Karunaratne aims High and Far

He has scored 854 Test runs at an average of 77.63 in 2021, but as good as he has been this year, Dimuth Karunaratne has bigger goals in mind.

Karunaratne aims High and Far

Of Sri Lanka's Test batters, only Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have hit more than 10,000 runs. Karunaratne only has 5406 in the bank at present, but wants to be Sri Lanka's first opener with a five-figure tally to his name.

Karunaratne aims High and Far

"Scoring 10,000 runs is my main target. I don't know if I'll be able to achieve that, but that's what I've got in my mind," Karunaratne said after hitting 147 and 83 in Sri Lanka's 187-run victory over West Indies in Galle.

Karunaratne aims High and Far

"If I can continue this form, I'll be able to get close to 10,000 runs. I like to improve as much as I can, and whenever I finish a match, I'll go and check where I am on the Sri Lanka run charts, to figure out how many I need to score to pass someone."

Karunaratne aims High and Far

Karunaratne is within touching distance of three of Sri Lanka's best ever batters, in Thilan Samaraweera (5462 runs), Tillakaratne Dilshan (5492), and Marvan Atapattu (5502). Although he is already 33, what is encouraging about his record is that since 2018, he averages 47.97

Karunaratne aims High and Far

"If I score another 100-150 more runs, I think I can surpass a few more players," Karunaratne said. "I'd also like to play 100 Tests."

Karunaratne aims High and Far

His outstanding run tally in this match had come despite a long layoff from top-flight cricket - Sri Lanka having played their previous Test in early May (Karunaratne is no longer picked for ODIs).

Karunaratne aims High and Far

"With my calibre, I think if I get a start I can convert it into a big score. There was a nervous start in the first innings, but eventually I came into rhythm and that carried through into the second innings."

Karunaratne aims High and Far

Having now hit six consecutive 50-plus scores in Tests, Karunaratne is one shy of equalling the world record for such a streak. He has also struck four centuries since January.