Kumar Sangakkara has become only the 37th player to score 100 hundreds in one-day and first-class cricket.
The Sri Lankan legend achieved the milestone by completing his 39th one-day hundred while batting for Surrey in their Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final, against Yorkshire at Headingley.
Speaking to Sky Sports after his 121 off as many balls helped Surrey post 313-7, Sangakkara – who will retire from first-class cricket at the end of this domestic season – said: “It felt pretty good; I wasn’t really thinking about that because I was just told about it when I walked in!”
The 39-year-old, who scored over 28,000 international runs for his country, explained that he remains hungry at the crease thanks to a healthy work-life balance.
“I’ve been enjoying myself – I haven’t really stressed myself out, or frustrated myself by doing too much. I’ve had a good amount of rest away from the game,” he reflected.
“The set-up at Surrey is excellent. They really understand what players need and it’s that kind of balance and playing in a team of good players and people that helps keep you focused and fresh.”
Former England batsman Mark Butcher paid tribute to Sangakkara, saying the left-hander’s success was in part down to his mental toughness.
“I remember playing against Kumar in his early days; he clearly had all of the shots but he was impetuous.
“The thing that has changed as he’s got older is his mind; the beautiful control and balance are inbuilt. Yes, you have to practice and put the hours in.
“The thing that has pushed him into being a run-gathering machine is being able to keep things simple in the brain, repeat things time after time and not getting flustered.
“You never see him hurried, rushed or look as though a bowler has got his number.”
Sangakkara forged a fourth-wicket stand of 180 with Ben Foakes (86 off 88) to help propel Surrey towards a 24-run victory over Yorkshire.
Adam Lyth hit 75 at the top of the Yorkshire reply, but despite Jack Leaning’s 42 and a fifty from Peter Handscomb (60), the hosts fell short on 289-9 with Ravi Rampaul (3-54) the pick of the bowlers.
Surrey – who beat Yorkshire in last summer’s semi-finals – will now face Worcestershire in Saturday’s semi-final, while Nottinghamshire will travel to Essex in the last four on Friday after beating Somerset in an 834-run thriller.