Barath: I feel great!

Colombo, Sri Lanka – Adrian Barath played a special innings on Monday as he recorded his maiden One-Day International century against Sri Lanka in the 1st ODI at Sinhalese Sports Club.

He made a stroke-filled 113 from just 129 balls in just his sixth ODI innings as the Windies made 145-5 off their 50 overs, before rain washed out the match.

The 20-year-old right-hander hit eight fours and two towering sixes over midwicket. His first 50 came off 70 balls and he required just another 49 balls to get the second 50 and reach the landmark. The innings more than doubled his previous best score of 50 made against Zimbabwe in Guyana in March, 2010.

He added 165 from 184 balls for the third wicket with Ramnaresh Sarwan, who made 75 from 100 balls – his 34th half-century on his return to international cricket. Barath became the second youngest West Indian to make an ODI century. In November, 2009, he became the youngest West Indian to make a Test century, when he scored 104 against Australia on debut at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Speaking after Monday’s knock Barath said he was clear in his mind what he had to do from the moment he went to the crease.
“From the very start we knew as a team it was very important for us to get a very good score on the board. It was unfortunate that we lost Chris [Gayle] and Darren [Bravo] early in the innings so I had to work the ball around and try to build a good partnership with Ramnaresh [Sarwan]. We knew we had to consolidate. We understood our roles and at that stage in the game it was just to knock the balls into the gaps and pick up the singles and twos, and play through that difficult period.”
He added: “The ball was moving around a lot early on in the innings and I was thinking it was a ‘220-pitch’ because the bowlers were getting the ball to swing. As the ball got a bit older things became a bit easier. Having him [Sarwan] at the other end helped me a lot in my innings. He spoke to me a lot while we were at the crease and urged me to keep going. I want to thanks him for his support.”
On reaching the century Barath said: “It was a great feeling. Before any series you always look to better you previous best score and add more to it, so to get my first ODI century here was great. I felt I played well and this innings means a lot to me especially as it pulled the team out of some trouble and put us in a good position to win the match, but unfortunately the rain came.
"Sri Lanka have a very good, experienced bowling attack with Murali, Malinga, Mendis, and Kula [Kulasekera]. Looking at that attack before the game, you sometimes wonder where the runs would come from, but it’s all about the self-belief and knowing that you can do the job. The team also has a lot of belief in me and it always helps when you have the full support of those around you. At the end of the day you have to back yourself. I had a clear understanding what was role was, and that was to knock the ball around and look for every scoring opportunity and not put myself under any pressure.”