Lankans have a good knock in the middle

Practice match against the Netherlands
By M. Shamil Amit

Sri Lanka geared up for the forthcoming ICC World Cup in style with a convincing 156 runs win over Netherlands in a warm up encounter played at the SSC grounds yesterday. The Lankans sent their opposition on a leather hunt as they amassed a score of 351 for 5 in their 50 overs which they achieved without the assistance of their two top players in skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.

Sri Lanka skipper Sangakkara winning the toss and electing to bat saw openers Upul Tharanga and T.M. Dilshan getting the real match practice they needed with the duo given the side a roaring start by putting on 117. Tharanga was unfortunate to miss out on a half ton making a knock of 47. Dilshan in the process was associated in another 50 runs stand for the second wicket with Thilan Samaraweera before being dismissed. He made a run a ball knock of 78 which had 12 boundaries.

The partnerships continued with Angelo Mathews who joined Samaraweera adding 60 runs for the third wicket with the partnership coming off just 54 which came to an end with the latter retiring with the score on 227 for 3 in the 36th over.

Mathews did not last long being sent back to the pavilion three balls later at the same score. Chamara Silva and Chamara Kapugedera frustrated the Netherlands bowler further with the pair putting on 94 runs for the fifth wicket.

Silva made a quick fire 54 in only 33 balls inclusive of seven boundaries. Kapugedera remained unbeaten on 50 from 41 balls and along with Nuwan Kulasekera added 30 runs. Netherlands in their run chase were rattled by the pacies as they were made to struggle for their runs. They lost their first four wickets with the score on just 37 in the 12th over.

Some resistance put in by skipper Bas Zuiderent and Tom de Grooth who together added 80 runs for the fifth wicket followed by a 62 runs stand for the seventh wicket between Grooth who made a top score of 76 and Atse Buurman was insufficient as the late order batting failed which saw them being restricted to a score of 195.

Of the Sri Lanka bowlers pacie Dilhara Fernando was the most successful ending with figures of 4 for 43 while Thisara Perera and Rangana Herath shared four wickets between them.

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