Dilhara nudges selectors
By Marlon Fernandopulle
Speedster Dilhara Fernando indicated his readiness to regain his lost place by claiming three wickets for Sri Lanka Cricket Presidents eleven as the touring South Africa team were shot out for 226 on the second day of their three day game at Maitland Crescent yesterday. In reply the Sri Lanka Cricket Presidents eleven were 123 for the loss of one wicket at close.

Fernando who has been sidelined from the Lankan main line up due to injury in the recent past was at full throttle yesterday picking up three good wickets on a track that offered little assistance to seamers. His victims included both South African openers Graeme Smith, Andrew Puttick and wicket keeper batsman Mark Boucher. In a tight 14 over spell Fernando finished with 3 for 42. He was well supported by the other fastman in the side, Tharanga Laksita (3/59) and skipper Thilan Samaraweera (3/14).

The tourists who started the day at 34 for two wickets lost Jacques Kalis for 18 to be 59 for 3 wickets. But a fine 58 run stand for the 4th wicket between M. Van Jaarsveld (41) and J. Rudolph (49) saw South Africa to some respectability. Then skipper Thilan Samaraweera introduced himself and choked the tourists and snared three wickets in only 9.4 overs to send South Africa crashing to 226 all out. The tourists would have been in deeper trouble if not for a face saving 7th wicket stand between former South African captain Shaun Pollock(39) and Bota Dippennar(35). The stubborn seventh wicket stand was broken by Laksita when he induced Pollock to edge a delivery to wicket keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana.

Left hander Lance Klusner lasted just three balls before Lakshita castled his stumps. Thilan Samaraweera then wrapped up the tail picking up Boje and Hayward as South Africa were bowled out for 226. Enjoying a lead of 25 runs Sri Lanka Cricket Presidents Eleven lost opener Tharanga Paranavithana early with the total on 18. However their second wicket pair of Micheal Van dort and Russell Arnold frustrated the South African bowlers to add an unbroken 107 runs for the second wicket.

Van Dort as always looked elegant as he drove handsomely and played a few delightful shots off his legs. He rode his luck as he was dropped twice and escaped a stumping to be unbeaten on by the close. Russell Arnold who is also fighting to regain his place was unbeaten on a patient 38.


Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.