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Wisden Cricinfo staff
March 12, 2004
New Zealand A 351 for 1 (Bell 138*, Sinclair 133*) lead Sri Lanka A 212 (Martin 5-54) by 139 runs
Matthew Bell and Mathew Sinclair put New Zealand A in a powerful position with their unbroken 250-run second wicket stand in perfect batting conditions in Queenstown. Both hammered unbeaten centuries and New Zealand A gained a 139-run lead after two days.
The Sri Lanka A innings was polished off quickly after the resumption of play this morning. Chris Martin took the last wicket to fall and ended with a five-wicket haul. Dinuk Hettiarachchi, the left-arm spinner bowled despite suffering a broken index finger on his right hand. He bowled 21 overs for 54 runs but like the rest of the bowlers he found the going really tough.
The New Zealand openers put on 101 before Jamie How was caught and bowled for 45 by Hasantha Fernando. But that was to be the solitary success for the Sri Lankans, as Sinclair produced an outstanding batting display.
Sinclair reached his century before Bell, and was on 114 before he gave his first chance, as a pull shot dropped short of the fielder at midwicket. Sinclair batted for 280 minutes and hit 17 fours in his innings.
Bell survived a stumping chance and was dropped immediately after. But he made most of his good fortune and stroked 18 fours in his patient innings.
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