Karunaratne Becomes 2nd Sri Lankan Opener to Amass More Than 1,000 Test Runs in a Year
Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne created history on the opening day of the 2nd Test against India at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur after becoming only the 2nd Sri Lankan opener after the legendary Sanath Jayasuriya to score more than 1,000 Test runs in a calendar year. Jayasuriya who was arguably the greatest Sri Lankan opener to have ever graced the game achieved the feat twice. Jayasuriya accomplished the feat for the first time in 1997 when he accumulated 1, 209 runs in the year and achieved the feat again in 2004 when he scored 1, 125 runs.
Karunaratne has been a standout performer for the Sri Lankans this year and was instrumental in guiding Sri Lanka to a series victory against Pakistan at Dubai. His career-best score of 196 against Pakistan led the foundation for a sensational victory against Pakistan. He also scored a fluent 93 in the opening Test at Abu Dhabi, but just when he looked set for a well deserved century, an uncharacteristic lapse in concentration led to his downfall via a run-out.
Even during the series against India in July-August, Karunaratne was among the very few players who could defy the Indian bowlers in an otherwise shabby performance by the hosts. The southpaw failed agonisingly close of another hundred as he was dismissed on 97 in the opening Test at Galle but fought hard to score a sensational 141 in the 2nd Test although it went in vain and Sri Lanka suffered yet another crushing defeat.
Meanwhile, when Jayasuriya achieved the feat for the first time in 1997, the southpaw scored 571 runs in a two-match series against India which included a sensational 340 where Sri Lanka also posted the highest total in Test cricket history till date. They declared on 953/6 with Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama sharing a mammoth partnership.
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