NTCM XI v Sri Lankans, Darwin, 4th day June 27, 2004

Dilshan steers the Sri Lankans home

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Sri Lankans 378 for 7 dec and 187 for 5 (Dilshan 66*) beat Northern Territory Chief Minister's XI 419 and 145 for 9 dec by five wickets

Tillakaratne Dilshan: guided the Sri Lankans to a morale-boosting win © Getty Images

Tillakaratne Dilshan's patient 66 helped the Sri Lankans overhaul a modest fourth-innings target of 187 and record a confidence-boosting win in their tour game against the Northern Territory Chief Minister's XI at Darwin. Russel Arnold, with 34, and Thilan Samaraweera, with 32, also contributed to the chase.

Dilshan came in at the fall of Mahela Jayawardene's wicket, at 59 for 2, and things got a bit wobbly when Thilan Samaraweera was run out after colliding with Dilshan halfway down the pitch (80 for 3). But Dilshan and Russel Arnold ensured against any collapse as Arnold's quick scoring, including six boundaries, was an ideal foil for Dilshan's solidity, and the 79 that they added set up the win.

For the Northern Territory, Ian Redpath, the medium pacer, was the most successful bowler, and finished with 2 for 22. Glenn McGrath, who recently recovered from an injury, was extremely satisfied with his performance (1 for 25 off 14 overs) and claimed that he was "ready to go" for the Test series.

With the first Test beginning in Darwin on July 1, the Sri Lankans will take many positives out of this game. Kumar Sangakkara's double-hundred was a perfect start for his tour and Lasith Malinga, the medium pacer, and Rangana Herath, the left-arm spinner, had impressive outings with the ball.