By Srian Obeyesekere
The quadruple century of 407 by 17-year old Navod Paranavithana, the Sri Lanka under-19 World Cup opener and captain of Mahinda College, Galle, is an unique record in schoolboy cricket at that level. The epic knock off 327 balls inclusive of 39 fours and 19 sixes against Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda in a Singer Trophy Under 19 inter-schools match played at Mahinda College grounds, Galle recently has certainly marked a new chapter where the youngster has raised the bar. It is a personal all-time landmark achievement which has further thrust Paranavithana into the limelight as a durable batsman for the future at national level. His feat followed an already well cemented career as one of Sri Lanka’s solid under-19 batsmen who has made a name for himself as an opener following some plucky innings in the international arena.
His 409 against Dharmasoka College was mounted having resumed from an overnight 119 in the two-day match where scoring 290 on the second day must be viewed as a herculean effort. In doing so, Paranavithana surpassed the recent record set up for the highest individual score in under-19 school cricket by Avishka Tharindu of St Anthony’s College, Wattala who scored 350 against Lumbini College on February 18. Others before the duo in the record score bracket are Dhammika Vaas of Maris Stella College, Negombo who made 310 vs St Peter’s College, Negombo in 1996 and Indika de Saram of St. Thomas’ College, Matara who scored 304 vs Devananda College, Ambalangoda in 1993.
It is noteworthy that Paranavithana notched a century 108 and 73 for Sri Lanka Under-19 against England in England at Coolidge in December 2019.