Updated: 16/06/2012 19:46 | By pa.press.net

Sangakkara misses out on century



Kumar Sangakkara (© pictured)

Kumar Sangakkara (pictured) was adjudged to have been caught by Azhar Ali

Kumar Sangakkara fell three runs short of a century as Sri Lanka posted 243 for eight in a rain-affected fourth one-day international against Pakistan in Colombo.

The veteran left-hander anchored the home side's innings, delayed for an hour due to yet more bad weather, before departing in slightly controversial circumstances on 97.

Attempting to reach his 14th ODI century, Sangakkara mis-hit a pull to deep square off Saeed Ajmal where Azhar Ali raced in to take a diving catch the TV umpire judged he had just got his fingers under.

A disappointed Sangakkara was forced to depart, after hitting seven fours and three sixes in his 130-ball stay, just an over after his 110-run stand with Mahela Jayawardene (40) was ended when the latter was bowled by Sohail Tanvir.

Those double strikes served to undermine Sri Lanka's hopes of significant acceleration in the late overs as they look to forge ahead in a series tied at 1-1 following Wednesday's washout.

Pakistan were on top before the rain arrived in the 26th over, claiming the prize scalp of in-form opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (24) when trapped lbw after missing a sweep off Mohammad Hafeez.

The hosts were 91 for three when the heaven's opened up with Sangakkara and Jayawardene having only just begun their stand.

Pakistan should have broken it almost immediately after the players returned, with Umar Gul spilling a simple chance at deep mid-on when Sangakarra, then on 35, lofted Shahid Afridi.

The left-hander made Pakistan pay after reaching his 71st ODI half-century from 99 balls as he upped his rate.

He took just a further 30 balls to race to 97 before he was out attempting to find the ropes again and, while Sri Lanka were slowed in the final few overs, their veteran duo had done enough to post a tricky score.

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