Innocuous looking read into the lithe stature in comparisson to the record breaking compatriots before him who have colourfully decorated the international cricketing arena in breathtaking style, the 22-year old Pathum Nissanka going past a 40-year long iceberg since Sri Lanka gained ICC Test status in 1981 in insulating himself as the first Sri Lankan batsman to score a debut overseas century is indeed a type of rollercoaster story telling stellar saga.
That this passaging in the annals of Sri Lankan cricket was to reel out in the most unexpected to the rare record setting feat in that long, long four decade long hibernation, the scenario of whi ch was the West Indian ground named after one of world cricket’s greatest batsmen Sir Vivian Richards, as Sri Lanka mounted a fight back to stay in a test match by far dominated by the West Indies, indeed bordered on greatness. Devoid of the trimmings of the pomp of the array stroke-making artistry of the type of the heart throbbing of a Greg Chappel on song debut century, but a battling century by necessity against the odds curbing his instinctive aggressive approach, here was a lad discovered from Sri Lanka’s grassroots hailing from far flung down South Galle, who schooled in a relatively unknown educational institution – Kalutara Vidyalaya in comparison to the city metropolis might that has produced a galaxy of top notch national batsmen, performing the rare honours. It is significant that the youngster rode a moon like ascension displaying immense endurance of the typical Test cricket demands that has set him apart as a batsman with the temperament to adjust to any given situation.
Of a handful, Pathum Nissanka, born on May 18, 1998, is the fourth Sri Lankan to a debut ton after Brendon Kuruppu, Romesh Kaluvitharana and Thilan Samaraweea He commands a stunning first class record of 3, 445 runs off 33 outings with a great average of 67.54.