March 14, 2001

Sri Lankan youngsters start tour with narrow first innings loss

Inspired by a four-wicket burst from Oliver Thomas (4/28), a South Australian Invitation Under-19 team has narrowly taken away the honours from the first match of the Sri Lankan national under-19 team's current tour of Australia. The two-day encounter ultimately ended in a draw - with the South Australians at 0/63 in their second innings and holding an overall lead of eighty-three by the end - but not before there had been an exciting contest for a first innings victory.

In the final analysis, it was the right arm pace bowling of Thomas which played the deciding role. He took a wicket early in the Sri Lankan innings before returning to capture the last three and seal the twenty run first innings win for the locals at the Adelaide Oval No 2 ground.

But, for all of that, it was a generally satisfactory start to the Sri Lankans' tour. The visitors fielded fourteen of their sixteen-strong touring party -under the specialised rules in place for this match - and several of them turned in heartening performances. Particularly pleasing were the stylishly crafted half-centuries from captain Thilina Kandamby (56) and Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (56) today.

The local team had started proceedings in good style yesterday by assembling the respectable total of 274. Captain Andrew Crook (79) and wicketkeeper Jim Plant (49*) were the main contributors with the bat, while left arm paceman Chandana Nilantha (4/18) stole the show with the ball.