Sri Lanka Inter-Provincial Tournament, February 5-8 February 6, 2005

Tillekaratne leads Western Province fightback

Cricinfo staff

Central Province 133 and 14 for 0 need another 175 runs to beat Western Province 43 and 278 (Tillakeratne 85)

Hashan Tillakeratne set Western Province up with the chance of a stunning comeback, by battling his way to 85 in their second innings total of 278. His personal score came from 189 balls with 10 fours, and was almost double the 43 that his entire team had managed in their dismal first innings on Day One.

After resuming on their overnight 32 for 1, WP battled against some spirited bowling from Chamila Gamage and LHD Dilhara, with Ian Daniel and Upul Thuranga adding 67 for the second wicket and several other batsmen making a start. Only Tillakaratne, however, was able to post a half-century, and he was eventually the last man out, having secured a lead of 188.

That was riches compared to what WP might have envisaged after being blown away in the first innings, although they were unable to make any early inroads into the Central batting. At the close, Central were 14 for 0.

Southern Province 86 and 59 for 3 need another 357 runs to avoid an innings defeat against North Central Province 502 for 8 dec (Kalavitigoda 152, Ramyakumara 84)

Southern Province finished the second day at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium just seven wickets away from a thumping defeat, after Shantha Kalavitigoda and Gayan Ramyalumara had set North Central Province on their way to a massive 502 for 8 declared in their first innings - a not-insubstantial lead of 416.

Southern, who had been bowled out for 86 on the first day, were unable to claw their way back into the match, and Kalavitigoda top-scored with 152 in an innings that featured contributions all down the order, including a half-century for Upul Chandana.

By the close, Southern had made a better start to their second innings - but not by much. Nuwan Kulasekera grabbed two early wickets, as they slipped to 59 for 3.