Dinesh Chandimal rated his hundred in the ongoing second Test against Bangladesh as his best Test century yet.

Chandimal, who came to the crease when Sri Lanka were 25 for 2 on the first day, completed his eighth Test century in the first session of day two yesterday, before he was caught at midwicket for 138.

“(That was) My number one century in Test cricket so far, because I batted four sessions. I’ve never batted four sessions in my Test career. So I rated this number one,” Chandimal said. “Our team was in a difficult situation, because we lost three wickets for about 30 runs. At that point I had the responsibility as a batsman to see how I can take the team to 250 or more. The conditions were difficult so I had to think how I can take it run by run and how to score against the different lengths that the bowlers bowled. This was a good innings.”

Chandimal also credited coach Graham Ford for his encouragement during difficult times, more recently on the tour of South Africa, and that he had finally found his rhythm after a finger injury last year.

“I was not in the runs in South Africa but I felt I was playing well in practice and the nets and he (Ford) kept telling me that I was close to scoring a big innings. Even on the way back from South Africa he told me that he was expecting me to make one or two big scores in the near future. I think it really helps a player mentally when a coach has that kind of faith in his players. I have to also say that after my finger injury, I couldn’t even hold a bat for months, and I went to South Africa and I couldn’t find my rhythm because there was a lack of practice. But I spent a lot of time batting during practice sessions and I think I found that rhythm again,” Chandimal said.

He added that the criticism he received on social media had spurred him to score this century, saying such criticism was expected as an international cricketer.

“I think when you’re an international cricketer, you should expect that from social media, and the media. I think we can’t scold them or praise them, they are just doing their jobs. We have to bow our heads and correct our faults. That’s the only thing we can do as sportsmen. And not just cricket, even in our personal lives we have ups and downs, so there were some good people who were there to encourage me and just like that there were people who slung mud at me on social media. I think I took a lot of strength from those people to score this hundred, and those are things we can’t control. We can only control our performances and have a positive mentality and play,” he said.