Sangakkara reaches 12 000 runs to join cricket’s greats

Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara joined an elite group of cricketers on Saturday when he became only the fifth to make 12 000 runs in his career.

The prolific 37-year-old left-hander reached the milestone when he knocked Trent Boult square for two in Sri Lanka’s first innings of the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington. At stumps he was not out on 33.

Sangakkara started the two-Test New Zealand series on 11 988 runs and after scoring six and one in the first Test in Christchurch, he was determined to get the final five in Wellington.

“When he fails, it’s a coach’s nightmare. You have to throw (balls to Sangakkara) for hours and hours,” captain Angelo Mathews said ahead of the Test.

“He’s been working really hard in the nets and he’s desperate to go out there and get some runs.”

Since launching his Test career in 2000, Sangakkara has made an impressive average of over 58.00, including 37 centuries in 130 Tests. His highest score was 319 against Bangladesh.

He sits behind four retired cricketers but has a superior average on the all-time scoring list which is headed by India’s Sachin Tendulkar who compiled 15 921 from 200 Tests at an average 53.78.

Australian Ricky Ponting (13 378 at 51.85), Jacques Kallis from South Africa (13 289 at 55.37) and India’s Rahul Dravid (13 288 at 52.31) round out the top five.

Last month, Sangakkara became only the fourth batsman to surpass the 13 000-run mark in one-day internationals, achieving the feat in his 386th match.

The ODI list is also headed by Tendulkar, who made 18 426 runs in 463 matches, ahead of Ponting with 13 704 runs from 375 ODIs and Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka, who has 13 430 runs in 445 games. – AFP

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