Sri Lanka’s Warnapura plays down maiden Test hundred

PROVIDENCE, Guyana, March 23, 2008 (AFP) – Malinda Warnapura feels he has a long way to go before anyone can put his name in the same bracket with Sanath Jayasuriya. The left-hander was speaking after he collected his maiden Test hundred against West Indies on the opening day of the opening Test at the Guyana National Stadium.

Warnapura made 120 playing in his third Test to lead Sri Lanka to 269 for four in their first innings when stumps were drawn, after they chose to bat in ideal conditions.

The retirements of Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu have left vacant spots at the top of the Sri Lanka batting line-up, and Warnapura is the latest choice of the national selection committee to try and fill the void.

“I don’t feel any pressure from the expectations that I can replace Sanath Jayasuriya,” Warnapura told reporters after the day’s play.

“I am not Sanath Jayasuriya. I am only a player who has been given an opportunity, and I will have to take the chance and prove that I am good enough to play for Sri Lanka.”

The 28-year-old Warnapura believes that the Sri Lankans’ good fortune of having to play their only warm-up match prior to the Test at th