Basnayake Shalith Malinda Warnapura
May 26, 1979, Colombo
Also Known As
Left hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
St. Peter's College, Colombo
Despite his cricketing pedigree, Malinda Warnapura has taken his time to press forward his case for national recognition. Having begun his first-class career in 1998-99, it was not until 2006 that he really made his mark. The tour to India with Sri Lanka A to participate in the Duleep trophy saw this elegant left-hand middle-order batsman blossom. He finished the three-match tournament with an aggregate of 421 runs, at 105.25, which included two successive undefeated centuries at Eden Gardens. An unbeaten 111 steered his team to the final of the tournament. He then compiled 149 not out in the final against the eventual winners, North Zone.
Recognition did not follow immediately. He was overlooked for the tour of New Zealand that followed but continued to pile on the runs for Sri Lanka A. He was not at his best on the tour of the Caribbean when illness laid him low, but Warnapura was in outstanding form in the home series against Bangladesh A that followed. He scored a career best 243 in the first unofficial Test at his home ground at Colts and followed it up with an unbeaten 104 in the second unofficial ODI to confirm that he could score runs in both forms of the game. His first strides into Test cricket - during the home series against Bangladesh in 2007 - were hardly auspicious, as he was dismissed off his first ball. He returned admirably in his second Test, scoring 82. He followed it up with a century against West Indies in Providence the following year and later made it to the Champions Trophy probables.
Batting & Fielding