gazi.

Dilshan hit nine fours in his 63-ball knock.

Left-handed Karunaratne, who retired hurt on 15 after being struck on the elbow while trying to pull Hossain in the ninth over, returned after the dismissal of Dilshan.

He top-edged a Hasan delivery over the wicket-keeper's head for the first six of the match but fell in the next over, trapped leg-before by Gazi after adding 67 for the second wicket with Sangakkara.

Sangakkara, who returned to the team after missing the third and final Test in Australia in January due to finger injury, started impressively as he hit a four off the first ball he faced from Hossain.

He completed his half-century in the afternoon session with a boundary off Hossain and then hit two fours in an over off the same bowler.

Sri Lankan batsman Kithuruwan Vithanage, and Bangladesh's Mominul Haque and Anamul Haque made their Test debuts. Anamul replaced hard-hitting opener Tamim Iqbal, who was ruled out of the match due to an injury.

Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis, who played his last Test in May 2011, returned to the Test team.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130308/cricket-sangakkara-ton-boosts-sri-lanka