GALLE: Kumar Sangakkara scored an unbeaten 170 as Sri Lanka regained ground after a five-wicket haul by Saeed Ajmal in the first Test against Pakistan in Galle on Saturday.
The left-hander kept the first innings going as the hosts recovered from 335 for five in the morning session to 439 for eight by tea on the second day.
Sangakkara, a 34-year-old veteran of 109 Tests, has batted for close to nine hours in his 29th Test century, 15 of which finished with scores of above 150.
Prasanna Jayawardene (48) helped in the recovery, adding 80 for the sixth wicket with Sangakkara after Ajmal had cut through the middle-order.
The off-spinner, who claimed both wickets on Friday, also took the three that fell in the morning session to bag his sixth five-wicket haul in 21 Tests.
Ajmal, 34, was the world's leading Test wicket-taker in 2011 with 50 scalps in eight matches. He grabbed 24 wickets in Pakistan's 3-0 whitewash of top-ranked England earlier this year.
Ajmal dismissed Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene for 62, before removing Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews off successive balls soon after the drinks break.
Mahela Jayawardene added seven runs to his overnight score of 55 when he was bowled by Ajmal, ending a 128-run partnership for the third wicket with Sangakkara.
Ajmal had Samaraweera stumped by Adnan Akmal for six and beat Mathews in the air to pick up an easy return catch with the fifth and sixth deliveries of his 30th over.
Sangakkara denied Ajmal a hat-trick in the bowler's next over and returned unconquered at tea with 17 boundaries to his name.
Prasanna Jayawardene fell soon after a 16-minute interruption due to rain when he was caught behind off Pakistan's stand-in captain Mohammad Hafeez.
The tourists earned two further wickets before tea as Suraj Randiv gave Abdur Rehman a return catch and Nuwan Kulasekara was caught at short-leg off Hafeez for no score.