Three innings, four centuries. Kurtis Patterson just loves batting against Sri Lanka.

The classy left-hander joined Australia’s Canberra century club on day two of the second Test, bringing up his maiden ton early in the second session.

He finished unbeaten on 114 after captain Tim Paine’s declaration at 5-534, taking his run-tally against Sri Lanka this summer to 403 at a remarkable average of 403 including twin tons in last month’s tour match in Hobart.

It only took ‘KP’ two innings to become a Test centurion, following on from a gritty 30 against the swinging pink ball under lights at the Gabba on debut.

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The New South Welshman was particularly strong against the short ball, playing several eye-catching pull shots through mid-wicket.

After waiting nearly four hours with the pads on at Manuka Oval while Joe Burns (180) and Travis Head (161) combined for a record-breaking 308-run fourth-wicket stand, Patterson came out to bat late on day one.

Given a life first ball when Lahiru Thirimanne dropped the simplest of catches at bat-pad off spinner Dhananjaya de Silva’s bowling, Patterson made the Sri Lankans pay.

He was unbeaten on 25 at stumps and got through a tough morning session against the swinging ball before lifting the tempo and making scoring look easy.

With family and friends watching on in the grandstands and his skipper at the other end, Patterson raced from 88 to 97 in the space of four deliveries before nervously negotiating five consecutive dot balls.

But a cracking stroke through the covers for three off debutant Chamika Karunaratne got him to a memorable milestone.

It has been a remarkable 16 days in Patterson’s cricket career.

The 25-year-old got a Test call-up following a stunning performance against Sri Lanka in last month’s tour match in Hobart, scoring unbeaten knocks of 157 and 102 respectively.

He was added to the squad for the two-Test series before getting the nod ahead of the supremely-talented Will Pukovski and Queensland opener Matt Renshaw.

After no Australian Test player reached triple-figures in 113 days, Burns, Head and Patterson all got there in the space of 24 hours in promising signs ahead of this year’s highly-anticipated Ashes series.

All three of Australia’s centurions were let off the hook by poor fielding from Sri Lanka, with Burns (34) and Head (87) also getting dropped.

It adds further intrigue to the make-up of the top-six, with banned former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner expected to slot straight back in when available.

Australia declared midway through the second session with Paine not out on 45, combining with his second-gamer for an unbeaten 130-run sixth-wicket stand.