Sri Lanka in SA

SL gain valuable batting time

2011-12-11 17:26
Tillakaratne Dilshan (Gallo Images)

Benoni - Four quick wickets in the morning session allowed Sri Lanka to give their batsmen much needed time in the middle on the third day of their drawn warm-up game against a South African Invitational XI at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Sunday.

After the second day, where the home team reached 323 for six, the tourists would have been worried about spending a good portion of the day bowling to the South African tail.

Instead, the Sri Lankans came out firing and rattled off the last four wickets of the South African innings in nine overs inside 36 minutes, as the hosts were bowled out for 357.

Seamer Dilhara Fernando doubled his tally of two overnight wickets, while Rangana Herath, with his slow left armers, picked up his third wicket of the match.

When bad weather called a premature end to the match, Sri Lanka had reached 207 for three wickets with Thilan Samaraweera (4 not out) and Angelo Mathews (1 not out) at the crease.

The Sri Lankan opening pair of Tillakaratne Dilshan (74) and Tharanga Paranavitana (100), had came out to blast their way through to a lunch total of 122 for no loss, at nearly six runs an over.

Dilshan departed soon after the afternoon session, caught by David Wiese off the bowling of Gerhardus Viljoen, with the score on 129.

It emerged, when Mahela Jayawardene walked in to the wicket, that regular number three Kumar Sangakkara was unable to bat having injured his hand fielding at backward point during the South African innings, while Kaushal Silva wore the gloves.

Sangakkara dived to stop a ball and split the webbing between the fingers on his right hand.

The Sri Lankan management said the injury was a minor one with the former captain expected to recover in two days.

Jayawardene did not contribute much though, as he was removed for 26, caught by Rilee Rossouw off Wiese.

Paranavitana kept going, reached his century from 161 balls before retiring out, to give other batsmen some batting time in the middle.

It became obvious that there would not be much more play as bad weather moved in, with bad light first forcing the umpires to call for early tea about 35 minutes before the scheduled break.

When play resumed, six balls were bowled before the players were again off for bad light.

The covers came on, and with them the rain, causing the match to be officially called off just before 16:00.


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