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By Julian Guyer
Leeds: June 22, 2014
Scoring a maiden Test century was “the stuff dreams are made of”, England batsman Sam Robson admitted after reaching three figures for England against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Saturday. Australia-born opener Robson had endured a difficult debut in the first of this two-Test series where, despite the match being played at Lord’s, his Middlesex home ground — he managed scores of just one and 19.
But it was a different story in Leeds where he made 127 on the second day of the second Test in an England first innings total of 320 for six. But, with Sri Lanka taking four wickets after tea, England led by a mere 63 runs at stumps to leave both the match and series intriguingly poised.
Robson’s innings was especially heartening for an England side now without two former top-order mainstays in the South Africa-born duo of Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen after fellow top six new boy Gary Ballance had got to three figures during the draw at Lord’s.
“It’s worked out unbelievably well…Test hundreds are the stuff dreams are made of,” Robson said.
“It’s been a special day … one I certainly won’t ever be forgetting. I tried to get myself in and get the team into a decent position and the more time you spend at the crease the more comfortable you feel. I felt good in the middle.”
The 24-year-old right-hander celebrated a century scored in front of a Headingley crowd that included his parents, in relatively restrained fashion.
“I was just trying to soak it all up really, such a special, unbelievable moment,” Robson explained. “I didn’t know what to do … run around? Just carry on? I just tried to enjoy what was an unbelievable feeling.
“Ian Bell at the other end said ‘just enjoy the moment, take your time’. I raised my bat and did just that.”
Robson, the son of an English-born mother, has found himself having to confront questions about his commitment to England almost from the time he arrived in London as a teenager. But, not for the first time, he insisted Saturday he felt no conflict of loyalties.
“I came to England when I finished school, moved over here and have been here six or seven years. I’ve loved every minute of playing for Middlesex, and loved living in London.
“I’ve got a great life here. This is where my life is at really. The way the rules were, going back (to Australia) and playing there wasn’t really an option anyway.
“There was a chance to play some domestic cricket there in the winter, but I was with the Lions group and the England Performance Programme, and that was the end of it really,” added Robson, who made five hundreds in six matches for England’s second-string Lions.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was encouraged by the way his side fought back in Saturday’s final sessionm saying it augured well for the remainder of the match.
“England batted really well in the first two sessions but we had a great comeback,” he said. If we can get them out for under 400 we have a chance and we can put them under pressure.
“England will bat in the fourth innings and our spinner Rangana Herath will come into the game.”
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