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Samaraweera, Jayawardene slam tons

Thilan Samaraweera and Mahela Jayawardene put on a record 262 runs for the third wicket as Sri Lanka tightened their grip on the third Test against England.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2003 17:00 IST

Thilan Samaraweera and Mahela Jayawardene put on a record 262 runs for the third wicket as Sri Lanka tightened their grip on the third and final cricket Test against England here on Saturday.

Samaraweera hit a career-best 142 and Jayawardene a solid 134 to help the hosts reach 445-4 at tea on the third day in reply to England's first-innings total of 265.

The pair surpassed Sri Lanka's previous best record of 243 for the third wicket between Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva against England in the one-off Test at Oval in 1998.

Tillakaratne Dilshan was batting on 22 with skipper Hashan Tillakaratne (eight) at the break.

Jayawardene and Samaraweera frustrated England with their determined knocks as they denied the tourists success in the morning session.

Samaraweera, 27, batted 493 minutes to overtake his previous highest score of 123 not out against Zimbabwe at this venue in 2001. He made the most of two dropped chances to hit 13 fours in his third century in 14 Tests.

He completed his hundred in the second session, but not before surviving a chance on 98 when Marcus Trescothick dropped him at slip off spinner Gareth Batty.

Samaraweera was also let off on 12 by the same fielder off left-arm spinner Ashley Giles on Friday.

He was eventually run out following a mix-up with Dilshan a few overs after Jayawardene's dismissal.

Jayawardene also got two "lives" during his 351-minute knock, dropped on 28 by Trescothick off fast bowler Andrew Flintoff and then on 74 by Giles at long-leg off the same bowler.

He hit one six and 14 fours in his 10th Test century before pulling Flintoff straight to substitute fielder Paul Collingwood at deep square-leg.

First Published: Dec 20, 2003 12:53 IST