Pathum Nissanka defies the odds in his biggest test

Pathum Nissanka

Okay stop. Inhale. Pinch yourself. There are stories of a megaship stuck sideways in the Suez Canal. Niroshan Dickwella has batted responsibly. And a Sri Lankan debutant has hit a Test hundred. It’s been a weird day. Is any of this real? Are we in a fever dream?

Sri Lanka batsmen fresh out of the domestic system just don’t do things like hit hundreds away from home in their second Test innings. They are not equipped to. The island’s first-class structure is a monument to incompetence and self-serving administration – obese with 24 teams, beset by pitches on which finger spinners pile up wickets like gardeners raking leaves after an afternoon thunderstorm, strung up occasionally by fixing allegations, and weakened by an annual exodus of senior pros preferring to try their luck in clubs overseas…

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