Australia v Sri Lanka Tests

Debutant de Silva joins exclusive club

Only five players have cleared the rope with their first scoring shot in Test cricket, with Sri Lanka's Dhananjaya de Silva the latest

Cricket Network

27 July 2016, 09:57 AM

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In an innings Sri Lanka would likely rather forget, young batsman Dhananjaya de Silva produced a memorable feat that saw him join one of Test cricket's most exclusive clubs.

The right-handed batsman was handed his maiden Test cap ahead of the first Test in Kandy and was immediately thrown in the deep end, coming out to bat with his team in trouble at 4-43.

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The 24-year-old saw off four deliveries from Steve O'Keefe without opening his account, before he patched on to the first delivery of O'Keefe's next over, dispatching the left-arm spinner straight down the ground for six.

In doing so, he became just the fifth batsman to have hit a six as their first scoring shot in Test cricket.

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The last cricketer to manage the feat was New Zealand spinner Mark Craig, who smashed the first ball he ever faced in Test cricket for six against the West Indies at Jamaica's Sabina Park in June 2014.

Zimbabwe’s Keith Dabengwa launched his Test career with a six off Black Caps great Daniel Vettori in Bulawayo in August 2005.

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Prior to that, no player had achieved the feat since 1986, when West Indies batsman Carlisle Best dispatched England legend Ian Botham for six at Sabina Park.

Australian Eric Freeman was the first recorded member of the club, starting his 11-match Test career in style against India at the Gabba in 1968.

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De Silva, who was dismissed for 24 by Nathan Lyon, was the only Sri Lankan batsman to score more than 20 against Australia.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 117 – their lowest-ever first-innings total against Australia. Their previous lowest total was 174 in 2011.

It was their fourth lowest overall total against Australia. The lowest was 97, scored in Darwin in 2004.

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