Malinda Warnapura was out first ball on his debut against Bangladesh, but he’s avoided following in Marvan Atapattu’s footsteps since then.
Atapattu benefitted from a good deal of generosity from the Sri Lankan selectors at the start of his career. His first few innings read as follows: 0, 0, 0, 1, 0 and 0. Even then he hardly set the world alight, continuing with: 25, 22, 0, 25, 14, 4, 7, 10, 26, 19 and 29, before finally breaking 30 in an innings of 108 against India in his 18th Test knock.
Malinda Warnapura shrugged off his ignominious debut to hit 82 in his second Test, thus avoiding the nickname ‘Atapatthree’ that we’ve just thought of and will have to file away until someone actually does make a dreadful start to their Test batting career. This week, against the West Indies, Warnapura continued with the run-scoring, hitting 120 and 62.
He seems like he’s all right against pace and he can’t be too bad against spin being as he scored successive hundreds when Sri Lanka A participated in the Duleep trophy – in much the same way as the England Lions batsmen didn’t, earlier this year. He managed to slip in 243 against Bangladesh A as well, not long after. Add to that a few years playing for Mirfield in the Central Yorkshire Cricket League and you’ve got quite a rounded batsman – and not in a Jesse Ryder way.
Sri Lanka won the Test. Chaminda Vaas took five wickets. Good (increasingly) old Chaminda Vaas.