Sri Lanka A v New Zealand A, 1st unofficial Test, 3rd day September 19, 2013

Cachopa, Kusal set up close final day

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka A 252 (Silva 103, Sodhi 3-34) and 135 for 3 (Kusal 62*, Bracewell 2-50) lead New Zealand A 299 (Cachopa 104, Ronchi 47, Dilruwan 6-87) by 88 runs

An explosive surge from Kusal Perera gave Sri Lanka A a slender advantage against New Zealand A on day three in Pallekele after Carl Cachopa's 104 had earlier taken the visitors to 299 for 9, earning them a 47-run lead. However, Kusal's brisk fifty means that the hosts also stand a chance of winning the match on the final day as Sri Lanka lead by 88 runs at stumps, with seven wickets in hand.

Cachopa, who resumed his innings at 14 in the morning, added 49 and 110 for the first and second wicket with Anton Devicich and Daryl Mitchell respectively, and smashed a total of 10 fours and three sixes in his innings.

At 175 for 1, New Zealand looked well set and to be heading towards a comfortable score, but the quick departures of Cachopa and Mitchell, followed by a lower-order collapse meant that they would not bat the hosts out of the game. Dilruwan Perera removed Luke Ronchi and Todd Astle in consecutive overs, before Chaturanga de Silva took two of his own. The slide had accounted for five wickets for 41 runs, when the captain Devcich declared the innings. Dilruwan finished with 6 for 87, while de Silva took 3 for 60, as all nine New Zealand batsmen fell to spin.

Dimuth Karunaratne began Sri Lanka's second innings briskly, making 11 from his first six balls, but although he was then caught behind, his opening partner Kusal continued to maintain the quick scoring rate. His 62 runs came from just 45 balls, and included 10 fours. Kusal has had a few lean months in both international and domestic cricket, and this innings could be the catalyst to his return to form.

First innings centurion Kaushal Silva and captain Dinesh Chandimal fell cheaply, but Kusal found support from Kithuruwan Vithanage, who made an unbeaten 30. Sri Lanka A had hit 135 for 3 in 19 overs, and if they can maintain that tempo on day four, the hosts may hope to push the lead to beyond 200 in the first session to set up a tough chase for the visitors. New Zealand A,on the other hand, will hope to effect a collapse, if they are to achieve an unassailable position in the two-match series.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 20, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    What a waste of a game Sri Lanka A, why not declare and make a game of it?

  • Janaka on September 20, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    This is what should happen. If you don't perform well for a long time, drop to A side, give a chance to show talent, and (probably) select again. That eases pressure off the players. Give too many chances, and cut forever, is the false way Sri Lanka had been doing for a long time. All the best Kushal...

  • Ryan on September 20, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    cachopa must be close to a test call up. well done.

  • associate cricket fan on September 20, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    @Sinhaya. Kaushal silva has done well in domestic cricket and A team tours. So I think he deserves to be selected for the national team. Height is not a factor for a batsman. Even short guys like sachin and Taibu had good success in international cricket. So I cant see why Kausal cant succeed. He seems to be upto the international standards with his consistent performances at A team tours.

  • Sarath on September 20, 2013, 2:22 GMT

    only on spin friendly wkts (one of the weakest & slowest fielders in International Cricket & unable to use him when the batters are on the attack) for another 2-3 years. Ours is the only country that give more weight-age for henchmen over quality players thus jeopardizing the Country's position in the International Cricket scene, though Cricket is the only game that the Country can easily brush shoulders with any other.MDKP's 6 wkts and Kusal 60 after failing more than 10 Inngs at a stretch would be good reasons for the J&Ps to keep them in the International scene forever.

  • Prashan on September 20, 2013, 0:36 GMT

    Glad to see Kushal Perera score after a long long time. But he must make it a point to perform in UAE. Kaushal Silva may well be suited for tests but unfortunately I am not sure whether him being extremely short will be a disadvantage when the tall giants like Starc, Sammy, Broad, Finn etc bowl short at him. I hope SL A team will score a quick fire 150 more this morning and declare so that NZ will have an interesting chase.

  • john on September 19, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    Welldone carl cachopa..must be close to a call up.has had a good tour.

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