Sri Lanka v England: Keaton Jennings thanks his dad after unbeaten century in Galle


The opening batsman hit 146 not out to put England in a commanding position in the first Test

Keaton Jennings dedicated his unbeaten century in Sri Lanka on Thursday to his dad, Ray.

Jennings hit 146 not out in 280 balls to put England in a strong position in the first Test at Galle.

Keaton Jennings raises his bat after hitting the century during the first Test

England declared on 322 for six to leave the home side chasing a world record score of 462 to win with two days left in the match.

It was Jennings’ second Test ton with the first coming on the tour to India in 2017 on his debut.

The 26-year-old thanked his dad Ray, who was also a professional cricketer, for the work he’s done leading up to the series.

Keaton Jennings on his way to an unbeaten 146 during in Galle

Keaton Jennings on his way to an unbeaten 146 during in Galle

Speaking to talkSPORT, Jennings said: “It’s been an unbelievable day for myself. I suppose I was feeling the pinch coming into the Test match but just really pleased to just drive us into a position where we can win the Test match.

“In the last couple of weeks I have tried to nail down and graft a little bit with my dad and a couple of other people.

“I suppose today is more of a thank you to them for the work they have put into me and just really honoured and privileged.

“He’s in South Africa at the moment and he will head off to Mauritius on holiday in a couple of weeks’ time so a big thank you to him.”

Jennings was under pressure coming into the Test series after a string of poor performances.

He averaged just 19.2 opening the batting in the matches he played against Pakistan and India. In this Test he has scored as many runs as he did all summer.

Despite that he has still enjoyed being part of a team that has been winning games.

Keaton Jennings after scoring his century

Keaton Jennings after scoring his century

He said: “I have loved the last six months regardless of personal performance, I have loved being involved and have loved the guys have gone about setting up the team and have really loved my time.

“I have always said when you are winning Test matches or winning games of cricket that’s where you want to be playing regardless of personal performance. It just makes it a bit more special when you add to a win or hopefully add to a win.

“To beat India the way we did during the summer was really special to be a part of.”

Keaton Jennings

Keaton Jennings

The Lancashire opener, born in South Africa, has a new opening partner for the first Test following Alastair Cook’s retirement in the summer.

Rory Burns score nine runs in the first innings and 23 in the second but Jennings praised his approach to Test match cricket.

He said: “Burnsy has played fantastically well and seemed unfazed by everything that is going on.

“He just seemed to go about his work beautifully. He’s a fantastic lad and I have really enjoyed my time with him.

“It’s amazing the different feeling you get from a bloke when you join changing rooms and I have really enjoyed my time with him so far.”

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