Warnapura leads Sri Lankan resistance
Sri Lanka A 259 for 4 (Warnapura 82*) trail North Zone 636 for 7 decl (Rawat 104*) by 81 runs
Malinda Warnapura led Sri Lanka A's resistance on a day on which North Zone struggled to maintain their control over the Duleep Trophy final at the Eden Gardens. North declared as soon as Mahesh Rawat got to his hundred in the morning, and the bowlers grabbed a few early wickets, but Warnapura's unbeaten 82 ensured the home side worked hard for their wickets before bad light forced an early close with Sri Lanka A 81 runs behind.
Warnapura, who hit his second half-century of the match, shared in stands of 68 and 90 for the third and fourth wickets with Thilan Samaraweera and Jehan Mubarak, and was by far the most fluent scorer for the Sri Lankans. Slow of the blocks, he opened up with fours off Rajesh Sharma and Ashish Nehra and retracted after the loss of a partner. Compared to his first-innings 81-ball 65, this was a far more measured effort, but crucial given the lead conceded to North.
No other batsman dominated the bowling - though Chamara Silva did begin with boundaries peppered across the field in the final session - but Sri Lanka A did well to keep North Zone in the hunt.
Sharma, the offspinner from Punjab, removed Michael Vandort, Samaraweera and Mubarak over the course of his 31 overs on the day, but the rest of the bowling lacked bite. Gagandeep Singh, so effective in the Sri Lankan first innings, finished with none for 35 while Nehra, who went wicketless for 87 in the first innings, was luckless again with none for 89 from 25 overs.