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Andrew Fidel Fernando
November 5, 2013
Sri Lanka Board XI 247 for 7 (Jayawardene 84, Dilshan 47, Lakmal 3-57) beat Sri Lanka A 227 (Dilruwan Perera 49, Kulasekara 3-48, Mathews 2-19) by 20 runs
Mahela Jayawardene's 72-ball 84 set up a 20-run victory for the Sri Lanka Board XI, after rain and a wet outfield had reduced the first practice match to 42 overs per side. Jayawardene was the only batsman to cross 50 in the match, in which the fast bowlers proved effective. Nuwan Kulasekara took 3 for 48, to help disrupt Sri Lanka A's chase, after Suranga Lakmal had also taken three wickets, during the Board XI's innings.
Jayawardene built upon a sturdy start provided by the opening pair, who both made 40s. Tillakaratne Dilshan's 45-ball 47 set Board XI's innings off apace, while Dimuth Karunaratne produced a less aggressive 46 at the other end. Middle-order batsman Ashan Priyanjan, who has been named in the Sri Lanka squad for the New Zealand series, put on a 68-run stand for the fifth wicket, before Jayawardene was run out in the 40th over. He hit nine fours and two sixes in his innings.
Kulasekara struck early in Sri Lanka A's reply, removing Upul Tharanga for a duck in the fourth over, while Kusal Perera began with typical belligerence at the other end. Kusal hit 38 off 37, before Sachithra Senanayake had him caught, immediately after a run out had ended Dinesh Chandimal's stay at the crease.
The Sri Lanka A batsmen continued to get starts, but were unable to transform them into match-turning knocks. Kithuruwan Vithanage hit 37, and Lahiru Thirimanne hit 21, but neither found themselves in a fifty partnership. Dilruwan Perera held up one end, to hit 49 as the tail withered around him, and eventually, Board XI captain Angelo Mathews dealt the finishing blows with the ball, taking two wickets in two balls.
The teams will play one more 50-over practice match at Sinhalese Sports Club on Thursday, ahead of Sri Lanka's ODI series against New Zealand, which begins on November 10.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala