Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara enjoys his milestone moment at the MCG

Last Updated: 26/12/12 10:51am

Kumar Sangakkara: followed Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar in achieving the feat in his 195th Test knock

Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford hailed Kumar Sangakkara as "something special" after he became just the 11th man to reach 10,000 Test runs.

The experienced wicketkeeper-batsman provided a rare highlight for his country on the opening day of the second match of the series against Australia in Melbourne, making a composed 58.

"I think everybody watching thoroughly enjoyed the elegance of the player. He really is something special when he plays like that."

Graham Ford

The half-century meant the left-hander joined Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara in achieving the career milestone in his 195th innings in Test cricket.

Yet despite Sangakkara's efforts the tourists were skittled for a mere 156 after opting to bat first in Melbourne, and by the close Australia were only six behind for the loss of just three wickets.

"Once you get out there, you've got to have a clear mind and you've got to make good decisions and I think Kumar showed just how important that is," Ford said after a tough day for his team at the MCG.

"I think everybody watching thoroughly enjoyed the elegance of the player. He really is something special when he plays like that.

"And to achieve what he has achieved is absolutely amazing, so for us, although it was a disappointing day in many ways, that brought a lot of joy to the lads.

"He's very popular in the dressing room and to see him achieve that everybody's absolutely delighted."

Mitchell Johnson led the Australia attack, taking 4-63. Sangakkara was one of his victims, albeit thanks to a stunning diving catch by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as he was running back towards the boundary rope.

"He was just patient. He was leaving very well, but also he was going after his shots," Johnson said of Sangakkara.

"He waited on the fuller balls, he drove really well and he just had more patience and he just wanted to stick out.

"He's an unbelievable player. He's the (joint) quickest to get 10,000 runs and he's been around for a long time and he knows how to play cricket."