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31st May 1998

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Fleming smashes the ball...
N.Z. captain Stephen Fleming smashes Sri Lanka's spinner Niroshan Bandaratileke to the fence for four in the 4th day of the 1st Test. - Reuter photo by Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi
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Uphill task for Lanka

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Sri Lanka were left with a mountain to climb to save the First Test against New Zealand at the end of the fourth day's play at the R.Premadasa Stadium yesterday.

Needing 465 to win Sri Lanka finished the day on 111 for 2 wickets, still needing a further 354 runs to win or battle another 90 overs to force a draw.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming declared his innings at 444 for 6, leaving Sri Lanka 465 to win in over four sessions of play. Opener Sanath Jayasuriya started off in blazing style. He drove anything that was over pitched and was quick to pounce on the short delivery as boundaries flowed off his blade. This prompted Fleming to bring his spinners on in the 7th over. But Jayasuriya showed no respite, racing to his 50 in only 47 balls with 8 boundaries, as Sri Lanka went into tea at 60 for no loss.

Sri Lanka lost their first wicket when Atapattu was adjudged caught at forward short leg off bat-pad by Bryan Young, soon after tea. Spinners, Wiseman and Vettori bowled a tidy line and length, and Jayasuriya was pegged down and curbed from his usual strokes. After adding just 9 runs to his fifty in 43 balls, Jayasuriya was induced to a drive that got an outside edge to Bryan Young to complete the catch at slips.

Aravinda de Silva then joined Mahela Jayawardene, and the pair saw through the Kiwi spinners before stumps were drawn at 111 for 2 wickets, still needing to negotiate a minimum of 90 overs today to guide Sri Lanka to a draw. A tall order but not beyond the reach of the Lankan batsmen, who will have to put their heads down and play a disciplined innings.

When play resumed last morning New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming and Craig McMillan continued to pile on the agony for the Lankan bowlers as the pair put on a record breaking 240 runs for the 4 th wicket, eclipsing the earlier record of 82 held by John Reid and Steven Boocok in a Test at the CCC in 1983/84.

Both batsmen benefited from dropped chances to notch up their career best scores in Tests. Fleming surpassed his 129 against England, while Mcmillan reached his second century as the Kiwis went into lunch at a formidable 381 for 3 wickets.

While skipper Fleming was more cautious in his strokes, Mcmillan paid scant respect for the Lankan spinners as he unleashed six sixes and 13 fours in his 179 ball knock, before being caugth at deep mid-wicket by Kalpage off Muralitharan. The dismissal triggered off a minor collapse, as Adam Parore and Chris Cairns departed soon after failing in their attempt to accelerate the Kiwi total.

Fleming continued to send the Lankans on a leather hunt, as he kept the scoreboard ticking before he closed the innings an hour after the lunch break at 444 for 6 wickets, leaving Sri Lanka 465 to win from a minimum of 134 overs. The captain showed great stamina and concentration to remain unbeaten on 176 compiled from 332 deliveries which included, 15 boundaries and a six.

For Sri Lanka once again, Muttiah Muralitharan was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 4 for 139, giving him a matchbag of 9 for 229 and bringing his tally of wickets to 177 in 39 Tests. Debutant Niroshan Bandaratilake, although claiming only a wicket in each innings bowled well within himself to support Muralitharan.

New Zealand 1st innings 305 all out

Sri Lanka 1 st innings 280 all out

New Zealand 2nd innings 260/3 overnight

B. Young

lbw Bandarathilake b Muralitharan 11

(Playing back to a flighted delivery)

M. Horne ct Ranatunge b Murali 35

(Attempted shot off his legs mid wicket)

S Fleming not out 176

N. Astle ct Kalu b Jayasuriya 34

(Attemped off drive, thick outside edge)

C. McMillan ct R. Kalpage b. Murali 142

A. Parore ct R. Kalpage b. Murali 1

C. Cairns ct M. Jayawardena b. Murali 6 C. Harris not out 14

Extras: (b - 05, lb-08, nb-12) 25

Total: ( for 06 wickets declared) 444

Fall of Wickets: 1-11 2-68 3-160 4 - 400, 5-404, 6-416,

Bowling: P Wickremasinghe-7-0-21-0; N. Bandaratilake- 39-8-105- 1; A. de Silva- 2-1-4-0; M. Muralitharan- 36-5-139-4; M. Bandara- 8-0-38-0; R. Kalpage- 16-4-51-0; S. Jayasuriya- 15-0-63-1.

Sri Lanka 2nd innings

S. Jayasuriya ct Young b Wiseman 59

(Attempted drive, outside edge to slip)

M. Atapattu ct Young b Wiseman 16

(Playing forward, ct at forward sht. leg)

M. Jayawardena not out 13

A. de Silva not out 19

Extras: (lb-3,nb-) 4

Total: (for 2 wickets in 48 overs) 111

Fall of Wickets: 1- 70, 2-89

Bowling: S. Doull-3-0-15-0; C. Cairns-6-1-29-0; P. Wiseman- 18-5-36-2; D. Vettori 18-8-24-0; C. McMillan- 3-2-4-0.

Jayaweera heads UK cricket body

By M.H.M.Manasique

Sri Lanka's only representative at the International Cricket Council (ICC), London was recently replaced by a seven- member committee to activate affairs in England.

The newly appointed Ex-Co last month named former Royal skipper Asitha Jayaweera as the chairman bringing in the former solitary representative Dr.Daya Panditha Gunawardene to the committee alongside Ivan Corea, Deepal Dharmasekera, Deepal Ahangama, Allan Wahab, Thalath Ismail and Lucky Liyanage, according to officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka.

The newly appointed committee members who are residing in UK

will start to promote activities, including negotiations on major County contracts to Sri Lankan cricketers.

They will independently operate to update affairs of the BCCSL and a progress report will be submitted fortnightly. However, all affairs have to be consented by the Board President Thilanga Sumathipala.

Isipatana in grand win

Isipatana warmed up in style for next Saturday's crucial match against Royal when they scored a runaway 31 points (one goal, four tries and one penalty) to 3 (one penalty) win over Science College Mt. Lavinia in a Milo Inter School Zone One rugby match at Longden Place last evening.

Ananda win over PoW

By Saif Izzadeen

In a scrappy inter school rugby match Ananda produced an unimpressive 22 points (three tries and one goal) to 14 (two goals) win over Prince of Wales in a Milo Inter School Zone Two rugby match at Moratuwa last evening. The "maroon and gold" jerseys led 10-7 at half time.

Ananda scored four tries through centre Buddika de Silva, wingers Harshamana Panditharatne , Suranga Ruberu and fly half Janaka Jayawardena. Ananda fullback Indika Amadoru converted only one try from the four tries scored..For the Moratuwa lads winger Dimuthu Nelumika and centre Vajira Nuwan scored two tries which were converted by Saliya Asanga.

Trinity humbled

By Shane Seneviratne

This result took Kandy rugby circals by storm as St.Sylvester's created a sensation when they beat Trinity by 13 points to 6 in a Milo Central Province Inter-School rugby match at Nittawela last Friday. The "lions" led 6-3 at half time.

Trinity went ahead 3-0 in the second mintue when fly half Shan Kumar dropped a goal. St.Sylvester's hit back through a penalty by S.Niyadhagala which leveled the scores at 3-3.Trinity managed to get a slender 6-3 lead before half time when skipper Prasanna Jayawardena put over a penalty.a

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