Sri Lanka already ahead with an unassailable lead in the Warne – Murali Three match test series and with SSC expecting to be a turner, earlier known to be a batting paradise with the likes of Mahela Jayawardena spoken of with the Great Don’s records with close to a dozen centuries in a single cricket ground in test cricket, well there was an emergence of a special player on day one that of Dananjaya de Silva.
Australia would have thought they had the match in their hands with Mendis being dismissed earlier in the day, the batsman who had scored heavily specially in Pallekele when the score card read 4/2 and then in Galle also when he walked into bat the score card read 9/2 with both the openers dismissed, well they were in for a revelation with the likes of Dananjaya. Chandimal gave good support and showed the temperament and patience needed to score in these conditions and to put up a good score on the board.
Going back to the youngster, after the batting order had been in tatters at 26/5 earlier in the day to put up 214/5 was indeed a tremendous nonchalance maiden century that paved the way for Sri Lanka to end on a high. The runs had come in slow pace with due respect given to the good balls and with a bit of luck. To the locals who gathered around the Sinhalese Sports Club on a Saturday morning well it was a beautiful game of cricket by the end of days play. And for the prodding and perishing Australians well they could take a leaf out of these two on how to build a partnership and innings in these conditions.
For a boy finding his feat in the international cricketing circuit, there is a humble story how he has made the journey to the National side. This boy’s credentials, qualifications were overlooked and looked down by the fancy elite cricketing clubs in Colombo since he was hailing from an outstation. And with the recent appointment of Chaminda Vaas to head hunt cricketing talent from around the country well this is one prime example what the rest of the provinces could produce rather than limiting certain amount of cricket to certain provinces. According to Ranjan Paranavithana a veteran local sports journalist involved in numerous endeavors, had seen the class and talent the youngster possessed and what this lad could produce. He had then invited and given an opportunity and offered a place in his Baduraliya CC XI, since then this lad has come a long way to make it to the National Cricket team from a remote school in down south called Debarawewa MMV to later Richmond College and had gone on to represent Sri Lanka under 19 as well and it had taken five years for him to make it through the system to the present which could have been fast tracked had things been in place.
The casual paucity he uses when in the middle, the flicks, the lofted drives and a boyish grin to go with and the effortlessness we had been associated to be seeing through the legendary Jayawardena’s and given his capability to open the innings and aggressiveness when approaching his hundred well though different in stature by no means to draw even a comparison though one would fall into the trap of dreaming that by every mean this player is unique in his own right and definetly posses a sheer class unmatched and looks to book a place in his own realm.
Lastly, it was a gem of an innings by the lad and class was written all over him. Hopefully he will be consistent and produce enthralling yesteryear cricket we Sri Lankans use to enjoy.
” It doesn’t matter where you come from, what only matters it how you finish it.”
Lalindra De Silva is an occasional contributor on various topics from sports to stock markets, who has played the sport and is a full time investor with the CSE.