Jayasuriya leads assault on S.Africa

GALLE, JULY 20. Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya hit a sparkling 148 off 156 balls to lead an assault on the South African bowlers on the first day of the first cricket Test here on Thursday.

Choosing to bat on a grassless pitch, Jayasuriya took the South African bowling by the throat to smash 24 fours and a six as Sri Lanka ended the day strongly placed at 341 for five wickets.

Jayasuriya punished the bowlers, especially medium- pacer Jacques Kallis and left-arm spinner Paul Adams. He took three consecutive fours in one over from each of them when they erred in line and length.

The left-handed opener narrowly missed scoring a century before lunch when he was unbeaten on 96 out of a total of 145.

Only Australians Victor Trumper, Charlie McCartney, Don Bradman and Pakistan's Majid Khan had achieved this feat on the first day of a Test match.

Jayasuriya eventually completed his seventh Test hundred in the fourth over after the break with a single to mid- off off Shaun Pollock.

It took him 132 minutes and came off 103 balls out of a total of 149.

Jayasuriya's innings was finally terminated at 211 when he went to hit left-arm spinner Adams once too often and holed out to Neil McKenzie at deep mid wicket. He batted for 192 minutes and with Atapattu who scored 54, shared a first wicket partnership of 193.