Kalutara produces another cricket hero | Sunday Observer

Kalutara produces another cricket hero

28 March, 2021
 Pathum Nissanka Silva acknowledges his century in his first Test
Pathum Nissanka Silva acknowledges his century in his first Test

Sri Lanka’s new find on the Caribbean tour Pathum Nissanka Silva became the fourth Sri Lankan to score a century on debut joining Brendon Kuruppu, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Thilan Samaraweera who last achieved the feat in 2001.

Nissanka was the first Sri Lankan to achieve the feat overseas when he scored 103 in the drawn first Test against the West Indies this week and has an extraordinary First-Class record scoring 3,445 runs in 33 matches with a stunning average of 67.54.

He is a proud product of Kalutara Vidyalaya which has produced several Sri Lanka players that includes former captain Tillekaratne Dilshan and fast bowler Dulip Liyanage who was the school’s first Test player. Nissanka was lured to cross over to Isipathana College where he ended his school cricket career.

Sri Lankan coach Mickey Arthur in a post tour interview was full of praise for the 22-year old Nissanka.

“I’ve been very impressed with Pathum Nissanka. I haven’t seen him before because he had been injured from the time I got here (Sri Lanka) and then we had the covid. For eight and a half months I didn’t see any players. It’s the first time I’m seeing Pathum Nissanka and I’m very impressed with him. He certainly could be an all-three format player for Sri Lanka. Very exciting young talent,” said Arthur before the tour began.

Nissanka featured in a 179-run stand with Niroshan Dickwella for the sixth wicket which came at crucial time when Sri Lanka had to build up a second innings lead and take the team to safety after they were all out for 169 in the first innings.

Dickwella was playing in his 42nd Test and made 96.

“I was not aware of the record but the team wanted me to perform and I am happy to have contributed. The discussion was mainly with Dickwella who was telling me to drag it on as long as possible so that the bowlers have something to bowl at”, said Nissanka in a post match interview.

On previous Test debuts, Brendon Kuruppu made 201 not out against New Zealand in 1987 at the CCC ground, Romesh Kaluwitharna hit 132 not out at the SSC ground against Australia in 1992 and Thilan Samaraweera made 103 not out against India at the SSC in 2001.