Former Sri lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene turned 40 on Saturday. The right-handed batsman had been an integral part of the Sri Lankan side and played 149 Tests, 448 ODIs and 55 T20I for his side.
Jayawardene scored a total of 34 Test centuries but his record-breaking innings of 374 runs against South Africa in Colombo in 2006 was a mesmerising one for the cricket lovers. Only Brian Lara and Matthew Hayden have scored more runs than Jayawardene in Test cricket. Lara has scores of 375 and 400*. Both came against England while Hayden smashed 380 against Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka were playing South Africa in a 2-Test series at home and this was the first Test match that was being held in Colombo. South Africa who batted first were bundled out for 169 runs in the first innings. AB de Villiers was the only batsman who scored 65 runs and showed some mettle but no other batsman showed resistance towards the Sri Lankan bowling. Fernando and Muralitharan scalped 4 wickets apiece during the course.
In reply, Sri Lanka lost Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya cheaply and were reduced to 14/2. Couple of early blows brought in Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. The left-right batting combination began the proceedings and unfolded one of the finest Test partnerships in the history of the game.
The two batsmen put together a total of 624 runs for the third wicket where Jayawardene smashed career best 374 runs while Sangakkara scored 287 runs in the process. Sri Lanka ended up their first innings at 756/5(d).
South Africa showed some resistance in the second innings as theyr scored 434 runs but that was never enough as they lost the match by an innings and 153 runs.
Mahela Jayawardene was also a part of the Sri Lankan side that lifted the World T20 in 2014 after beating India by 6 wickets.
The right-handed batsman scored 24 runs while Sri lanka chased down a target of 131 runs in Mirpur.