Kumar Sangakkara ensured the crowd at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens on Sunday witnessed a hundred from a world-class batsman as Surrey teammate Kevin Pietersen missed out on the first day of their county match against Glamorgan.
Pietersen, biding for an England recall after being axed last year following the team’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, fell for 19 in his first County Championship match since June 2013 having made 170 against Oxford students last weekend.
But Sri Lanka great Sangakkara made an unbeaten 112 and, together with fellow wicket-keeper Steven Davies (109 not out) shared an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 213 in the Welsh capital as visitors Surrey finished the first day of this four-day Second Division County Championship match on 3-363.
The 37-year-old Sangakkara, making his Surrey debut, carried on from where he left off at the World Cup where his last five innings yielded scores of 105, 117, 104, 124 and 45.
Top of the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings left-hander Sangakkara, set to retire from all international cricket later this year, was in sublime form in the Welsh capital.
He reached the 51st hundred of his first-class career from 162 balls with 14 fours and a six.
Davies, who has played limited overs international cricket for England, said it had been an “honour” to bat alongside Sangakkara and forecast an international recall for Pietersen despite his low score on the ground where the first Ashes Test against Australia starts on July 8.
“Kevin missed out here but I’ve no doubt in my mind he will get the runs he needs to play for England again,” Davies said.
“He’s been great at Surrey, I’ve never had any problems with him, and he looked great last week on a tough wicket at Oxford.
“Sangakkara was unbelievable. He’s a hero of mine and to play alongside him is a great honour.
“So to get that partnership with him was a special day for me.”
In the First Division, New Zealand’s Jesse Ryder – best known as a batsman – took 5-43 as Essex dismissed Kent for 193 at Chelmsford only for the hosts to collapse to 6-67 by stumps.
Meanwhile England one-day batsman Alex Hales made 222 not out, his maiden first-class double century, as Nottinghamshire reached 7-393 at stumps against county champions Yorkshire at Trent Bridge.
Hales has so far faced 250 balls including 37 fours and a six as Yorkshire failed to give coach Jason Gillespie, who turned 40 on Saturday, the kind of on-field birthday present the former Australia paceman would have wanted.
In the Second Division, South Africa’s Alviro Petersen made 115 in a Lancashire total of 8-292 away to Derbyshire.