Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, 1st Test, Kandy

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Revamped batting approach yields Sri Lanka captain’s highest Test score

Be patient until you get settled at the crease, then trust yourself to catch up on the scoring rate later. This, essentially, is what Dimuth Karunaratne told himself as he made a start on the innings that produced his highest Test score.

Karunaratne’s 244 off 437 balls was the highest individual score by a Sri Lanka batsman since 2014, and only their second double century in six years. It allowed the hosts to surpass Bangladesh’s 541 for 7 declared, and made safe their situation in the game.

Karunaratne said three failures during the recent Tests in the West Indies had prompted a re-think in his Test batting approach, and helped yield these results. He’d made scores of 12, 3 and 1 in the Caribbean, before finishing that tour with a 75.

“In the West Indies I was trying to score runs quickly in the first few overs and really get among the runs,” he said. “But because that was unsuccessful I talked to the coach and asked him what I was doing wrong. He said as an opener just wait until you get set, because when you do that you make a big score, and that’s your game.”