Yorkshire v Surrey: Sangakkara torments Yorkshire once more
HAVING already scored white and pink ball hundreds against Yorkshire this season, Kumar Sangakkara completed the full set when he made one against them with the red ball too.
Sangakkara’s 164 followed scores of 121 in Surrey’s one-day cup quarter-final win at Headingley in June and 180 not out when the sides met there again later that month in a Championship match.
After Surrey took their overnight 398-3 to 592 on day two of the return Championship game at the Oval, Yorkshire replying with 171-1, it was safe to say that the White Rose had seen more than enough of the great Sri Lankan in his final season.
For during the past six months, it has seemed not to matter a jot to the 39-year-old Sangakkara what colour the ball is.
So well did he play here that had the ball been blue, green or even invisible to the naked eye, he would probably still have dispatched it to the boundary with elegant flourish.
This was his seventh century in 12 Championship innings this year and lifted his seasonal tally to 1,250 runs at an average of 113.63, comfortably the highest return in the country.
After observing his latest masterclass from unhappily close quarters, at least some of Sangakkara’s magic seemed to rub off on Yorkshire. Needing 443 just to avoid the follow-on, the visitors also cashed in on the placid pitch, Tom Kohler-Cadmore (78 from 162 balls) and Shaun Marsh (77 not out from 133 deliveries) both making their highest scores for the county.
Their stand of 162 was easily the club’s highest for the first wicket this season, beating the 61 unbeaten between Adam Lyth and Alex Lees against Lancashire at Headingley in early June.
Kohler-Cadmore fell just before stumps, slicing to backward-point to hand left-arm spinner Freddie van den Bergh a maiden Championship wicket, but it was a fine effort by the openers to leave the draw the likeliest result at the halfway stage.
Although Sangakkara batted quite sublimely, adding another 79 runs from 74 balls to his overnight 85, the fact was that Yorkshire did not bowl well overall.
However, they battled back once Sangakkara fell with the total on 513-3, Jack Brooks nipping in with four wickets to add to the one that he took on day one, including the key dismissal of Sangakkara himself, the left-hander miscuing an attempted hook to long-leg.
Brooks’s season-best 5-113 from 28 overs was a persevering effort, while Steve Patterson also kept going with 3-120.
In glorious sunshine, albeit with a gale-force wind taking the edge off temperatures, Sangakkara reached his 63rd first-class hundred in the day’s fourth over, made from 127 balls with 16 fours.
He carried on from where he had left off alongside wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, who had contributed 64 to their overnight stand of 143.
Foakes was soon into his stride with an on-driven boundary off Bresnan as he continued his bid to win an Ashes tour place as Jonny Bairstow’s wicketkeeping understudy.
Sangakkara, meanwhile, showed that he was in the mood for another huge score when he advanced down the pitch to pull Patterson to the boundary with the ease of a man swatting a fly.
Yorkshire had no answer to either batsman, leaking runs as freely as they had on day one, although their commitment to the cause was never in doubt.
This was highlighted when Ryan Sidebottom, another 39-year-old in his final season, made a diving stop on the boundary to save one run when Foakes hit the spinner Azeem Rafiq, although Sidebottom was left with a tight quad muscle for his pains and did not return.
It was perhaps just as well, for the Oval was no place for bowlers as Sangakkara mercilessly upped the tempo. Rafiq was struck for two straight sixes into the OCS Stand and Bresnan for another straight maximum into the second tier of the members’ pavilion.
Later, Sangakkara somehow drove Bresnan for four between two short cover fielders no more than a few yards apart, the ball doing a passable impression of a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Finally, Sangakkara was caught by Ben Coad, fielding as a substitute for Sidebottom, and the energetic Brooks struck again with his next delivery when Ollie Pope was brilliantly caught at second slip by Kohler-Cadmore, diving to his left.
Foakes went to his first Championship hundred of the season from 166 balls with his 18th boundary, but after Brooks bowled Sam Curran, Foakes pushed at one from Brooks and was caught behind, leaving Surrey 540-7.
Patterson took the last three wickets as van den Bergh and Stuart Meaker were lbw and Rikki Clarke caught by a diving Bresnan at mid-wicket after thumping 41 from 47 balls.