GALLE: Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara hammered centuries as Sri Lanka walloped Pakistan on the opening day of the first cricket Test in Galle on Friday.
Dilshan made 101, his first Test hundred on home soil in three years, and Sangakkara was unbeaten on 111 as the hosts ended the day on 300 for two after electing to bat on winning the toss.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene kept Sangakkara company at close on 55, the senior pair having put on 113 so far for the third wicket.
Dilshan reached his 13th Test century by sweeping left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman for a boundary just before the tea interval and celebrated by raising both hands high in the air.
It was Dilshan's first Test century at home since making 123 not out against New Zealand at Galle in August 2009. It was also his first Test hundred since the career-best 193 against England at Lord's in June last year.
Dilshan, however, failed to survive until tea as he was dismissed in the next over, leg-before to off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.
“This was a very satisfying innings because it came against a quality attack like Pakistan,” the 35-year-old said.
“It was not an easy wicket to bat on because the ball has already started to turn.
“If we can get around 500 or so tomorrow, we will have a good chance of winning this match.”
The opener put on 63 for the first wicket with Tharanga Paranavitana and 124 for the second with Sangakkara to lay the foundation for a big first innings total.
Sangakkara continued Dilshan's good work as he moved to his 29th Test hundred with a risky single to mid-off for which he had to dive full-length to make his ground.
The elegant left-hander has so far hit 13 boundaries in his eighth Test hundred against Pakistan, and Jayawardene too settled down to strike eight fours.
Pakistan's bowlers toiled under the hard sun, but were hampered both by the slow pitch and unfavourable umpiring decisions.
Seamer Umar Gul deserved better figures than 0-55 from 17 overs as he beat the batsmen on several occasions, but found his loud appeals for edged catches or leg-before decisions being turned down.
Ajmal was Pakistan's most successful bowler with 2-81, while left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman returned with 0-89.
Pakistan's lone success before lunch came when Paranavitana was stumped in Ajmal's first over after making a scratchy 24.
The left-hander should have gone on 15 when he was beaten by a Gul delivery, but umpire Ian Gould turned down a loud appeal for a catch at the wicket.
Replays showed a thin edge, but Paranavitana survived because the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is not being used in the series.
Mohammad Hafeez, captaining Pakistan for the first time in Test cricket following a one-match ban on Misbah-ul Haq for slow over-rates, brushed off queries from reporters on the umpiring.
“We were unlucky today but have no complaints at all,” Hafeez said.
“I think given the conditions, we are happy to restrict Sri Lanka to 300 on the first day.
“Our bowlers really bowled well, but credit to Dilshan and Sangakkara for the way they batted. There are still four days to go, hopefully we will come back strongly in the game.”
The tourists awarded a Test cap to 32-year-old middle-order batsman Mohammad Ayub, already a veteran of 93 first-class matches in which he has scored 6,074 runs.
The hosts were without frontline seamer Chanaka Welegedara, who woke up with a sore shoulder and was replaced by Nuwan Pradeep.
Teams: Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Pradeep, Suraj Randiv.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Taufiq Umar, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Mohammad Ayub, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan.