Sri Lanka v SLC Combined, SLC Triangular Series, Pallekele May 12, 2013

Herath, Thirimanne secure Sri Lanka win

Sri Lanka 195 for 3 (Thirimanne 82*, Chandimal 52) beat Sri Lanka Cricket Combined XI 277 for 7 (Mubarak 79, Udawatte 63, Herath 4-37) by 28 runs (D/L method)

Rangana Herath's 4 for 37 and an unbeaten 82 for Lahiru Thirimanne took Sri Lanka to a 28-run Duckworth-Lewis victory in the opening match of the tri-series in Kandy. The tournament is primarily aimed at preparing the Sri Lanka side for the Champions Trophy in June but only six of the players picked to travel to England can participate, as the remainder are playing in the IPL. Sri Lanka, captained by Dinesh Chandimal, were well ahead of the D/L par score, at 195 for 3 from 35.1 overs, when bad light stopped play.

Sri Lanka Combined began strongly, having been sent into bat, as Mahela Udawatte and captain Dimuth Karunaratne combined for a 111-run opening stand, which came at 5.5 an over. Udawatte made 63 from 76, while Karunaratne hit 49, but both men were undone by Herath, who trapped them lbw in his first spell. Herath also quickly dismissed wicketkeeper-batsman Kaushal Silva, who had been in supreme form during the first-class competition that finished in April.

A 91-ball 79 for Jehan Mubarak helped restore calm to SL Combined's innings, as he built a partnership with Sachithra Serasinghe, before stepping up the tempo alongside Chaturanga de Silva. At Mubarak's demise in the 49th over, SL Combined were on 260, and a burst from de Silva before his dismissal for 42 from 31, helped elevate the score to 277. Nuwan Kulasekara took two wickets for Sri Lanka but went at more than six an over, and Chanaka Welegedara took the other scalp.

Sri Lanka began poorly in response, losing both openers inside the first five overs, but Chandimal joined Thirimanne at the crease to contribute 52 from 63 to a 124-run stand. Notable in Chandimal's innings was that he only made 12 runs in boundaries, which may be evidence of technical improvements, owing to the work he had foregone the IPL to do. He has in the past relied on boundaries for a large percentage of runs - often to his detriment in limited-overs cricket.

At his fall in the 26th over, Sri Lanka were at 135, and would not lose another wicket. Thilina Kandamby was unbeaten on a run-a-ball 34 alongside Thirimanne, who had hit seven fours and a six in his innings. The teams play again on Monday, at 9.45am, before Sri Lanka play Sri Lanka A on Tuesday and Thursday.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here