COLOMBO: Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara recorded a world record 624-run test cricket partnership on Saturday as Sri Lanka took an imposing 587-run first innings lead in the series-opening match against South Africa.
At stumps on Saturday, the third day, South Africa were 43 without loss, still 544 runs behind with two full days to play on a deteriorating pitch that may assist Sri Lankan spin bowlers led by Muttiah Muralitharan.
Jacques Rudolph was unbeaten on 24 with Andrew Hall batting on 13.
Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene said his team still needs to do a lot of work to secure a win despite the advantage.
"The wicket is playing well, we have to work really hard to get South Africa out," Jayawardene told reporters.
"South Africa is not a side that easily gives up," he said.
Sri Lanka declared its innings at 756 for five wickets shortly after tea when Jayawardene missed out on his chase for the best individual score of 400 runs held by West Indies batsman Brian Lara.
He was out for 374 runs bowled by seamer Andre Nel ending an innings that lasted for more than 12 hours.
Playing in his 61st test Jayawardene also surpassed the best individual score for a Sri Lankan - 340 runs scored by Sanath Jayasuriya against India in 1997, when he shared the previous world record of 576 with Roshan Mahanama.
Jayawardene also went passed big names like England's Len Hutton (364) and West Indies' Garfield Sobers (365) and now stands fourth in the list of highest individual scores, behind Lara (400 and 375) and Australia Matthew Hayden (380).
He faced 572 balls and hit a six and 43 boundaries.
Sangakkara was dismissed earlier on 287 caught by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher off seam bowler Hall. He survived two chances earlier in the inning but gained full advantage of it to better his top score of 270 against Zimbabwe in 2004 as he faced 457 balls and hit 35 boundaries during his 675-minute stay at the wicket.
He crossed 200 runs for the fourth time with a total of 10 test centuries. Jayawardene has 15 centuries, going on to get a double-hundred three times. He is only the second Sri Lankan to score over 300.
Sri Lanka resumed the day at 485 for two wickets and the third-wicket pair frustrated the South African bowlers as records tumbled. South Africa were earlier dismissed for a paltry 169 runs.
Paceman Dale Steyn (3-129) was the pick of South Africa bowlers while Hall and Nel took a wicket each. -- AP
Scorecard: South Africa 1st Innings: 169=
Sri Lanka, 1st Innings= (485 for two overnight)=
Upul Tharanga c Boucher b Steyn 7
Sanath Jayasuriya lbw b Steyn 4
Kumar Sangakkara c Boucher b Hall 287
Mahela Jayawardene b Nel 374
Tillakaratne Dilshan lbw b Steyn 45
Chamara Kapugedera not out 1
Extras: (17b, 5lb, 8nb, 8w) 38.
TOTAL: (for five wickets dec.) 756.
Overs: 185.1. Batting Time: 782 minutes. Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-14, 3-638, 4-751, 5-756.
Did not bat: Ferveez Maharoof,Prasanna Jayawardena, Muttiah
Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga and Dilhara Fernando.
Bowling: Makhaya Ntini 31-3-97-0 (1nb), Dale Steyn 26-1-129-3
(6nb,2w), Andre Nel 25.1-2-114-1 (1nb, 5w), Andrew Hall 25-2-99-1,
Nicky Boje 65-5-221-0, Jacques Rudolph 7-0-45-0, Ashwell Prince
2-0-7-0 (1w), AB de Villiers 4-0-22-0.
South Africa 2nd Innings=
Jacques Rudolph not out 24
Andrew Hall not out 13
Extras: (6nb) 6.
TOTAL: (Without loss) 43.
Overs: 15. Batting Time: 60 minutes.
Still to bat:Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Ashwell Price, Nicky
Boje, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini and
Bowling: Lasith Malinga 4-0-22-0 (2nb), Ferveez Maharoof 3-0-9-0 (3nb), Dilhara Fernando 3-1-2-0 (1nb), Muttiah Muralitharan 4-1-10-0, Tillakaratne Dilshan 1-1-0-0.
Umpires: Billy Bowden, New Zealand and Mark Benson, England. TV Umpire: Asoka de Silva, Sri Lanka. Match Referee: Javagal Srinath, India.