SLC Development XI v Hong Kong, 3rd match, Colombo September 15, 2008

Butt's knock in vain as Sri Lanka win three on the trot

Cricinfo staff

Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI 254 for 8 (Aravinda 50, Ahmed 3-50) beat Hong Kong 207 for 9 (Butt 63, Ilyas 36, Vishwaranga 3-25) by 47 runs

After losing their first couple of games, Hong Kong put on an improved effort at the Burgher Recreation Club in Colombo but it wasn't enough as Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI won by 47 runs in a match shortened to 43 overs a side. Chasing 255, Hussain Butt kept Hong Kong in the hunt with an aggressive 63, before Sameera Vishwaranga and Sachithra Serasinghe shared five wickets between them to quell the visitor's chances of pulling off a surprise win.

Sri Lanka, after opting to bat, got off to an aggressive start thanks to Shehan Aravinda, who scored 60 off 54 balls with three sixes. The middle order made starts but failed to convert them, and Sri Lanka had lost half their side by the 31st over. The lower order forced the pace towards the end as the hosts ended on 254 for 8. Irfan Ahmed, the right-arm seamer, was the most successful bowler with 3 for 50, while Nadeem Ahmed, the left-arm spinner, was the most economical with 1 for 30 off nine overs.

Hong Kong lost their openers early, before Zain Abbas and Butt added 37 for the third wicket to stabilise the innings. The most productive stand - 87 for the fourth wicket - threatened to take the game away from the home side as Butt found good support from Ilyas Gull, who made 36. Butt smashed four sixes in his 64-ball knock and carried the stand. Gull fell in the 35th over, with Hong Kong needing a further 98 off nine overs, and wickets tumbled as the asking-rate climbed. Vishwaranga chipped away with three wickets while Serasinghe , the captain, took two wickets in as many overs. The best Hong Kong could do was to hang on till the final over without being bowled out.