Sangakkara, on Saturday, became the fastest to reach 12,000 Test runs, erasing Tendulkar's mark. The 37-year-old left-hander took 224 innings (23 lesser) to reach the landmark, in his 130th Test. He took two runs off left-arm paceman Trent Boult in the 13th over of the innings to claim the record.
Tendulkar held the record since 2008 when he had completed 12,000 Test runs against Australia in Mohali in his 247th innings (152nd match). Australia's Ricky Ponting too had taken 247 innings to reach the milestone, in 2010. The Indian batting legend still holds the record for being the quickest to reach 13, 14 and 15,000 runs in Tests.
Sangakkara started today's Test needing 5 runs to reach the milestone. On a day when 15 wickets tumbled (New Zealand's 10 and 5 of Sri Lanka), Sangakkara remained unbeaten on 33 as his team struggled to 78/5 after bowling the hosts out for 221.
Sangakkara, who made his Test debut in 2000 against South Africa, is only the 5th batsman in history to cross 12,000 runs in the five-day game.
The list for most runs in Tests is headed by Tendulkar, followed by Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid and Sangakkara. Among these 5 elite cricketers in the 12,000-run club, Sangakkara holds the highest batting average with 58.38 (as on today).
Most runs in Test cricket (Top 5)
As on January 3, 2015 after end of 1st day's play between New Zealand and Sri Lanka Test
- 15,921 - Sachin Tendulkar (India) 200 Tests
- 13,378 - Ricky Ponting (Australia) 168
- 13,289 - Jacques Kallis (South Africa) 166
- 13,288 - Rahul Dravid (India) 164
- 12,028 - Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) 130 (Sangakkara 33 not out on Saturday, January 3)