Sangakkara passes 10,000 test runs in Australia
Kumar Sangakkara helped lift some of the gloom of another underwhelming Sri Lanka first innings as the tourists faced a game of catch-up with Australia in the second Melbourne test yesterday.
Coach Graham Ford admitted some of his players might have been under pressure to perform at the vast Melbourne Cricket Ground with a 67,138 Boxing Day crowd.
Only Sangakkara rose to the special occasion for the tourists with his polished 58 dwarfing the contributions of his teammates in a woeful below-par first innings of 156 off just 43.4 overs after winning the toss.
In doing so Sangakkara joined a select group of test batsmen who have scored 10,000 runs.
Sangakkara became the equal-fastest to the 10,000 milestone, reaching it in his 195th test innings, the same as Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara.
His stoic knock in 195 minutes was brought to an end only by a stunning running catch made by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.
Sangakkara's innings earned the admiration of Australian left-armer Mitchell Johnson, whose four wickets for 63 enabled him to bring up 200 test wickets, significantly with the stunning dismissal of Sangakkara.
"He was just patient. He was leaving very well, but also he was going after his shots," Johnson said of Sangakkara.
"He waited on the fuller balls, he drove really well and he just had more patience and he just wanted to stick out.
"He's an unbelievable player. He's the [joint] quickest to get 10,000 runs and he's been around for a long time and he knows how to play cricket."