Sport

Dialog-ST 2019: Pete Santhush batting prodigy par excellence

11 February 2019 - 37   - 0

Santhush Gunatilaka, the ace Peterite batsman became the first to reach the 1000-run mark in the Singer Division I Under-19 Cricket Tournament in the 2018/19 season. 

Gunatilaka scored his 4th consecutive century against D.S. Senanayake College to announce his entry to the 1000-run club. 

The Sri Lanka Under-19 Cricket coloursman has totaled 1,077 runs in the ongoing tournament in 11 outings. 

His tally of runs includes a double century, 6 centuries and 3 scores over 50. 

His highest individual inning was an unbeaten 252 against Ananda. 

The Peterite continued his success of the previous year that enabled him to win a place in the Sri Lanka Under-19 squad. 

By playing in the Sri Lanka Under-19 team, Gunatilaka had gained a lot of experience. 

This year he had worked a lot with his coaches, and with that knowledge and experience, he planned to do well this year too. 

This resulted in him reaching the milestone of 1000 runs in the Division I tournament first. 

When asked of how he gets about building up a long inning, Gunatilaka said that, as he prepares to bat he is a bit tentative to deliveries moving outside the off-stump. 

To get rid of it, the tall Peterite would rotate the strike as much as he can, till he gets his eye in. Once he feels that he is in good shape, he opens up. 

Gunatilaka has the advantage of height. 

With one stride he is capable of picking the length of the off-spinners to clatter the ball to the ropes. 

His reach has caused lots of problems to the opposing bowlers in finding the right line and length. 

Gunatilaka scores most of his runs in the 'V' with crisp drives, and enjoys seeing the red cherry whistling past the bowler either side of the wicket to the fence. 

As a right arm fast medium bowler who opens the attack, Gunatilaka would get the initial breakthrough and make way for the other bowlers to keep the batsmen quiet.

He has a total of 25 wickets in the bag at the moment. 

His best was a 5-for against De Mazenod College, Kandana. 

His height again plays a major role in bowling, as he is capable of lifting the ball off a good length. 

As a Sri Lanka junior cricketer and a senior member of the team, Gunatilaka always advises the junior members of the side to enjoy the game. 

The youngsters play the game with the idea of playing at a highest level. 

As the Under-19 World Cup is around the corner, he motivates them to do well in school cricket, to catch the eyes of the selectors.

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