Dimuth Karunaratne plays one down the ground as Quinton De Kock looks on © Getty Images
Dimuth Karunaratne plays one down the ground as Quinton De Kock looks on © Getty Images

Dimuth Karunaratne played a lone hand for Sri Lanka in the first Test which began today against South Africa at Galle and ended up carrying the bat through the innings with 158 not out. Apart from him, no one else crossed the 30-run mark for Sri Lanka. It was a disappointing batting performance by the other Sri Lankan batsmen as the South Africans managed to dismiss them on a first-day pitch with comparative ease. In fact, the last-wicket stand of 63 between Karunaratne and Lakshan Sandakan was the highest in the innings for Sri Lanka.

Karunaratne is the 47th batsman to have carried the bat through a completed innings in a Test match. Four batsmen— Bill Woodfull, Len Hutton, Bill Lawry and Glenn Turner — have done this twice, of whom Woodfull was the first. Two others — Desmond Haynes and Dean Elgar — have accomplished this feat thrice. In fact, Haynes could have had 5 such instances to his name; he was the last man out in both innings of the Dunedin Test vs New Zealand in 1979-80 with 55 and 105 in a low-scoring thriller which New Zealand won by 1 wicket.

Karunaratne became the fourth Sri Lankan, after Sidath Wettimuny, Marvan Atapattu and Russell Arnold, to achieve the feat of carrying the bat through the innings. Here is the detailed description of these innings:

Player Runs Total % Team Against Venue Season Runs Count
Sidath Wettimuny 63* 144 43.8% Sri Lanka New Zealand Lancaster Park 1982-83 63 1
Marvan Atapattu 216* 428 50.5% Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Bulawayo 1999-00 216 1
Russel Arnold 104* 231 45.0% Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Harare 1999-00 104 1
Dimuth Karunaratne 158* 287 55.1% Sri Lanka South Africa Galle 2018 158 1

Karunaratne also became the 34th batsman to record a century while carrying the bat through a completed inning. Only Len Hutton has achieved this feat twice out of all the centurions in this category. The highest score while carrying the bat through an innings remains Alastair Cook‘s monumental 244* against Australia at Melbourne in 2017-18. Karunaratne’s 158* is the 15th-highest score for an opener in a carrying-bat-through effort.