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Somerset v Sri Lankans, Taunton

Wood and Willoughby down Sri Lanka

Cricinfo staff

June 11, 2006

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Somerset 332 for 6 (Wood 116, Suppiah 72, White 64, Malinga 3-55) beat Sri Lankans 281 (Dilshan 97, P Jayawardene 55, Sangakkara 52, Willoughby 6-43) by 51 runs
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Matthew Wood hit 116 as Somerset reached 332 against the Sri Lankans © Getty Images
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They did it to Australia in 2005, now Somerset have inflicted an embarrassing defeat on Sri Lanka in 2006. Less than a week before the NatWest Series begins the Sri Lankan attack were blitzed for 332, with Matthew Wood scoring a stylish century and rollicking support from Arul Suppiah and Cameron White.

Sri Lanka's top order was then blown away by Charl Willoughby and, despite an encouraging 97 from Tillakaratne Dilshan, Willoughby returned to mop up the tail and finish with a six-wicket haul.

Lasith Malinga struck an early blow for Sri Lanka, removing John Francis in his first over, but after that nothing much went right for the tourists. Wood and Suppiah added 164 for the second wicket against the bowlers fighting for the supporting roles alongside Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan in Sri Lanka's first-choice team.

Wood's century came off 101 balls, but the real destructiveness came from White and James Hildreth as they were given freedom to thrash. White, the Australian allrounder, crunched 64 off 48 balls with three fours and three sixes then Hildreth launched a 24-ball 46 as Somerset sped past 300.

Twelve months ago Sanath Jayasuriya played his part in downing the Australians making 101, in an exhilarating opening stand with Graeme Smith, which put Somerset on course to chase 343. If he had any ideas about doing the same this time for Sri Lanka they were quickly ended by Willoughby, who removed Jayasuriya as one of three early wickets.

Kumar Sangakkara continued his impressive form with another half-century as Sri Lanka staged a recovery from 15 for 3 but he fell to Richard Johnson with the score on 79. However, Sri Lanka weren't finished and Dilshan began to resurrect their hopes with a dashing innings and formed useful stands with Prasanna Jayawardene and Malinga Bandara.

But Sri Lanka's last hopes of pulling of a memorable run chase ended when Dilshan was run out. Willoughby had already taken his haul to five and finished off proceedings by removing Dilhara Fernando.

As they showed in the Test series, it is mighty dangerous to write off these Sri Lankans, but this past three days certainly haven't been the preparation that Tom Moody would have hoped for.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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