Spinners wrap up SL A win
Sri Lanka A 555 for 6 dec (Silva 193, Vithanage 116) and 275 for 4 dec (Vithanage 71, Karunaratne 62) defeated New Zealand A 391 (Ronchi 134, Pradeep 4-101) and 271 (Bracewell 104, Pushpakumara 4-60) by 168 runs
A belligerent rearguard hundred from Doug Bracewell was not enough to prevent a Sri Lanka A victory on the final day in Dambulla, as the hosts' spinners secured the series with a 168-run win. Chasing 440 for victory, New Zealand A could not manage a meaningful partnership until the last pair were at the crease, and were eventually bowled out for 271 inside 57 overs. The first four-day match of the two-game series had been drawn.
Left-arm spin bowler Malinda Pushpakumara was the best of Sri Lanka A's spinners, taking 4 for 60, to go with his 3 for 86 in the first innings. Pushpakumara had been the top wicket-taker in the first-class competition early in the year, and another laudable performance is likely to edge him closer to national contention. Dilruwan Perera and left-arm spinner Chaturanga de Silva took three wickets apiece.
New Zealand A had begun the day on 15 for 0, but lost captain Tom Latham in the second over for 3, before Carl Cachopa and Anton Devcich combined briefly. Cachopa's dismissal for 26, though, began a slide that would cost New Zealand A 7 wickets for just 68 runs. De Silva took two wickets soon after he had trapped Cachopa for lbw, before Perera and Pushpakumara decimated the middle and lower order between them.
With his side on the brink of a heavy defeat at 178 for 9, Bracewell found the mettle that had eluded the batsmen, stroking his way to a maiden first-class ton, in Matt Henry's company. His unbeaten 104 from 85 balls featured seven sixes and eight fours, but Pushpakumara eventually ended the stand, which had grown to 93, by having Henry caught for 19.
The loss plunges New Zealand A's difficult tour of the subcontinent into further disappointment. They have not won a match on the trip, having drawn both first-class matches with India A, before being whitewashed by the same team in a three-match one-day series.
The first of three one-dayers against Sri Lanka A begins in Pallekele on Monday.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here