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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 13:44 GMT
Ton 'too late' for Atapattu
Marvan Atapattu
Atapattu put Sri Lanka in a good position to avoid a series whitewash

Marvan Atapattu admitted his ton in the third Test against Australia was a mere consolation with Sri Lanka 2-0 down and unable to win the series.

Atapattu's 109 not out steered Sri Lanka to 239-2 on day two in Colombo, in reply to the visitors' 401.

He said: "It is disappointing that the big knock is coming after the Test series is lost.

"I would have loved to have had this in the first Test, but I'm thrilled to get one on my home ground."

Sri Lanka's vice-captain added: "It is always special to get a hundred against the best side in the world.

"I was not having a very good series and I am happy that it came right in this Test match."

Atapattu had scored just 80 runs in four innings as Sri Lanka lost the first two Tests by 197 and 27 runs.

But his 12th Test century, which included 17 boundaries, on day two in Colombo put Sri Lanka in a strong position to avoid a series clean sweep.

He put on 134 for the first wicket with Sanath Jayasuriya to cut Sri Lanka's deficit to 162.

"There are no terrors in the wicket and there are still plenty of runs to be had," he said.

"But it is starting to turn from good areas, not just from the rough, so we must make sure that we get a good total in the first innings."

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