Dilshan steers Sri Lankans to satisfying win
Sri Lankans 6 for 156 (Dilshan 75*, Jayasuriya 43) beat Prime Minister's XI 152 (Noffke 30, Malinga 3-33, Maharoof 3-37) by four wickets
Australia's depth is being closely analysed in the wake of another international retirement and the next tier did not do much to ease the immediate worries as the Sri Lankans defeated the Prime Minister's XI by four wickets. The visiting bowlers floored some of Australia's best emerging talent for 152 in 38 overs on a springy pitch before Tillakaratne Dilshan guided them past a handful of mid-innings setbacks.
The Sri Lankans were easing towards the target until Sanath Jayasuriya fell for 43 and they became slightly anxious about the small total when they lost six wickets by the time they reached 134. Jayasuriya, who struck six boundaries in his 48-ball stay, survived two tight lbw decisions off Ashley Noffke before scooping Doug Bollinger to Phillip Hughes at point.
Ben Hilfenhaus will join Noffke in Australia's Twenty20 side on Friday and he worked himself into form with the wickets of Kumar Sangakkara, who was lbw to a fine inswinger, and Mahela Jayawardene. Jayawardene also fell for 1 and edged another moving delivery to Cameron White at wide first slip. White, the captain, stepped in to take care of Chamara Silva (7) and Chamara Kapugedera (3) before Dilshan secured the victory in the 32nd over.
Dilshan's unbeaten 75 was well paced and his 83-ball contribution contained eight fours and a six that finished the match. The innings continued the strong work done by his bowling team-mates against an order that was desperate to impress the national selectors.
The Prime Minister's XI started well when Shaun Marsh and Luke Ronchi combined for a 49-run opening stand, but they lost 8 for 66 and had to rely on a late rally from Noffke and Bollinger. Marsh, who scored 25, started the slide by edging to the cordon, a similar dismissal to those of Luke Pomersbach and Hughes, before Ronchi misjudged a drive to mid-off on 26.
White missed a searing full delivery from Lasith Malinga and David Hussey had cruised to 23 when he played on to Farveez Maharoof, leaving the team at 6 for 97. A minor recovery was started by Noffke and Bollinger (11), but wickets continued to fall regularly and Noffke was the last out when yorked by Malinga for 30.
Malinga, the Man of the Match, finished with 3 for 33 off nine overs while Maharoof picked up 3 for 37 off eight. The Sri Lankans have another warm-up against Tasmania on Saturday before opening their CB Series campaign against India in Brisbane on Tuesday.