Kumar Sangakkara became the first Sri Lankan player and the fifth player to score 12,000 runs in Tests on Saturday. Sangakkara reached the milestone when he knocked Trent Boult square on the off side for two runs in Sri Lanka‘s first innings of the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington.
Sangakkara started the two-Test 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 just before the start of the second 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 is now number four on the all-time scoring list, although his average is higher even than Indian great Sachin Tendulkar, who tops the ranking with 15,921 runs in 200 Tests at 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.