Island Cricket

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sri Lanka ' A' sends strong message

Posted by Hilal

Sri Lanka-A currently touring South Africa have amassed 749-5 against a strong bowling attack.

The Island reports that this performance by Sri Lanka's second string will ensure the selectors have to take note as the national team's batting woes continue.

After a poor show by Sri Lanka’s middle order during the recent defeat to India in the five match ODI series, several young players have come up with noteworthy contributions in Sri Lanka ‘A’ tour of South Africa with four of them posting hundreds against a strong South African side in the first unofficial Test at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom yesterday.

In reply to 459 all out by South Africa ‘A’, the Sri Lankans made a massive 749 for five declared with Tharanga Paranavithana (159), Angelo Matthew (131), Thilina Kandamby (138) and Kaushal Silva (103*) all making hundreds.

Apart from the four centuries, all Sri Lankan batsmen made useful contributions with Upul Tharanga (61), Kanchana Gunawardene (80) and Dilruwan Perera (59*) making half-centuries.

The Sri Lankans declared, before lunch on the fourth day, but the game was heading for a high scoring draw.

Resuming from the overnight score of 640 for five, with three batsman having already post hundreds the previous day, Silva joined them yesterday morning and added an unbroken 111 run stand for the sixth wicket with Dilruwan Perera.

Silva also had added 142 runs for the fifth wicket with captain Kandamby. Earlier, Gunawardene and Paranavithana added 160 runs for the second wicket while Paranavithana teamed up with Matthews to put on 125 for the third wicket.

Batting for over five hours, Paranavithana faced 242 balls in his knock of 159 hitting 18 boundaries and a six and was caught behind by wicketkeeper Heino Kuhn off the bowling of fast bowler C.J. de Villiers.

Matthews too batted for over five hours and faced 218 balls for his 131 hitting 13 fours and a six and was caught behind, this time off the bowling of veteran fast bowler Johann Louw. Matthews was one of the two centurions in the tourists’ warm-up game against South African Airlines XI, where opener Upul Tharanga too got a hundred (169).

Kandamby, meanwhile, only faced 181 balls for his 138 and hit 14 boundaries and a six and was out when he offered fast bowler Henry Davis a return catch.

There were also four South Africa ‘A’ bowlers who went for over 100 runs and South African international Thandi Tshabalala’s off spin went for 228 runs. He picked up the wickets of Tharanga and Gunawardene after bowling a marathon 50 overs.


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