Sri Lanka Emerging Players 398-9 v
Tour Match, Matara, day one
With all the hype surrounding the contract dispute between the Sri Lankan players and the board, it would be easy to forget that the upcoming Test series in Sri Lanka involves two sides. It was the second of those sides, Bangladesh, who began their preparations today ahead of Friday’s first Test and encountered problems of their own against a Sri Lanka Development XI, some of whom may well make their Test debuts in five days time.
22 year-old left-hander Kithuruwan Vithanage hit a career-best 157 not out for the Sri Lankans and added 159 with all-rounder Ashan Priyanjan for the fifth-wicket after the tourists had had the better of the first session.
Openers Ashen Silva and Udara Jayasundera did add 52 in little more than 13 overs, but Sohag Gazi led a Bangladesh fightback by bowling Jayasundera for 20. Gazi also removed captain Angelo Perera for 15 and would comfortably end as the pick of the tourists’ attack with five for 103.
The rest of the Bangladesh bowlers were either innocuous or wayward as all seven of them contributed to an alarmingly high run rate for the day of 4.43. The seamers, Rubel Hossain and Abul Hasan, both conceded in excess of four an over for a solitary success, while Gazi received precious little back-up from his fellow spinners. Elias Sunny got through almost 17 overs at a cost of 74 runs, while the part-time offerings of Mominul Haque, Mohammad Ashraful, Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah weren’t overly effective.
In truth, a little rustiness was perhaps expected from a group of players that have had little red-ball cricket of late and have been immersed in the Bangladesh Premier League for the past couple of months. After all, compared to Sri Lanka, their problems ahead of the first Test are mere trifles.
The home side have been forced to delay their squad announcement for the first Test until later today as chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya is meeting the players in an effort to find an eleventh hour compromise.
© Cricket World 2013
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