In Focus: Sangakkara v Yorkshire

sanga in focus yorks

Published: 13th September, 2017

When Kumar Sangakkara was eventually dismissed on day two of Surrey’s Specsavers County Championship match with Yorkshire for 164, the resulting standing ovation perfectly demonstrated the appreciation the Kia Oval crowd has for this master craftsman.

In his penultimate first-class match at the Kia Oval, the Sri Lankan legend made his total off just 187 balls with the help of 21 fours and three sixes that sees him sit on an average of 232.5 against Yorkshire this season.

For the seventh time in just 12 Specsavers County Championship innings this summer and for the third time in three matches against Yorkshire this season, Sangakkara clocked up triple figures in a uniquely elegant fashion.

The great batsman, set to retire from first-class cricket after Surrey’s season closer at Emirates Old Trafford this month, came to the crease with Surrey well set on 233/2 but few could have expected him to take quite so well to the conditions on his return from Caribbean Premier League duty.

Azeem Rafiq, Steven Patterson and Tim Bresnan all suffered at the hands, and nimble footwork, of Sangakkara as he regularly came down the track to bludgeon his first boundaries back in England.

Stoneman and Burns had scored at around four an over throughout the early period of the day’s play and there was no danger of that rate faltering with Sangakkara and eventual fellow centurion Ben Foakes at the crease.

Surrey registered 65 boundaries off the bat on the opening day with Sangakkara scoring 14 of them in a bright and breezy afternoon.

Having reached 84 not out by stumps on day one against Yorkshire at the Kia Oval, with Surrey on 398/3, Sangakkara ambled to the middle on the second morning knowing he had the measure of the experienced Yorkshire attack.

That seemed to be the point when Sangakkara’s innings ratcheted up from a very good Championship effort into a knock for the sizable Kia Oval crowd to savour.

He reached his 100 in the blink of an eye and then really let loose, coming down the crease to send former England international Tim Bresnan back over his own head and deep into the second tier of the Pavilion.

The Sri Lankan continued apace, hitting his third fifty in just 53 balls, before he was eventually caught at long leg for a marvellous 164 that will live long in the memory of all watching.

With, at most, five innings left in his first-class career, it will be worth keeping an eye on Sangakkara throughout the remainder of September to see if he can match the feats achieved in this electric knock.

Kumar Sangakkara’s final first-class match at the Kia Oval begins next Tuesday when Surrey host Somerset in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship and tickets can be bought here.

We’ll have a live stream and regular updates of every remaining day’s play at the Kia Oval on kiaoval.com.

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