Tim Paine's remarkable act of selflessness stuns cricket world

Australia have put Sri Lanka to the sword in the second Test in Canberra, declaring at 5-534 on day two after Kurtis Patterson became the hosts’ third centurion for the match.

Tim Paine’s first declaration since taking over as Australian captain came midway through Saturday’s middle session at Manuka Oval, ensuring Patterson had time to reach triple figures in just his second Test appearance.

The New South Welshman finished unbeaten on 114, while Paine was 45 not out.

Paine’d decision to declare stunned commentators and fans, considering he was just five runs short a half-century.

Tim Paine in action. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

He also could have been tempted to bat on and notch a maiden Test hundred, but showed his leadership by putting the team first.

Paine chose to put his teammates before his personal achievements in an effort to ensure the Aussies have enough time to win the Test.

It had fans praising the skipper on social media.

Patterson scores maiden Test ton

Having reached 74 not out at the end of the morning session, Patterson needed just 29 balls after lunch to bring up his milestone with an elegant drive through the covers.

Australia’s batsman had managed just one century in the past 12 months before arriving in Canberra, where Joe Burns (180), Travis Head (161) and Patterson ended the drought in emphatic fashion.

Burns added just eight runs to his overnight score before chopping onto his stumps off a delivery from Sri Lankan quick Kasun Rajitha.

But the Queenslander’s huge knock has ensured he will be part of Australia’s Ashes squad in a stunning turnaround after years in the Sheffield Shield wilderness.

Tim Paine congratulates Kurtis Patterson. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Patterson is certain to also be in the frame after building upon a composed 30 on debut in Brisbane.

The left-hander again impressed with his mastery of the short ball, unleashing his favoured pull shot to anything back of a length.

Dropped first ball on Friday, Patterson survived a tricky start to Saturday’s morning session when both Rajitha and Vishwa Fernando had the new ball swinging.

Sri Lanka’s makeshift bowling attack again struggled to make headway against an Australian side looking to cap off a difficult summer with a 2-0 series whitewash.

Burns’ career-best knock will go into the history books as the third highest individual total in an Australia-Sri Lanka Test match behind Michael Slater (219) and Kumar Sangakkara (192).

with AAP