Kumar Sangakkara registers maiden ODI century vs Pakistan in Sharjah
Kumar Sangakkara registers maiden ODI century vs Pakistan in Sharjah

On this day in 2003, former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara registered his maiden ODI century during the second match of the Sharjah Cup against Pakistan in 2003.

Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Chokshanada Sangakkara (born 27 October 1977) is a cricket commentator, former cricketer and captain of the Sri Lankan national team. He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Sangakkara scored 28,016 runs in international cricket across all formats in a career that spanned 15 years. At retirement, he was the second-highest run-scorer in ODI cricket and sixth-highest run scorer in Test cricket.

Playing his 86th ODI, the southpaw eventually converted his start into a three-figure score after coming in to bat at No. 4 in the 13th over.

Taking his time to get his eye in initially, Sangakkara completed his 10th half-century on the third delivery of the 39th over after he ran a couple of runs off Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik.

With Sri Lanka scoring 152/4 in 40 overs, a well-set Sangakkara took the onus on himself to put on board a respectable total of 223/6 after the then Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya won the toss and chose to bat.

It was on the penultimate delivery of the innings when he ran a single off Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Sami to register a century. Having scored 100* (111) with the help of nine fours, Sangakkara top-scored for his team in a match where they needed him to play till the end.

Coming on the back of defeating Zimbabwe by 68 runs in the first ODI, Pakistan made a similar start like Sri Lanka as they were reduced to 101/3 in 29 overs.

It was a match-winning 124-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Mohammad Yousuf (64) and Younis Khan (57) which sealed the chase for Pakistan in the 48th over.

Sangakkara, then 25, had scored four Test centuries before his maiden ODI century. There is no hiding to the fact that Sangakkara had a turnaround-of-sorts in his ODI career which saw him scoring 12,407 runs in his remaining 319 ODIs at an average of 45.78 and a strike rate of 80.32 including 25 centuries and 84 half-centuries.

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