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Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Samaraweera puts Sri Lanka on top

Second Test, Lahore (day two, close):
Pakistan 110-1 v Sri Lanka 606
Match scorecard

Thilan Samaraweera embraces team-mate Tillakaratne Dilshan
Samaraweera embraces team-mate Dilshan as he brings up his 150

A superb double century from Thilan Samaraweera was tempered by Umar Gul's six-wicket haul as Pakistan fought back in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

Samaraweera made 214 in the tourists' 606, becoming only the sixth batsman in Test history and the second Sri Lankan to hit double tons in successive Tests.

Tillakaratne Dilshan also hit 145 on a flat pitch, but Samaraweera's demise allowed Gul to rip through the tail.

Pakistan's openers then put on 110 before Salman Butt (48) was run out.

The left-hander was caught short of his ground in the final over of the day to end a promising century opening partnership with the tourists still 496 runs behind.

Before that, the day belonged to Samaraweera and Dilshan, whose partnership was worth just 13 at the start of the day.

With Pakistan's bowlers unable to build any pressure, the duo flayed 135 runs off 29.2 overs in the morning session, before a single to short cover brought up Samaraweera's double century - emulating team-mate Kumar Sangakkara who scored consecutive double centuries against Bangladesh.

Right-handed Samaraweera follows Australia's Don Bradman, England's Walter Hammond, South Africa's Graeme Smith, India's Vinod Kambli and Sangakkara into the record books for his successive double century - Bradman and Hammond managed the double twice.

And he could barely hide his delight after stumps, saying: "I am really pleased to get to that exclusive club. I have worked really hard over the last two years.

"Everything changed after I was dropped from the side in 2006 after the England series. Many people thought that was my end. I must be thankful for Chandika Haturusinghe, the Sri Lanka "A" team coach. During those 18 months I added a few new additions to my game.

"With those experiments things started working for me. After the technical change that helped me to be consistent, I now have a positive approach and I look for runs all the time."

Dilshan reached his eighth Test century with an edged boundary off leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, the ball flying through the slip cordon even as the batsman celebrated, but a mix-up soon after brought about Samaraweera's wicket.

Sri Lanka's innings then unravelled, crashing from 507-5 to 606 all out as Gul tore into the tail.

Prasanna Jayawardene feathered an edge to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal before Dilshan, dropped on 126, was run out by Shoaib Malik attempting a single.

Gul then bowled Thilan Thushara for 10 with a slower delivery and added the scalp of Ajantha Mendis to his kitty to finish with a haul of 6-135 from 37 overs.

A handy 34-run stand between Muttiah Muralitharan and Dilhara Fernando helped Sri Lanka get past the 600-run mark, before the former was bowled by debutant Mohammad Talha to end the innings and grant Pakistan's players some respite after nearly two days in the field.

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see also
Centurions put Sri Lanka on top
01 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Younus falls short in drawn Test
25 Feb 09 |  Pakistan
Sri Lanka in Pakistan 2009
04 Feb 09 |  Cricket

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