Otago v Sri Lankans, Dunedin, 1st day November 30, 2006

Sangakkara steadies the ship

Cricinfo staff

Sri Lankans 141 for 3 (Sangakkara 51*, Tharanga 14*, Jayawardene 48) v Otago

Sri Lanka made heavy weather of the opening overs of their tour opener at a rain-affected University Oval in Dunedin, before Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene steadied the ship. Just 36 overs were possible on a thoroughly miserable day, during which the tourists worked their way to 141 for 3 after struggling on 32 for 2. Still, they were lucky to get any cricket in at all, as rains wrecked state games across the country.

Sanath Jayasuriya (0) and Upul Tharanga (19) were the early fallers as Sri Lanka struggled to cope with the conditions, but a third-wicket stand of 84 between Sangakkara and Jayawardene lifted them before the close. Jayawardene made a sprightly 48 from 71 balls, with nine fours, before the Otago captain Craig Cumming caught him off the bowling of 21-year-old Craig Smith, a former Under-19 international.

Sangakkara remained firm, and he reached his half-century by stumps. He was joined by Tillekeratne Dilshan, who was unbeaten on 14.