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Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Centurion Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya has become the first Sri Lankan to play 100 Tests in the match against Bangladesh in Colombo.

Jayasuriya made his debut against New Zealand at Hamilton in 1991 but was not a regular in the Test side until 1996.

The 36-year-old is the highest run-scorer for his country in both forms of the game and holds virtually every Sri Lankan batting record.

"Time has gone by quickly and many good things have happened but I still can't believe I have got here," he said.

"I am excited about the whole thing. Not many people have played 100 Tests and it is a dream come true for me to become the first to do so for my country.

"It is against Bangladesh but I don't want to undervalue them as they are an upcoming side and that's how the international calendar goes."

Jayasuriya, from the southern town of Matara, batted at number six on debut and it was not until he was promoted to open the batting against Australia in Adelaide in 1996 that he cemented his place in the team.

Against a bowling attack which included Glenn McGrath, Craig McDermott and Shane Warne, he contributed 48 and 112, his maiden Test century.

Sanath Jayasuriya Test stats
Matches: 99
Debut: v NZ, Hamilton, Feb '91
Runs: 6,567/Ave: 42.36
HS: 340/100s: 14/ 50s: 29
Wkts: 92/Ave: 32.78
Best (inn): 5-34
Best (match): 9-74

Prior to that, the swashbuckling left-hander had been considered a one-day specialist - a useful left-arm spinner and middle-order batsman.

"It was very difficult to cement a place in the Test team but that hundred got me a permanent berth in the side," he added.

He shot to global fame as an explosive pinch-hitter at the 1996 World Cup as Sri Lanka won the trophy on home soil.

But he also grew into a Test player of some stature, proving he could build massive innings with 340 against India in Colombo in 1997.

He followed that with 199 in the second Test and 213 in a one-off Test against England at The Oval in 1998.

In 99 Tests so far, Jayasuriya has scored 6,567 runs at an average of 42.36, with 14 hundreds, 29 fifties and that highest score of 340.

He is also a dangerous left-arm spinner, with 92 Test wickets taken at an average of 32.78.

He is the fourth highest run-scorer in the history of one-day internationals, with 10,122 to date, including 18 tons, 58 fifties and a highest score of 189.

He also holds the record for most sixes in a one-day international innings (11) and most runs in a one-day international over (30, twice).

The quiet, gentle Jayasuriya took over the captaincy after the sacking of Arjuna Ranatunga in 1999 and built a successful and content team.

He is Sri Lanka's most successful captain, having won 18 of 38 Tests.

But he resigned after the 2003 World Cup and a slump in form led to his place in the team being questioned.

However, he returned to form with a vengeance in 2004, hitting a second-innings ton against Australia at Kandy that almost levelled the series and a double-hundred against Pakistan at Faisalabad.

And in the Indian Oil Cup in 2005, Jayasuriya became only the fourth batsman to pass 10,000 runs in one-day cricket.

"Sanath has worked hard to remain fit and in good touch for so many years," said Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody.

"The way he trains is an example for any cricketer and professional. The whole squad is happy for him. It is great for him and great for Sri Lankan cricket."

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03 Mar 05 |  Somerset


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