Three decades hence, when visitors to the Sinhalese Sports Club will see Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara’s glorious record at the headquarters of Sri Lanka cricket, they will probably hear tales of the duo scoring at SSC in their sleep. Such is the record that not many would feel that the story is an exaggeration.
The two run-machines of Sri Lanka, on their way to taking their team to safety on the second day of second Test, not only bettered their stats at Jayawardene’s home ground, but also broke several records.
While Sangakkara scored his third double century at the venue (he now leads the list of active batsmen with the most double centuries; seven), Jayawardene became the first man to score 2500 Test runs at one ground. More importantly, Jayawardene celebrated his 10th century at the SSC, thus overtaking Don Bradman’s record of the most centuries at one venue. But he didn’t want to be compared to Bradman.
“He played 10 Tests at MCG. That’s Sir Don for you. I needed 23 Tests. I am pleased with the record, but I don’t think what he has achieved can be compared with what we are doing right now. He is a legend,” Jayawardene said.
“It’s a moment to remember. I love playing at home. I grew up playing here. It’s always fun to play in front of club members and fans. With the record, you have to be humble when you break something like Sir Don’s.”
Including their record partnership of 624 against South Africa at the same venue four years ago, Jayawardene and Sangakkara have been involved in some match-winning parternship at SSC. Elaborating on his association with the southpaw, Jayawardene said, “”We complement each other. Being right and left hand we get more opportunities, bowlers can’t get into a rhythm. Earlier in our career, we were a lot more defensive. Now, we attack and put pressure. It’s good to have Sanga at the other end as he puts pressure on different bowlers at different times.”