9th August 1998
When the Sri Lankans return to Northampton, their World Cup base, next May they are unlikely to be greeted by temperatures as high or an outfield as glassy and fast as they enjoyed at Wantage Road yesterday.
However, despite the friendly conditions, they scarcely looked at home in struggling to beat Northants by one wicket with 13 balls to spare after losing five men for 31 in nine frantic overs.
From 196 for four, in search of 228, they frittered away wickets in a slip-shod display which suggests that plenty of rough edges remain in advance of next Friday's triangular tournament opener, against South Africa at Trent Bridge.
Their top five all laid foundations but only the captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, with 69 from 72 balls, built an innings of any substance. He carried his side to the threshold of victory until, having seen Pramodya Wickremasinghe run out with the scores level, he picked out David Follett at backward square leg next ball.
Muttiah Muralitharan edged the winning runs past slip with last man Ravindra Pushpakumara, batting with a runner after aggravating a knee injury, at the other end.
Northants had rallied from 60 for five through an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 167 in 28 overs between David Sales and Jeremy Snape. The pair broke the stranglehold imposed by the spinners, Sales hitting a six and 10 fours in his 91 not out, while Snape's 78 runs came off as many balls.
Sri Lanka's reply was predictably forthright, boundaries accounting for 70 out of 101 in the first 15 overs before their advantage was so nearly squandered.
M.Loye st Kaluwitharana b Muralitharan 29
R.Bailey c Jayasuriya b Pushpakumara 0
K.Curran b Muralitharan 14
D.Sales not out 91
A.Penberthy b Dharmasena 5
T.Walton lbw b Dharmasena 0
J.Snape not out 78
Extras (1-b 2-lb 7-w) 10
Total (for five wickets - 50 overs) 227
Did not bat: David Ripley, Devon Malcolm, David Follett,
Fall of wickets: 1-1 2-41 3-49 4-60 5-60
Bowling: Jayasuriya 6-0-46-0, de Silva 3.5-1-26-0, Chandana 6-0-28-0, Dharmasena 10-1-27-2, Wickramasinghe 9-0-51-0, Pushpakumara 5.1-1-9-1, Muralitharan 10-1-37-2.
S.Jayasuriya lbw b Malcolm 31
R.Kaluwitharana c Sales b Penberthy 28
M.Atapattu st Ripley b Snape 28
A.de Silva c Taylor b Curran 26
A.Ranatunga c Follett b Penberthy 69
H.Tillekeratne b Follett 17
U.Chandana b Follett 0
K.Dharmasena lbw b Taylor 11
G.Wickramasinghe run out 1
M.Muralitharan not out 4
K.Pushpakumara not out 0
Extras (lb-9 w-7) 16
Total (for nine, 47.5 overs) 231
Fall of wickets: 1-47 2-74 3-117 4-129 5-196 6-196 7-223 8-227 9-227
Bowling: Malcolm 10-2-47-1, Taylor 10-0-45-1, Follett 10-0-51-2, Penberthy 4-0-26-2, Snape 10-0-38-1, Curran 3-1-11-1, Bailey 0.5-0-4-0
A dazzling 145 by right handed batsmen H.D. Ackermann helped South Africa 'A' to end the second day of the third unofficial four day cricket Test against Sri Lanka 'A' on 332 for 8 at the Uyanwatte Stadium in Matara yesterday.
Ackermann completed his second successive century on this series. He tore into the Sri Lanka 'A' bowling attack, which looked very ordinary in the face high class batting dished out by the South African 'A' side. The match will be continued today. South Africa 'A' who started from their overnight score of 196 for 3 added a further 126 for five wickets.
By Marlon Fernandopulle
There are no favourites and no underdogs when Sri Lanka and South Africa - two teams with impressive one-day credentials join England - the rejuvenated host nation to battle it out in a triangular tournament that promises to add colour and sparkle to the English cricket season.
For the first time in England the players of all participating countries will wear coloured clothing adding to the excitement. The sponsors Emirates have spared no pain in offering a spectacular hand crafted silver and gilt model dhow plus 15,000 Sterling pounds for the winners.
World champions Sri Lanka will feature in the curtain raiser when they take on South Africa at Trent Bridge on Thursday and then face England at Lords on Sunday.
After their phenomenal success at the last World Cup Sri Lanka has had their share of success, winning four coveted one-day tournaments in Sharjah, India and at home. The fact that none of their triumphs have been away from the Asian sub-continent has made the team determined to add this title to their glittering array of trophies back at home.
In addition Sri Lanka will be facing both South Africa and England when they begin their defence for the World Cup in nine months time in England. Thus the triangular will serve as a foreunner for the world champions to have a sniff at two of their opponents and more importantly the conditions they will encounter when the reigning champions begin their World Cup campaign.
As expected Arjuna Ranatunga's team had a slow and cautions start in England after acclimatizing to the conditions there and have now changed gear to be in full throttle on the eve of the triangular tournament. All their top order batsmen are in fine fettle with Marvan Atapattu, Hashan Tillekaratne, Arjuna Ranatunga and Russell Arnold crossing the three figure mark and Aravinda De Silva and Sanath Jayaruriya also making their presence felt with notable contributions.
The area of concern for the captain will no doubt be the bowling department. With the Lankan seamers unable to control their swing in English conditions and the importance of bowling wicket to wicket Arjuna Ranatunga will be hard pressed to contain the strong South Africans and the unpredictable Englishmen. But with the inclusion of Lanka's main strike bowler Chaminda Vaas the world champions should be a confident team when they take the field.
South Africa although plagued with injuries is still a force to be reckoned with. The professional manner in which they approach the game has made the South Africans a very competitive side. Their fielding has always been a cut above the rest and proved to be the match winner on many occasions. Hosts England have been striving to regain their rightful place and rediscover their lost touch in the one-dayers and the Tri-nation tournament is bound to be a steppping stone to that.
The English selectors have scouted around their counties to find the best team for the one-dayers and named a strong squad for this tournament. With 'new boy' Alec Stewart at the helm, the Englishmen will be eager to prove that they are second to none when playing on the home turf.
According to reports reaching Colombo a large contingent of Sri Lankans are expected to throng Trent Bridge and Lords to watch the world champions in action. Sri Lanka's encounter with England at Lords and the finals have been a sellout. Infact a few tickets which were available in Colombo were rushed back to London to cater to the demand over there.
There will be no sounds of the 'papare' as in Colombo or the rythmic beats of the steel band in Johannesburg. However the Lankans will be all keyed up to be on song as they entertain the English spectators with their spectacular style and art of play that has added a new dimension to the game.
LEEDS, England, Saturday (Reuters) - Nasser Hussain's determined 55 not out helped England take command of the fifth test against South Africa at Headingley on Saturday as the home side reached 141 for two at tea on the third day, an overall lead of 119.
Hussain looked precarious, at best, in the morning session but grew steadily in confidence throughout the afternoon to reach his half century from 164 balls in nearly three and a half hours with seven fours.
In partnership with his captain, Alec Stewart, Hussain added an unbroken 60 for England's third wicket making light of an unpredictable, patchy wicket that never allowed for comfortable batting.
Stewart's unbeaten 35 at tea came from just 58 balls and contained seven fours. Although he enjoyed some luck, he made most of it for himself with a positive, aggressive approach.
He was at the centre of a potentially pivotal over, the 43rd of the innings, soon after his arrival at the crease when he had just two runs. He off-drove Pollock for a boundary, was dropped by Jacques Kallis at second slip off the next ball, which also went for four, and then clipped the third ball behind square leg for another boundary.
Opener Mark Butcher was the only casualty of the afternoon session when he fell to the persevering Shaun Pollock for 37 from 107 deliveries with five fours in two hours and 17 minutes. Having beaten the bat more than any other bowler, Pollock finally found the edge and Brian McMillan held the catch at first slip.
By Annesley Ferreira
The lop sided seedings took a beating on the second day of the 83rd Senior Tennis Nationals worked off at the National Tennis Centre Courts at Greenpath yesterday.
No. 3 seed Sanjee Paramanathan was beaten by the unseeded Samitha Ranaweera in a three setter 5-7,6-3, 6-0 in the men's singles pre-quarter final. In other matches played yesterday, top seed Rohan de Silva, in the absence of last year's champion Jayaendra Wijeyesekera, had no difficulty in downing Rohan Peiris 6-1, 6-1 while the No 2 and 4 seeds too had easy passages into the quarter finals.
Rajeev Rajapakse,No 2 seed, beat Chamara Wijesinghe 6-3, 6-1 and Renouk Wijemanne, No 4 seed, beat Dasitha Gajanayake 7-5, 6-4.
In the Women's Singles, top seed Sobhini Wickremahewa beat Andrea Breher 6-0, 6-2 and bottom seed Shalini Pereira beat Umadanthi Dias 6-1, 6-3.
In other matches - Men's Singles quarter finals: Basitha Kariyawasam bt.Dinuka Ranaweera 6-3, 6-1; Manjula Weerakoon bt. Lahiru Jayasuriya 6-2, 6-0; Asiri Iddamalgoda bt Vanaka Gunawardena 6-1, 6-1; Upendra Walgampaya bt Ravi Munasinghe 4-6,7-3, 6-1.
Women's Singles pre-quarter finals: Dinali de Silva bt Manisha Abeywardena 6-2, 6-4; Saroka Gunatilleke w/o Anushka Rajiyah,
Over 45 Men's Singles quarter finals, Lal de Silva bt.N.Boralessa 6-1, 7-5; G.Indrakumar bt Daya Bandara 6-1,6-3.
Ratnams pulled off an exciting win over favourites Saunders in a penalty shoot-out in their Bristol League Division One final under flood- lights at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Ratnams beat Saunders in a penalty shoot-out when no scoring was done at full time and even extra time too failed to alter the decision.
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