Island Cricket

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sri Lanka off and running in Guyana

Nation News (Barbados): Malinda Warnapura stroked a century and captain Mahela Jayawardene fell just short of another, as Sri Lanka's batting warmed up for the first Test against the West Indies with a solid display against the Guyana Cricket Board President's XI yesterday.

The left-handed Warnapura hit an accomplished 132, while Jayawardene fell on 99 as Sri Lanka closed the first day of their three-day warm-up match on 343 for five.

Warnapura reached the boundary 14 times and cleared it once in his 184-ball and 242-minute innings and shared in strong partnerships with Michael Vandort (29) and Jayawardene.

The captain, meanwhile, stroked 12 fours in his knock which came from just 110 balls in 122 minutes, before he was bowled on the brink of three figures.

Both openers should have been dismissed before lunch but Krishna Deosarran at gully, floored Vandort on four at 16 without loss, and Shemroy Barrington at bat-pad dropped Warnapura on 63 off leg-spinner Davendra Bishoo at 97 without loss, six minutes before the interval.

Watched by a handful of spectators, Sri Lanka reached 102 without loss by lunch with Warnapura (65) and Vandort (25) having things their own way on a flat track and fast outfield.

Thirteen minutes after lunch, the 22-year-old Bishoo made the breakthrough.

The left-handed Vandort missed a drive at a flighted delivery and was bowled for a patient 29 from 95 balls and 133 minutes, to facilitate the arrival of the experienced Kumar Sangakkara.

Warnapura, who reached his 50 from 102 minutes and 87 balls with seven boundaries, got to the three-figure score from 133 balls, 172 minutes decorated with 13 fours and a six off Bishop.

West Indies Under-19 skipper Shamarah Brooks struck in his first over when Sangakkara, dropped by Chris Barnwell off his own bowling on 22 at 170 for one, missed a lazy paddle sweep and was bowled behind his back for 22 to leave the score 174 for two.

Jayawardane, lucky to survive a chance to Kemar Roach at deep mid-wicket off Steven Jacobs when six at 181 for two, executed an array of elegant strokes to reach his 50 just before tea off 47 balls.

By tea, Sri Lanka had reached 253 for two with Warnapura on 132 and Jayawardane on 50, with the partnership already worth 79.

Warnapura retired "out" during the tea break and Jayawardane and Thilann Samaraweera put together 68 for the fourth wicket in the final session before the skipper was bowled behind his back by a straight ball from Jacobs at 321 for four.

Samaraweera, who hit two fours from 101 balls and 115 minutes in his 34, was run out three minutes before the close.

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