Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara has admitted that “it feels very special to get on the honours board” after he scored his maiden century at Lord’s against England on the third day of the first Test.
After scoring his landmark century, Sangakkara became the only man in the history of Test cricket to score centuries in three consecutive innings on three separate occasions.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Sangakkara told Sky Sports. “Coming on this tour, which might be my last Test tour to England, I just wanted to enjoy it. If it happened, it would happen.
“I just did a bit of preparation, changed a bit in my technique right from the start and I’m pretty happy it worked.
“It’s a very special place to play your cricket at, and Sri Lankans have done pretty well individually here. It feels very special to get on the honours board.”
Sangakkara was also pleased that he was able to celebrate his century with his childhood friend, Mahela Jayawardene.
“It was very, very good because he’s done that twice before and knows how special that feels so to have him there when I scored the hundred was very special,” Sangakkara said.
Jayawardene revealed that he kept telling Sangakkara to treat it as any other innings and not let the pressure of the milestone or situation get the better of him.
“I was happy for Kumar. A lot of people were talking about it back home as well. I was quite relieved,” he said. “Today he was a man with a purpose – the way he batted. I was thrilled for him. I haven’t seen him leave so many balls outside the off stump for quite some time. There were a few he could have probably gone after, but he didn’t. He was quite determined to get that.
“The only thing I told him was, ‘don’t worry too much about the hundred.’ His record in the last eight years or so is amazing. I don’t think anyone would have said anything if he hadn’t got his hundred, so that’s what I told him. It’s probably our last time out here, so he was quite determined. It was good for the team in that he anchored the innings and most of the guys batted around him, so it was an ok situation going into the fourth day.”
While the first Test is likely to end as a draw, Sangakkara still believes there is some life left in the game.
“It’s very much alive,” he said. “It’s a pity we couldn’t keep England to 400 or just below because if that had happened it would have been a really interesting game with us more in the driving seat.
“Right now, England will try and get the next three wickets and try and put the pressure back on us, but if we bat well -Angelo’s batting really well, the tail can hold their own – and we get another 60 or 70 runs, it’ll be a very good Test match.”