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Andrew Fidel Fernando
October 25, 2013
Board XI 501 (Sangakkara 169, Jayawardene 82, Dilruwan Perera 3-107) and 205 for 1 declared (Karunaratne 111*, Silva 58) drew with Sri Lanka A 125 (Udawatte 47, Senanayake 4-36, Herath 3-23) and 197 for 3 (Udawatte 86, Vithanage 60)
The final day of the Sri Lanka Cricket's four-day tri-series served as little more than centre-wicket batting practice, as the match between Board XI and Sri Lanka A meandered to a draw. Dimuth Karunaratne completed a century in the first session, as Board XI extended their lead to 581, before his team declared at lunch. Board XI's Kaushal Silva and Sri Lanka A's Mahela Udawatte and Kithuruwan Vithanage also made fifties in the day.
Having secured first-innings points by 367 runs, Board XI did not need an outright win to win the three-match competition, and last evening, had opted to bat again, to allow key men time in the middle. Silva and Prasanna Jayawardene are vying for Test places in the end-of-year squad to the UAE, and had one more opportunity to convince the selectors of their worth - though in Jayawardene's case, he had only faced 55 balls when the declaration came.
Karunaratne had resumed his innings on 48, in the morning, and struck 11 fours in his 111 not out. Kaushal Silva added only 17 to his overnight score before he was dismissed by Ashan Priyanjan, but he has done enough during the tournament to become the frontrunner to replace Tillakaratne Dilshan as Test opener. Jayawardene was on 27 not out, and the Board XI score on 205 for 1, when the declaration was made.
Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal and Thisara Perera, all of whom are also vying for Test places, took a wicket each in the later sessions, before Udawatte and Vithanage's 118-run unbroken stand brought the match to a predictable close. Udawatte was 86 not out and Vithanage had hit 60.
Kumar Sangakkara won the man of the match award, for his first-innings 169, and was also named best batsman, having also struck a century in the previous match. Senanayake, who took 12 wickets in his two matches, was named best bowler.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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