Sri Lanka declare at 644-7

Sri Lanka declared their first innings at 644-7 on the second day of the opening Test against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi.
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Updated on Feb 22, 2009 04:28 PM IST
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AFP | By, Karachi

Sri Lanka declared their first innings at 644-7 on the second day of the opening Test against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi on Sunday.

Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera smashed double hundreds and a 52-year record for the fourth wicket stand as Sri Lanka pulverised Pakistan's attack in the first Test in Karachi on Sunday.

The batting pair had accumulated 437 runs for the fourth wicket when both fell in successive overs before the tea break.

Jayawardene ended on 240 and Samaraweera 231 as Sri Lanka reached 614-6 at tea on the second day, Sri Lanka's best ever total against Pakistan.

Tillakaratne Dilshan was out in the last over before tea for nought, leaving Prasanna Jayawardene unbeaten without scoring at the break.

Mahela Jayawardene and Samaraweera batted with authority to beat the previous best fourth-wicket stand of 411 between England's Peter May and Colin Cowdrey, against the West Indies at Birmingham in 1957.

The overnight pair batted through all but two overs in the first two sessions before Pakistani bowlers were rewarded with three wickets for an unchanged score of 614.

Jayawardene fell when he miscued a sweep shot off spinner Shoaib Malik and was caught one-handed by diving wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal behind the stumps.

The Sri Lankan skipper hit 32 boundaries during his 531-minute stay at the crease. Samaraweera was bowled by leg-spinner Danish Kaneria after hitting 31 boundaries during his 457-minute innings.

Resuming at 406-3, the pair also beat Sri Lanka's previous best fourth-wicket stand in all Test cricket of 240, set by Asanka Gurusinha and Arjuna Ranatunga against Pakistan in Colombo in 1986.

They then took Sri Lanka past their highest Test total against Pakistan, overhauling the 528 they scored at Lahore in 2002. Samaraweera also improved his previous highest Test score of 142 against England at Colombo in 2003.

Sri Lanka added only 31 in the first hour as Pakistan's bowling and field placing was tighter than on Saturday.

But Pakistan's three-pronged pace attack, supplemented by Kaneria, failed to get any support from the pitch which still poses no problems for batting.

Pakistan are playing their first Test match in 14 months after security problems prompted foreign teams to cancel tours of the country.

They have also been hit by an injury to strike bowler Shoaib Akhtar, as well as international bans against 17 first-class players for taking part in the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

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