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Virender Sehwag is the fourth player to score a century on Test debut this year?
(16 November 2001)

When Virender Sehwag scored his rearguard century at Bloemfontein, scribes waxed forth about his entry into an exclusive club, that of players to score centuries on Test debut. Of late, however, it appears that the doorman to the club can be bribed, for no less than four batsmen have already forced their way in, denuding it somewhat of its exclusive image.

The first of these upstarts, Zimbabwe's Hamilton Masakdaza, debuted against West Indies at Harare. An indifferent first innings for the home side saw West Indies take a sizeable lead; Masakdaza, however, inspired his team to a mammoth second-innings total. His knock of 119 not only ensured an honourable draw for Zimbabwe, but also garnered him the Man of the Match award.

The second centurion, admittedly, did not come to the crease in such dire circumstances. Thilan Samaraweera joined Hashan Tillakaratne with Sri Lanka at 416/6, replying to India's first-innings total of 234 in the series-deciding third Test at Colombo. The two batsmen clung limpet-like to their wickets, picking runs calmly off a hapless Indian attack. In the process, Samaraweera (103*) ensured that Sri Lanka did not have to bat again; his side went on to win by an innings and 77 runs.

Sri Lanka was involved in the third case as well, albeit at the receiving end. Playing Bangladesh at Colombo in a one-off Test, the home team bowled their rivals out for a measly 90 and then proceeded to rack up 555/5 declared. Bangladesh showed more spine in the second innings, though. Joining Aminul Islam at 81/4, debutant Mohammad Ashraful took 114 runs off a Muttiah Muralitharan-speared Sri Lankan attack. Although his side finally lost by an innings and 137 runs, Ashraful impressed the star Sri Lankan off-spinner so much that Muralitharan handed over his Man of the Match cheque to the Bangladeshi youngster.

For more details on all the above facts check out [ StatsGuru ]



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