Rain fails to dampen impressive Jayawardene
Sri Lankans 180 for 3 (Jayawardene 79) v PCA Masters XI - match abandoned
Sri Lanka's rather faltering preparations for the NatWest Series were stymied by rain which limited their Twenty20 warm-up game against a PCA Masters XI at Arundel to 16 overs.
After a week of sweltering heat in the south of England, the weather broke an hour into Sri Lanka's innings and while the players gamely soldiered on for a few overs, they soon had to seek shelter. Although the rain did eventually stop, no more than a cursory inspection was needed to confirm that further play would not be possible.
Against a PCA Master's XI which contained nine internationals, past and present, Mahela Jayawardene shone with a 35-ball 79 after the Sri Lankans had made a faltering start, reaching 24 for 1 after five overs.
Sanath Jayasuriya started to inject some pace with an assault on Chris Lewis - who had removed Chamara Kapugedera in the fourth over - and the run-rate quickly increased as Jayasuriya and Jayawardene added 75 in less than six overs.
Jayasuriya was run-out when Jayawardene called him for an improbable single to Vasbert Drakes, but Kumar Sangakkara continued the assault with a flurry of boundaries before the rain came. By then, Jayawardene's impressive innings had been ended by a faster ball from Shaun Udal.
"Our players have not had a lot of Twenty20. It's a different game and they have certainly come to the party," Trevor Penney, Sri Lanka's assistant coach, told The Argus. "I think Mahela got everybody going when he got out there first ball and charged down the wicket. That was just what we needed.
"This Twenty20 teaches you can play your shots. Sometimes you can look after your wicket a bit too much in one-day cricket. It was a good exercise."