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Andrew Fidel Fernando
October 16, 2013
Sri Lanka A 19 for 0 and 449 (Chandimal 162, de Silva 76, Prasanna 3-67) need 74 runs to beat Development XI 265 (Thirimanne 95*, Alvitigala 3-52, Pradeep 3-61) and 276 (Dickwella 94, Jayasuriya 46, Priyanjan 2-20)
Sri Lanka A closed in on victory on day three of the second four-day match, at SSC, as they dismissed Development XI for 276, setting themselves 93 to win in the fourth innings. Niroshan Dickwella's promotion to no. 3 yielded an encouraging result and provided Development XI hope of salvaging the match, but scant contributions from other batsmen had them on the brink of defeat by stumps. Sri Lanka A need 74 more runs to close out the match, with both their openers still at the crease.
Sri Lanka A were 146 runs ahead in the first-innings when the day began, and they extended that lead by another 38 runs - largely through Dilruwan Perera's half-century - before succumbing to the Development XI bowlers. Shaminda Eranga and Tharindu Kaushal took one wicket apiece in the first session, after both had struggled the previous day.
Development XI's openers began with promise, racing to 92 at almost a run-a-ball before Kusal Perera fell to Dilruwan and triggered a top-order collapse. In the 14 overs that followed, Development XI lost four more batsmen for 46 runs, before Dickwella came together with Lahiru Thirimanne for a 104-run, sixth wicket stand. The pair could do little more than prevent complete capitulation however, and when Dickwella offered Ashan Priyanjan a catch, six runs short of his third first-class ton, the remainder of the innings did not take long to unravel.
Interestingly for Sri Lanka, however, all four of the wicketkeeper-batsmen who have played in the tournament have now made significant scores. Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva and Kusal Perera have struck hundreds during the tournament so far.
Sri Lanka A openers Pabasara Waduge and Mahela Udawatte took their team to 19 before stumps, and barring rain or a miraculous recovery, Development XI are headed for their second successive loss.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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