Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Karachi, 2nd day February 22, 2009

Samaraweera savours maiden double

Cricinfo staff


Thilan Samaraweera is thrilled at scoring his maiden double-century © AFP
 

Thilan Samaraweera, the Sri Lanka batsman, said he was delighted with his maiden Test double-century against Pakistan in Karachi. Samaraweera, who scored 231 and added a record fourth-wicket stand of 437 with captain Mahela Jayawardene, said he benefitted by batting alongside someone he has been team-mates with since his school days.

Both Jayawardene and Samaraweera scored double-centuries in Sri Lanka's 644 for 7 delclared, effectively batting Pakistan out of the game. "I had one at first-class level, but I didn't have one in Test cricket," Samaraweera said. His previous best had been 142 against England in Colombo in 2003.

"Mahela helped me a lot during my stay at the crease," he said. "We talked to each other all the time and that helped us concentrate.

"It's easy batting with Mahela because once he gets a hundred he usually goes on to get a big one. With him around, you don't have to be bothered about the other end. You can just go ahead and play your shots." With Jayawardene steady at one end, Samaraweera was able to score briskly, and his 231 came at an impressive strike-rate of 72.64.

"I've played school cricket with him and we both play for the SSC [Sinhalese Sports Club] so I really enjoy batting with him."

Pakistan's bowlers struggled on a placid pitch, but Samaraweera was confident the Sri Lanka bowlers would be able to deal with the surface, given they have the runs behind them. "We had a long chat after the warm-up game [also in Karachi] on how to bowl on these flat pitches," he said. "I thought we stuck to our task today and bowled really well. We conceded just 44 runs in 22 overs and got that one wicket as well. If we continue to bowl like this tomorrow, it should be a good day for us."