THE plaudits flowed like the runs off Shashan Silva’s bat after the Sri Lankan import made a match-winning 155 for Dennington in Saturday’s win over Nirranda.
Silva’s unbeaten innings, which included 14 boundaries, was his first century in Warrnambool and District Cricket Association division one ranks after making his debut with the Dogs last season.
The 24-year-old’s performance is unlikely to be forgotten by those who witnessed it at Dennington Recreation Reserve.
Nirranda coach, premier bowler Jason Mungean, said Silva’s knock had been sublime.
“Unbelievable,” he said.
“It’s probably the best hundred I’ve seen and I’ve been playing for 30 years.
“He timed everything like you wouldn’t believe it … he was unbelievable.”
Mungean, who watched Merrivale’s Josh Stapleton plunder an unbeaten 180 against his side in round two, said Silva’s innings was superior.
“Ten times better,” he said.
“It was chanceless.
“We had a couple of LB shouts and they weren’t really even shouts.
“We were just trying to get into his head a bit.
“He just played good cricket shots.
“I think he did one slog for the whole day.
“He cover drove beautifully.
“He’s a typical Sri Lankan, real wristy. It was elegant. I hate to say it, it was good to watch.”
Silva, who picked up two wickets with his right-arm medium pacers last week, was unable to be contacted for comment yesterday.
Dennington captain Dustin Drew said his teammate was highly credentialed, playing with the Colombo Colts in Sri Lanka, with first-class experience.
He said he trained daily in Sri Lanka alongside Colts players, including national representative Angelo Matthews.
Drew said Silva, brought to Australia by former Dennington recruit Sammy Kandage, who now lives in Melbourne, was enjoying his second season in the WDCA.
“I think they are better players second year around because they know what to expect … the conditions, when to expect it, what to expect just living in Australia.”
He said Silva brought up the ton with a cover drive.
“There were no celebrations,” he said.
“He’s pretty level-headed.”
The left-hander batted at number four and found himself at the crease at 2-31 chasing Nirranda’s 151 set last week.
When number three Josh Squires was dismissed for seven, the Dogs were vulnerable at 3-66. But Silva and stalwart wicketkeeper Jamie Fogarty (75) combined for a 190-run stand for the fourth wicket to seal a big victory.
The win lifted Dennington to second on the ladder and left it one of two undefeated teams after four rounds.
“It’s all going well,” Drew said.
“It’s great for the confidence but it’s one game at a time.
“I said to the boys, let’s just keep doing what we are doing and other sides have to worry about us.”
Mungean said his Nirranda side was looking forward to Saturday’s match against Brierly-Christ Church.
“We got some early wickets and at 3-66 I thought we were in the game but Silva took over and Jamie Fogarty held up the other end and worked the ones,” he said.