Sri Lanka have played 294 Tests since playing their first match in the format in 1982. Interestingly, out of 155 players to have represented the island nation in the longest format of the game, only four have scored a century on their Test debut.
Four Sri Lankan players to have scored a Test century on debut:
Interestingly, Sri Lanka have won only one Test when a debutant scored a Test century. On that note, let's have a look at the four instances when a Sri Lankan player scored a century on Test debut.
#1 Brendon Kuruppu (201)
Former Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon Kuruppu had a memorable Test debut.
He scored an unbeaten 201 against New Zealand on his Test debut in 1987. While the rest of the batsmen struggled, Kuruppu, who opened the batting. contributed 201 in the Sri Lankan total of 397. He batted patiently for 548 balls, scoring 24 boundaries.
The Test ended in a draw. He represented Sri Lanka in three more Tests after his debut but could not make much of an impact. Kuruppu holds the record for being the only wicketkeeper-batsmen to score a double hundred on Test debut.
#2 Romesh Kaluwitharana (132)
Another Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman, Romesh Kaluwitharana, scored a century in his first Test. He played 49 Tests for the island nation, scoring 1933 runs and three centuries.
On his Test debut against Australia at the SCC in Colombo in 1992, Australia were bowled out for 256. In response, Sri Lanka reached 367-5 when Kaluwitharana came out to bat.
The right-hander scored 132 off 158 balls, with 26 boundaries. The Australian bowlers comprising of Craig McDermott, Mike Whitney, Shane Warne, Tom Moody, and Greg Matthews looked clueless against the debutant.
Despite eking out a significant 291-run first-innings lead, Sri Lanka faltered in a chase of 180, falling short by 16 runs.
#3 Thilan Samaraweera (103*)
Sri Lankan middle-order batsman Thilan Samaraweera had an illustrious Test career. He averaged 48.77 in 132 Test innings.
Samaraweera had an impressive start to his Test career in 2001 against India. After the visitors were bowled out for 234 in their first innings, with Muralitharan picking up eight wickets, Samaraweera came out to bat at no. 8 and scored an impressive century.
It was the fourth hundred in the Sri Lanka's innings. Samaraweera remained unbeaten on 103 and hit ten boundaries as Sr Lanka won the Test by an innings and 77 runs.
#4 Pathum Nissanka (103)
The 22-year-old Pathun Nissanka played a match-saving innings for Sri Lanka on his Test debut against West Indies this year.
After West Indies took a 102-run first-innings lead, Sri Lanka had their backs against the wall. However, Nissanka, on his Test debut, played a calm and mature innings on Day 4 of the Test.
Coming in to bat at no. 6, he scored the only century of the Test for Sri Lanka. His innings of 103, coming off 252 deliveries, included six boundaries.