Warnapura’s maiden ton lifts Sri Lanka
Malinda Warnapura celebrates a
maiden Test century during the first day of the first test
match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka in Georgetown on
A punishing century (120) from left-hander Malinda Warnapura who made
his maiden Test century helped Sri Lanka reach a first-day score of 269
for 4 against the West Indies at the Providence Stadium, here on
The Sri Lankan’s were going well at 243 for two, but the Windies
struck back with two quick wickets of Sangakkara and Samaraweera came
back into the picture.
‘I was delighted to make my first Test century. Early on there was no
movement and it was easy playing strokes. When I was nearing my century
I was lucky to have Sangakkara as my partner who always kept urging me
to concentrate. ‘My father would be the happiest, said a delighted
looking Warnapura when interviewed at the end of the day.
With only three recognised batsmen remaining in the Lankan innings -
Jayawardena 25 not out, Dilshan 15 not out and Prasanna Jayawardena, the
first hour would be important.
The Lankans must look to build and get near to the 500 run mark so
that they would not have to bat a second time. The wicket is bound to
crack as the game progresses and a big total would allow off spinner
Muttiah Muralitheran to have the Windies batsmen struggling to save the
Vandort played well for his 52 and the Windies captured a big wicket
when they got rid of Kumar Sangakkara who was looking good for a big
score for 50. Thilan Samaraweera dollied a catch to short mid on and did
not trouble the scorers.
The Windies attack that looked ordinary in the first two sessions,
hit back strongly in the final hour with Jerome Taylor excelling.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardena was all smiles when he won a dream toss
and decided to bat first on a wicket that did not have a blade of grass
to show which was an indication that it was going to be a batting
Sri Lanka went in with an extra spinner in left-armer Rangana Herath
who bowled himself into the reckoning with six wickets in the practice
game on the same surface.
The West Indies gave Suleiman Benn his first Test cap and left out
off-spinner Amrit Jaggernauth.
From the first ball it was apparent that there was no pace bounce or
movement for the home team pacemen Darren Powell and Jerome Taylor as
openers Michael Vandort and Malinda Warnapura negotiated them with
Warnapura was the more aggressive of the two and was always on the
look out for runs pushing and driving square on the off side. His timing
was good and he was stylish playing the cover drive.
Vandort, the beanpole was on the slow side and was giving Warnapura
good support in getting the scoreboard moving.
The openers hoisted the 50 untroubled and went to lunch on 85 for no
wicket with Vandort on 32 and Warnapura on 53. Warnapura had seven fours
in his 52 which was his second half century in three Tests.
The Windies captain Chris Gayle switched his bowlers looking for that
elusive breakthrough. But the bowlers had no help whatsoever from the
Vandort and Warnapura continued with no problems whatsoever after
lunch. They hoisted the 100 runs stand with Vandort making his 50 with 8
Then with the total on 130, Vandort was late in coming down on a
yorker from Jerome Taylor and was adjudged LBW for 52. Vandort was very
correct until his dismissal.
Kumar Sangakkara came in and allowed Warnapura the strike and egged
him on to his first Test century. Warnapura reached his ton with a push
to the off and with the pair going well, took tea at 190 for gone with
Warnapura on 114 and Sangakkara on 23.
Georgetown, Guyana, Saturday
Sri Lanka 1st Innings
M. Vandort lbw b Taylor 52
M. Warnapura c wkpr Ramdin b Bravo 120
K. Sangakkara s D.S. Smith b Taylor 50
M. Jayawardene not out 25
T. Samaraweera c (sub) Dowlin b Taylor 0
T. Dilshan not out 15
Extras (lb4, w1, nb2) 7
Total (4 wkts) 269
Bowling: Powell 16-1-64-0; Taylor 18-4-59-3; Gayle 16-2-38-0;
Bravo 19-1-48-1; Benn 18-5-46-0; Hinds 3-0-10-0.
West Indies: C. Gayle, D. Smith, R. Sarwan, M. Samuels,
S. Chanderpaul, R. Hinds, D. Bravo, D. Ramdin, S. Benn, J. Taylor, D. Powell.