Tharanga Paranavitana thrilled with maiden hundred
Tharanga Paranavitana made a compelling case to be given a permanent slot at the top of Sri Lanka's batting order with his maiden Test century, which put Sri Lanka in a sterling position in Muttiah Muralitharan's farewell Test in Galle. Tharanga was unbeaten on 110, leading Sri Lanka to 256 for 2, when rain brought an early end to the first day.
"I have been scoring big hundreds in domestic cricket but have been unable to do so at international level," Paranavitana said. "I am extremely happy to score my maiden Test century because I have made four Test fifties but was unable to convert them into hundreds."
Paranavitana credited his coach Trevor Bayliss and his team-mates for their contributions towards his achieving the century. "From the time I came into the Sri Lankan side, I have been receiving lot of advice from the team and I have benefited immensely from it. We are playing well together as a team and that is also rubbing off on the rest of the players."
With this performance, Parnavitana has more or less established an opening partnership with Tillakaratne Dilshan. Sri Lanka had struggled to find a replacement for Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu after Upul Tharanga failed to hold on to his spot.
"I am confident that, with my game plan, I can go forward. I am happy that I scored my maiden Test hundred on home soil," Paranavitana said. A normally cautious batsman, Paranavitana played positively during the first session, making use of the steady supply of loose deliveries.
"There was nothing wrong with the Indian bowling, the wicket was in favour of the batsman except for the odd ball that turned," he said. "If you do the right things in the middle getting runs is not difficult. On this wicket about 350-400 runs will be a safe score. But if there are continuous interruptions due to rain it will hamper our chances of winning, provided we get into a winning situation."