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Jayawardene, Samaraweera share record stand

CAPTAIN Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera broke the 52-year-old world record for a fourth wicket stand yesterday as Sri Lanka posted a huge total against Pakistan in the first test in Karachi.

The visitors declared their first innings at 644-7 and Pakistan ?? needing 445 runs to avoid follow-on ?? lost opener Salman Butt (23) in Muttiah Muralitharan's third over of the innings to finish day two at 44-1.

Debutant Khurram Manzoor was unbeaten on 18 while newly-appointed captain Younis Khan was yet to score.

Jayawardene and Samaraweera put on 437 runs for the fourth wicket, bettering the previous record set by England's Peter May and Colin Cowdrey, who got 411 against the West Indies at Edgbaston in 1957.

Jayawardene, who also shared in the world-record partnership for any wicket ?? 624 against South Africa in 2006 ?? scored 240 while Samaraweera made 231 to notch his maiden double century.

Jayawardene - leading Sri Lanka in a series for the last time as he will step down after the second test in Lahore - was finally out to a brilliant diving catch by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal from a mistimed sweep off Shoaib Malik's off-spin.

It prompted a sudden rush of wickets as Samaraweera - bowled by leg-spinner Danish Kaneria (3-170) - went in the next over and Malik found a thin edge off Tillakaratne Dilshan's (0) bat in the last over before tea as Pakistan claimed three wickets without conceding a run.

Jayawardene, who was dropped thrice on the first day, hit 32 fours in 423 balls.

Samaraweera hit 31 boundaries and faced 318 balls in his composed and chanceless knock, with Pakistan bowlers getting little help from a placid National Stadium track.

Sri Lanka declared half an hour into the last session after posting its best-ever test total against Pakistan. The previous best was 528 in Lahore during the Asian test championship match in 2002.

It was the eighth biggest partnership of all time and the second biggest in Pakistan.

Samaraweera and Jayawardene, who joined with the total of 177-3 when Kumar Sangakkara's wicket fell in the second session on Saturday, punished the loose deliveries and played some attractive drives on both sides of the wicket in their marathon 7-1/2-hour partnership.

The game had been a difficult one for Pakistan, in its first test for 14 months, and for Younis, who took over as captain.


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