South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Durban, 2nd day December 27, 2011

An innings worthy of an explosive celebration

Firdose Moonda at Kingsmead
Thilan Samaraweera says his only previous century outside the subcontinent earned him three years of Test cricket. Perhaps his knock in Durban will secure a few more
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Thilan Samaraweera has waited more than three years to pull out his machine gun outside Asia. The last time Samaraweera scored a century outside his comfort zone of the subcontinent was in 2008 in Trinidad, when he had not yet displayed his unique celebration to the world.

The celebration was first used in an international match in Lahore, in March 2009, on the back of a second double-century against Pakistan in the series. When Samaraweera brought up the milestone he pointed the handle of his bat at the crowd and fired some mock rounds. In a cruel twist of fate, the next day Samaraweera was shot in the thigh in a terrorist attack on the team bus. He was the most seriously wounded of the Sri Lanka players and took three months to recover before making a comeback in July.

Since then, the machine gun has come out four times: in Galle, twice in Colombo, and now in Durban. Much symbolism can be inferred from it. Perhaps Samaraweera is celebrating life after a close shave in which he could have lost his. In Durban, perhaps he was sending a message to the selectors, who dropped him for the series in the UAE against Pakistan, a team against whom he has an admirable record. Perhaps he was aiming at his critics, who question his age, his commitment and his record outside the subcontinent. His own explanation for the celebration was simple. "I did it in Pakistan in 2009 and it is something I do occasionally in first-class cricket as well," he said, without giving away anything more.

Whatever the significance of it was, this innings was worth that celebration. His two to extra cover made him only the second Sri Lanka batsman, after Hashan Tillakaratne, to score a century in South Africa. It is a statistic that speaks volumes about the amount of application and adjustment required of subcontinent batsmen if they are to perform well in South African conditions.

Samaraweera did not allow the bowlers to dictate to him and forced them to bowl in areas he wanted the ball, primarily on the stumps, allowing him to score two-thirds of his runs on the leg side. Of the first 26 runs he scored, 20 came in boundaries, four of them off overpitched deliveries. He was proficient against the spinner and although he survived nervous moments on the first day, including a missed stumping and a chance that fell short of first slip, was gritty and patient when he needed to be. He spent 52 deliveries in the 80s and another 29 in the 90s, biding his time before inching towards his milestone.

It is a century that he will remember as being potentially career-prolonging and match-winning and one that demonstrates the rewards of a focused approach. Samaraweera said that it was the entire team that had upped their intensity after the loss in the first Test. "Over the last five days we practised really hard. The team management have done a great job, they have supported us well. The senior players talked a lot after the Centurion game. We said, honestly, we didn't bat well; it was a very hard wicket to bat on and we gave 400 runs away, so we didn't do well in either batting or bowling."

Samaraweera has been credited with being one of the most inspirational and level-headed members of the squad, and his hundred in Durban could well spur the whole team on. He, however, laughed modestly when asked about his role in the team and said: "This is my comeback tour and I am really happy getting a hundred."

The innings could represent a coming of age for Samaraweera and represent his growth from that day in 2008 when his hundred in Trinidad marked a defining point in his career. "I got that hundred at a crucial time in my life," he said, referring to the three barren years that has passed before, in which he could not muster a score of more than 65 in the 20 innings he played. "I thought that would give me another stable three years of Test cricket."

That is exactly how long Samaraweera remained a fixture in the Sri Lanka Test team before he was dropped after a poor series against Australia in August-September. The snub came despite a decent tour of England on which his 87 in Southampton was crucial to earning Sri Lanka a draw. Samaraweera said he did not think he would play for Sri Lanka again after he was not named in the squad for the series in the UAE.

"There were very frustrating moments because I had done really well over the last three years. I was not in the UAE for the Pakistan tour and I thought I will never play for Sri Lanka again. Luckily, Mahela [Jayawardene] had a bad knee and I was called up as back-up for the South Africa tour."

Jayawardene recovered from his injury but the need to play an extra batsman and not an additional seamer, as they did against Pakistan, gave Samaraweera his place back in the starting XI and he is determined to keep it. "Now, I have to start again and prepare for a new era," he said.

The era may have already begun. Samaraweera's century stand with debutant Dinesh Chandimal formed the spine of Sri Lanka's first innings and could be the beginning of a new middle-order partnership for Sri Lanka. The young wicketkeeper Chandimal combined the flamboyance of traditional Sri Lankan stroke-play with the sense of Samaraweera and the result was a respectable 58, which could have been more if not for a rash shot. Samaraweera said Chandimal lived up to his potential and showed promising signs for the future. "I told him to enjoy the occasion because there is no need to prove he is good enough to play Test cricket. I controlled his game a little bit in the middle but I didn't want to get too involved because he is a natural stroke-player."

Their partnership could prove crucial to Sri Lanka's chances of winning their first Test on South African soil; something Samaraweera thinks is within reach. "I don't think the pitch will improve over the next two days. It's getting worse and worse. We thought that on day three or four it might have uneven bounce but we had that yesterday also. We were really surprised at the spin Herath got and he will play a big part. If we can get a lead of 350, it will be a difficult score to chase."

Sri Lanka will still need to bat authoritatively to put the match out of South Africa's reach and they will need meaty contributions from the top seven. Samaraweera had one piece of advice for his team-mates about how to succeed on the Kingsmead strip: "Bat straight."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dhushan on December 28, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Very well played Thilan. CONGRATULATIONS! You showed your critics, including our very own selection panel headed by Dulip Mendis that you have more cricket left in you and not only in the sub continent as well. (There's more needed to be told to our selectors but this is not the place) You on the other hand, keep playing your brand of cricket. I hope you play for more years to come. I hope we win this match to secure a 1st test win for Sri Lanka on South African soil.

  • SLMaster on December 28, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    Samaraweera saved SL. Congrat to both Sanga & Samaraweera for their tons. No wonder sports minister change selectors choices. It is time for Duleep Mendis and Co. to resign. They have made all the wrong choices. Everyone commented said to include Samaraweera, but not selectors.

  • rajithwijepura on December 28, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    Great work buddy. I really hope the bullet you fired after reaching 100, went through the brains of SL selecters. And it was a game changing partnership you and sanga had in the 2nd inning. Waiting for see more from your bat

  • Valavan on December 28, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Many indians, who were laughing at SL batting and hiding in bunkers. Oh whats this the indians called World fastest pitch durban because they have won there, but now SL gonna take it, oh i can see loads of stomachs burning here coz SL took the upperhand in the Durban test. Go on SL. Hope you win this test if not the series. cricinfo please publish.

  • ChrisPerera on December 28, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    Dulip Mendis should gracefully resign

  • KriKett on December 28, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Great Innings. Only the second SriLankan batsman, after Hashan Tillakaratne, to score a century in South Africa!!!!............................. .........waiting for another Jaysuriya to come.

  • Rom1966 on December 28, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Reading all the correct comments regarding duleep mends surely if he had any class about him he should just resign. But knowing how slc works I doubt it.

  • Sageleaf on December 28, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Thilan you showed what your bat can do to the Sri Lankan selectors. As fans we knew you were the rock of Sri Lankan middle order. Im so happy for you and keep going mate....we all celebrated in Sri Lanka when you scored the century. You are making Sri Lanka very proud n God bless you!

  • stormy16 on December 28, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    For once can I say I didnt really disagree with the selectors for dropping Thilan as it was a move to build for the future and the plan for UAE was to play 6 batters so it had to be Thilna or Mathews! Thilan has never had things easy - the guy came in to the side as a back up bowler for Murali and its credit to him that he has converted himself in to a front line batsman. He also adjusted his game plan from a stonewaller to end up playing one day cricket in the last world cup. He was quick to be dropped the moment he failed and never enjoyed that sense of untouchable that say Sanga and Mahela enjoy. His record outside SL is questionable but the fact remains he has been one of the most successfully middle order batsman in the world in the last 3 years. His century in Durban was classic text book and just what SL needed. Was disgusted at the cricinfo commentary when he got his hundred - harping on his away record and not the great hunderd or his form in the last 3 years.

  • Sri1967 on December 28, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    Great stuff Thilan....He proved that he's got a lot more to give SL cricket...hope so called present selectors (in my version they are bunch of jokers) will step down with dighnity and allow the people who know what's best to SL cricket to run the show. Though he's the best batter on this tour I won't be surprised if they drop him for the next series sighting the age (unless he put on like Mr Duleep Mendis as that might be criteria to be in SL cricket's future plan). I hope Thilan won't get the same treatment what Marvan received from SLC after serving so many years. In my opinion Thilan should be the TEST captain instead of Dilshan. Wish you all the best Thilan !!!!

  • Dhushan on December 28, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Very well played Thilan. CONGRATULATIONS! You showed your critics, including our very own selection panel headed by Dulip Mendis that you have more cricket left in you and not only in the sub continent as well. (There's more needed to be told to our selectors but this is not the place) You on the other hand, keep playing your brand of cricket. I hope you play for more years to come. I hope we win this match to secure a 1st test win for Sri Lanka on South African soil.

  • SLMaster on December 28, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    Samaraweera saved SL. Congrat to both Sanga & Samaraweera for their tons. No wonder sports minister change selectors choices. It is time for Duleep Mendis and Co. to resign. They have made all the wrong choices. Everyone commented said to include Samaraweera, but not selectors.

  • rajithwijepura on December 28, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    Great work buddy. I really hope the bullet you fired after reaching 100, went through the brains of SL selecters. And it was a game changing partnership you and sanga had in the 2nd inning. Waiting for see more from your bat

  • Valavan on December 28, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Many indians, who were laughing at SL batting and hiding in bunkers. Oh whats this the indians called World fastest pitch durban because they have won there, but now SL gonna take it, oh i can see loads of stomachs burning here coz SL took the upperhand in the Durban test. Go on SL. Hope you win this test if not the series. cricinfo please publish.

  • ChrisPerera on December 28, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    Dulip Mendis should gracefully resign

  • KriKett on December 28, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Great Innings. Only the second SriLankan batsman, after Hashan Tillakaratne, to score a century in South Africa!!!!............................. .........waiting for another Jaysuriya to come.

  • Rom1966 on December 28, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Reading all the correct comments regarding duleep mends surely if he had any class about him he should just resign. But knowing how slc works I doubt it.

  • Sageleaf on December 28, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Thilan you showed what your bat can do to the Sri Lankan selectors. As fans we knew you were the rock of Sri Lankan middle order. Im so happy for you and keep going mate....we all celebrated in Sri Lanka when you scored the century. You are making Sri Lanka very proud n God bless you!

  • stormy16 on December 28, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    For once can I say I didnt really disagree with the selectors for dropping Thilan as it was a move to build for the future and the plan for UAE was to play 6 batters so it had to be Thilna or Mathews! Thilan has never had things easy - the guy came in to the side as a back up bowler for Murali and its credit to him that he has converted himself in to a front line batsman. He also adjusted his game plan from a stonewaller to end up playing one day cricket in the last world cup. He was quick to be dropped the moment he failed and never enjoyed that sense of untouchable that say Sanga and Mahela enjoy. His record outside SL is questionable but the fact remains he has been one of the most successfully middle order batsman in the world in the last 3 years. His century in Durban was classic text book and just what SL needed. Was disgusted at the cricinfo commentary when he got his hundred - harping on his away record and not the great hunderd or his form in the last 3 years.

  • Sri1967 on December 28, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    Great stuff Thilan....He proved that he's got a lot more to give SL cricket...hope so called present selectors (in my version they are bunch of jokers) will step down with dighnity and allow the people who know what's best to SL cricket to run the show. Though he's the best batter on this tour I won't be surprised if they drop him for the next series sighting the age (unless he put on like Mr Duleep Mendis as that might be criteria to be in SL cricket's future plan). I hope Thilan won't get the same treatment what Marvan received from SLC after serving so many years. In my opinion Thilan should be the TEST captain instead of Dilshan. Wish you all the best Thilan !!!!

  • nickcarter80 on December 28, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    This guy may not be the most talented and flamboyant among SL cricketers, but you can never underestimate his determination and concentration. That's what is expected from a captain of a test team. I think if Sanga or Mahela is not accepting the captaincy again, Thilan should be appointed as the test captain. He has some good 3, 4 years of cricket left in him. Well done 'samare', keep on firing your machine gun.

  • Lord.emsworth on December 28, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    Says volumes for the stupid judgement of Duleep Mendis. Mendis removed Samaraweera from the Test team saying 'Thilan doesn't fit into our plans' (Or something very similar). Mendis also kept Chandimal out of the test team despite the latter scoring that brilliant 100 at Lords (ODI).

  • anver777 on December 28, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Its a silencer gun to silence the critics.....a crafted innings under pressure !! as always he's a real test material & i think he should be in the playing XI till he retires...SL has a great chance to topple SA...all the best !!!!!

  • JustIPL on December 28, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    Samaraweera is so important to Sri Lankan batting like Fab3 of India. They tried bench strength against but had to fall back on Samaraweera.

  • on December 28, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Great knock Tilan… what a classy inning… Samaraweera should be a regular member of the SL team and he has proven it again. Where is the so called "selectors" now? How come you do not have long term plans with Samaraweera? If he wasn't there for sure SL would have collapsed below 200 runs. Strong experience back bone (Samaraweera) and young talent (Chandimal) has made the difference to bring the score to a competitive one. We should celebrate the 1st test win in SA with this, provided weather will not disturb the game. Well done Tilan once again!!!!!! Keep going.,….

  • rohan024 on December 28, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    congrats to Samaraweera for scoring a brilliant century..but this is like his first in SA, ENG, NZ or Aus...so lets not get carried away and calling it a proof of his abilities in outside subcontinent conditions..its jsut one innings and unless he builds on to this innings to score few more god scores in such conditions, he ll never be considered a threat in these conditions...

  • ratedstfu44 on December 28, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    Even Samaraweera would have scored a double here, no one will talk about him for long , people will still talk about mahela-sanga-dilu . thats the unfortunate thing

  • rskmax on December 28, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    well done Thilan. Don't forget that he dropped not only UAE tour but also 3rd test vs Australia which held in SSC ground. Pakistan, a team against whom he has an admirable record with batting average of 58.81 and SSC ground like his home with batting average of 82.60 (actually it is his home ground too). I believe that best 11 must represent the country no matter what is the condition whether we preparing team for the next world cup or not. For me Thilan is the 3rd best test batsman & the best in test temperament we have. Youngsters should polish-up working with senior players like chandimal did. Thilan did it with Hashan Thilakarathne.I'm saying to selectors don't plan only for the world cup. There should be a plan for every movement. Out come is best 11 available at that movement.

  • on December 28, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    I am glad to realize that I am not the only one who thought that

    a) Samaraweera is one of the most underrated batsmen of all time

    b) Dulip Mendis should be sacked for dropping Samaraweera AND for claiming that the latter is not part of the future of Sri Lankan cricket

    Let me just add, perhaps, a little known fact. The backbone of Sri Lankan cricket, without a strong First Class system, is its rich school cricket culture. Samaraweera played his school cricket at the same time with Mahela and Sanga, and, to the best of my knowledge he was always ended up as the leading run scorer above the two Sri Lankan greats. Please don't misunderstand; both Mahela and Sanga are true legends of the game; my humble point is, Samaraweera deserves to have the faith and patience we had with Mahela and Sanga. He is partly himself to blame for trying to be a bowler and not having faith in his own ability, but people make mistakes and when they are gifted like Samaraweera, we can ill afford to punish them

  • Prema1948 on December 28, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    It is hard to watch how they are allowed to continue even though they're suffering from severe injuries. Even in this on-going match one can witness S'kara has been using his left hand more in gathering the ball in contrast to the normal way the ordinary fielder would have done. The sending him at the most important batting position no 3 can be considered as work of a person of an unsound mind who deliberately trys to drag the whole team into a disastrous positions. On the other hand no other Test playing country would've provided S'kara an assistant if he refuses to keep. Me as a person who is closely following this great Game for the last 57 years feels there is no reason to seek services of 3 seniors when 3 top grade batsmen the class of S'weerea are sitting out (Kausal,Thirimanne& Dimuth) who've been brilliant players since their age 15. The 2 most consistent off&leg Spinners, Sachithra&Malinda in the Domestic scene are constantly ignored to provide opertunities for H'rath.

  • Prema1948 on December 28, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    It is this kind of jokers, who've always b'n appointed as sel'tors by the officials (businessmen who had no clear knowledge of the Game)at SLC. The fans who 've some knowledge of the Game know it is very difficult for a batter to survive for long time without having proper skills in playng the ball all along the ground & to leave balls there to be left alone though the selectors are clueless on these finer points. The moving of the feet is not a problem (one of the local com'ntator who work as agent for local sel'tors try to find fault with S'weera's batting, as if all other 3 seniors are technically very perfect) as long as one is able to play the ball along the ground all around the wicket with some authority as present day batters like S''weera & Laksman do & as past great batsmen like Graeme Pollock &Inzamam did. By the way 3seniors have become burden to the the Team it is high time to get dropped themselves b'cos the selectors've no knowledge or guts to drop them. (TOBECNTD)

  • Prema1948 on December 28, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    The SL has become a very inconsistent team because the local selectors of last 2&1/2 decades have never ever had any idea of what the essential requisites of a quality batsman are, as a result they've always preferred reckless hitters who've had no control over most of the strokes they excute & no skills to bat under difficult batting conditions to top grade players who've maintained consistency from very young age as 15 as Samaraweera who is one of the very rare breed of batsmen who won the Best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Award, twice for his batting alone in '94 &'95. and who've never allowed his Test bat.Ave to drop below the 40 mark. Though he has always been such a fine batsman, he was dropped for the last tour of 2002/03 to accomadate a VIP at a time his Test BatAve around 60 and again S'weera was 1st brought into the Side as a bowler and sent to bat at no 11. in that instance his batting skills were disregarded as he was playing as a replacement for Murali.(TOBECNTD)

  • TYJAY on December 28, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    well played. That is Thilan's ability. He can be very good middle order batsman for SL for another few more years.

    SL politics is petty pathetic !!!!

  • on December 28, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    i think this proves he is not in any means a flat track bully, He can score in any conditions and should be labelled as one of Sri Lanka's best

  • DwightR on December 28, 2011, 2:50 GMT

    Samaraweera proved something any follower of sri lanka cricket knows..he is an elite test batsman and as important to the SL test side as Sangakarra & Mahela. Not having him in the lineup at #5 does nothing but hurt the team as his experience cannot be duplicated by anyone coming up the ranks right now. Chandimal should be a part of the test side to compliment him not replace him.

  • on December 28, 2011, 2:47 GMT

    Well done Dulip Mendis...:P You only can humiliate yourself. Samare you are the man. Outstanding stuff bro. Was really proud to see two Anandians of two eras doing the unthinkable. Proud of you guys as always.

  • ami77 on December 28, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    He is a classy batsman and very down to earth as well. I thought he would be the next best to lead SL in tests after Sanga stepped down as the test captain. However showing all bad politics in SL cricket management they not only named Dilshan as Test captain but they went further to axe Thilan when he was still doing well in tests. How can a player would prove him self or even improve if the management keep cutting him one after the other test tour. Well done Samare!! Wish you all the very best!!

  • on December 28, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    he should back in odi as well to stop late srilankan batting failure. still just wondering if he played with pakistan ..srilanka shouldn't lose the series

  • tennakoon63 on December 28, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    Well done Thilan. You stood up to all criticism and showed how you can play

  • on December 28, 2011, 1:14 GMT

    I would like to make a point by a quote of samaraweera's conversation in this article .. It is <<<"I told him to enjoy the occasion because there is no need to prove he is good enough to play Test cricket. I controlled his game a little bit in the middle but I didn't want to get too involved because he is a natural stroke-player." >>> This is how the partnershis are made . Dilashan must note down this. Can he handle other partner in other side of the wicket . Even he cant handle himself . It is a shame administratort still rely on dilshan for the captancy.

  • TissaPerera on December 28, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    Well Played Samaraweera. The best thing about him is his guts and attitude. He always keep a confident smile on his face. Even when a Bowler send a good ball and he looks defeated, he grins at the bowler as if asking to send more of those. That kind of attitude is not coming from many others. Even Mahela shows big scared and concerned attitude while batting. Sri Lanka has many talented players, but they do not not have guts and attitude of Aravinda, Arjuna clan. Only Samaraweera has that type of Guts. Hopefully this match will bring positive results and bring a positive mindset. SL should not get too carried away, Dilshan already did and lost his wicket. Well done so far.

  • on December 28, 2011, 0:58 GMT

    See how Thilan reacted to all dirty things done by Dulip Mendis. Welldone Thilan. You have proven you can bat outside the subcontinent. Great Player

  • ranilranathunga on December 28, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    Where is Kepler Wessels and his comments about Sl team...SA narrowly missed the follow on...

  • on December 27, 2011, 23:32 GMT

    one of the MOST underrated batsmen of all time !

  • cric_freak88 on December 27, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    a class knock , well played samaraweeta , u can never write off a player at the int'l level.

  • rumyfala on December 27, 2011, 23:11 GMT

    Everyone has forgotten about the first test wih the Aussies. They too had a 150+ lead in the first inings and a century from clarke. whaat happened next is history. i still think SA will pull this off.

  • on December 27, 2011, 23:09 GMT

    As I Always believe he should be the Test Captain..He has another good three Four years in him...with his down to earth and qualities he could bring his own to the table..

  • jai_bharat on December 27, 2011, 22:57 GMT

    Thilan Samaraweera is to SL what VVS is to India and Hussey is to Australia. While Veeru, Sachin and Rahul are the stars of the Indian top order, it is VVS who has held India together in many a crisis. So too 'Mr Cricket' Mike Hussey of Aus who follows in the wake of the stars Ricky and Michael Clarke. For SL, it is the unsung Thilan who has done the job many a time, apart from the stars Tilakaratne, Kumar and Mahela. Looking forward to more such useful innings from Samaraweera. May your 'machine gun' keep firing.

  • on December 27, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    THILAN SAMARAWEERA truly deserves his place on the LANKAN TEST XI.

    Time to get RANDIV and AJANTHA MENDIS to join HERATH in the TEST XI!!!!!!!!

    My IDEAL LANKAN TEST XI:

    1) Upul THARANGA/THARANGA Paranavitana 2) TM DILSHAN (c/wk) 3) Kumar Sangakkara (wk) 4) Mahela Jayawardene 5) Thilan Samaraweera 6) Angelo Matthews (vc) 7) Thisara Perera 8) Suraj RANDIV 9) Rangana HERATH 10) Ajantha MENDIS 11) Dilhara Fernando/Chanaka Welagedera

  • mannan_ma on December 27, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    samaraweera is a class act. he should be a regular member of the team. dilshan is a good player but obviously he has fallen short as a captain. may be it is time to bring back sanga as a captain.in the first place he should not have been asked to go.he along with mahela are amongst the best batsmen in the world. POLITICS IN THE SUB CONTINENT ARE THE BANE FOR SPORTS.POLITICIANS WITH NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE GAME SHOULD BE KEPT AWAY FROM THE SPORT.IF FORMER PLAYERS LIKE MENDIS AND JAYASURIYA ARE RESORTING TO POLITICS IN CRICKET THEY SHOULD BE SHOWN THE DOOR WITH NO REGARD FOR THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS ON THE FIELD.

  • johnathonjosephs on December 27, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    What an innings from this man. Didn't wonder why he was dropped because I know how Sri Lankan politics work, but thank god they were forced to put him here, or else Sri Lanka would not be in the position they are right now. Supremely underrated batsman because of his outside record even though his batting average is 50+, but this should silence the critics on a pitch where the entire South African team made only 60 more runs than his individual score. What a player

  • on December 27, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    God bless you..Samaraweera..Atleast you have made our little nation proud..you slammed all your doubters..all the very best 4 you..hope you will be around for some time..Your Machine-gun is ROCKING..

  • on December 27, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    samaraweera is good for one day and test, he know his responsibility very well. good luck samare.

  • Australian0007 on December 27, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Samaraweera was dropped by selectors three months ago, now they were responsible (Dulip Mendis Personaly)for that decision SHOULD resighn or should be SACKED. He and Sanga are the best test batsmen in Sri Lankan team not Jayawardane for last few years. Other mistakes of selectors are brought back Dilhara, not include Chandimal before ahead of Thirimanne, & later ahead of Kaushal de Silwa,appointed Dilshan as captain, not give a chance Senanayake, probabaly the best right arm spinner SL have & other stupid mistakes.

  • Kavum on December 27, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    Never had much faith in this guy but, in the grand tradition of Gura and Hashan, he is an ugly/boring batter who plays a crucial innings when needed. Sri Lanka needs stodgy and safe players until Mathews et al, gain maturity in the middle order. Players like Thilan who are not flashy and entertaining but dependable and gutsy, form the backbone of a successful team. He is getting on but his fans hope that he can give the SL national XI the solidity it needs for 3 to 4 years more. After seeing this innings, I am one of them.

  • shami_jee on December 27, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Great show put on by Samarawera..... I m from Pakistan & obviously exited when my team thrashed Sri Lanka in recently concluded series.. but honestly peaking,, Samarawera could make the difference to SL Team in previous series. Sri Lankan Selectors need to go for polishing their brains and should understand that they need mixture of both youth & Experience... Best of Luck SL for this Test & Rest of series....

  • Cannuck on December 27, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Here's a guy who got injured being shot at by gun men, & then also shot down by the "CHEAP" selector Duleep Mendis who is in the pockets of politicians, businessmen, agents, when he said Thilan is NOT in SL's future cricket plans! What a cheek he is, being a former cricketer to treat a fellow player that way. I can't think of a better way for Thilan to fire back than letting the bat do the talking. Duleep not only should eat his words (or put some "pus' in his mouth as per Sana's commentary), but publicly apologize to Thilan & then remove HIMSELF from any future plans of SL cricket. Former cricketers like Duleep, Asantha, DS & now Jayasuriya from the back benches of the parliament are the ones who are ruining SL Cricket. Just because they were good cricketers, they do NOT automatically become good administrators, specially when they get involved in politics. I hope someone has the balls to fire Duleep, get Ara back along with convincing either MJ or Kumar to lead the side!!

  • ReverseSweepIndia on December 27, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    Congrats Samaraweera. Hope this put some stop to critiques that Asians can bat on flat tracks only, though have some merit in those criticisms because we do not have much to show in result column. Time is changing. Don't let the foot of the gas. We defeated SA in Durban last time around and SL can do the same now. On other note our own Indian flat track bullies (really?) are upping the ante in MCG. Good luck!!

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  • ReverseSweepIndia on December 27, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    Congrats Samaraweera. Hope this put some stop to critiques that Asians can bat on flat tracks only, though have some merit in those criticisms because we do not have much to show in result column. Time is changing. Don't let the foot of the gas. We defeated SA in Durban last time around and SL can do the same now. On other note our own Indian flat track bullies (really?) are upping the ante in MCG. Good luck!!

  • Cannuck on December 27, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Here's a guy who got injured being shot at by gun men, & then also shot down by the "CHEAP" selector Duleep Mendis who is in the pockets of politicians, businessmen, agents, when he said Thilan is NOT in SL's future cricket plans! What a cheek he is, being a former cricketer to treat a fellow player that way. I can't think of a better way for Thilan to fire back than letting the bat do the talking. Duleep not only should eat his words (or put some "pus' in his mouth as per Sana's commentary), but publicly apologize to Thilan & then remove HIMSELF from any future plans of SL cricket. Former cricketers like Duleep, Asantha, DS & now Jayasuriya from the back benches of the parliament are the ones who are ruining SL Cricket. Just because they were good cricketers, they do NOT automatically become good administrators, specially when they get involved in politics. I hope someone has the balls to fire Duleep, get Ara back along with convincing either MJ or Kumar to lead the side!!

  • shami_jee on December 27, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Great show put on by Samarawera..... I m from Pakistan & obviously exited when my team thrashed Sri Lanka in recently concluded series.. but honestly peaking,, Samarawera could make the difference to SL Team in previous series. Sri Lankan Selectors need to go for polishing their brains and should understand that they need mixture of both youth & Experience... Best of Luck SL for this Test & Rest of series....

  • Kavum on December 27, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    Never had much faith in this guy but, in the grand tradition of Gura and Hashan, he is an ugly/boring batter who plays a crucial innings when needed. Sri Lanka needs stodgy and safe players until Mathews et al, gain maturity in the middle order. Players like Thilan who are not flashy and entertaining but dependable and gutsy, form the backbone of a successful team. He is getting on but his fans hope that he can give the SL national XI the solidity it needs for 3 to 4 years more. After seeing this innings, I am one of them.

  • Australian0007 on December 27, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Samaraweera was dropped by selectors three months ago, now they were responsible (Dulip Mendis Personaly)for that decision SHOULD resighn or should be SACKED. He and Sanga are the best test batsmen in Sri Lankan team not Jayawardane for last few years. Other mistakes of selectors are brought back Dilhara, not include Chandimal before ahead of Thirimanne, & later ahead of Kaushal de Silwa,appointed Dilshan as captain, not give a chance Senanayake, probabaly the best right arm spinner SL have & other stupid mistakes.

  • on December 27, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    samaraweera is good for one day and test, he know his responsibility very well. good luck samare.

  • on December 27, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    God bless you..Samaraweera..Atleast you have made our little nation proud..you slammed all your doubters..all the very best 4 you..hope you will be around for some time..Your Machine-gun is ROCKING..

  • johnathonjosephs on December 27, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    What an innings from this man. Didn't wonder why he was dropped because I know how Sri Lankan politics work, but thank god they were forced to put him here, or else Sri Lanka would not be in the position they are right now. Supremely underrated batsman because of his outside record even though his batting average is 50+, but this should silence the critics on a pitch where the entire South African team made only 60 more runs than his individual score. What a player

  • mannan_ma on December 27, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    samaraweera is a class act. he should be a regular member of the team. dilshan is a good player but obviously he has fallen short as a captain. may be it is time to bring back sanga as a captain.in the first place he should not have been asked to go.he along with mahela are amongst the best batsmen in the world. POLITICS IN THE SUB CONTINENT ARE THE BANE FOR SPORTS.POLITICIANS WITH NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE GAME SHOULD BE KEPT AWAY FROM THE SPORT.IF FORMER PLAYERS LIKE MENDIS AND JAYASURIYA ARE RESORTING TO POLITICS IN CRICKET THEY SHOULD BE SHOWN THE DOOR WITH NO REGARD FOR THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS ON THE FIELD.

  • on December 27, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    THILAN SAMARAWEERA truly deserves his place on the LANKAN TEST XI.

    Time to get RANDIV and AJANTHA MENDIS to join HERATH in the TEST XI!!!!!!!!

    My IDEAL LANKAN TEST XI:

    1) Upul THARANGA/THARANGA Paranavitana 2) TM DILSHAN (c/wk) 3) Kumar Sangakkara (wk) 4) Mahela Jayawardene 5) Thilan Samaraweera 6) Angelo Matthews (vc) 7) Thisara Perera 8) Suraj RANDIV 9) Rangana HERATH 10) Ajantha MENDIS 11) Dilhara Fernando/Chanaka Welagedera