SL A steal tight win despite Jayawardene 96
Sri Lanka A 252 for 6 (Tharanga 96, Chandimal 53, Senanayake 3-37) beat Board XI 295 for 8 (Jayawardene 96, Priyanjan 46, de Silva 4-41) by 2 runs via the D/L method
Mahela Jayawardene confirmed his fine touch ahead of New Zealand's limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka, but could not prevent a tense win for Sri Lanka A, over the Board XI, at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Jayawardene struck 96 from 88, after he had hit 84 in the first practice match, but it was Upul Tharanga's 96 and Seekkuge Prasanna's 41 not out from 30 late in Sri Lanka A's innings, that proved to be the definitive batting contributions of the match. Neither, however, are in the Sri Lanka squad for the series.
Spin prospered on Thursday, after the fast bowlers had reaped the best rewards in the first match. Left-arm spinner Chaturanga de Silva took 4 for 41 for Sri Lanka A, before offspinner Sachithra Senanayake took 3 wickets for the Board XI. No other bowlers managed more than one scalp, as both teams scored at close to six runs an over.
Upul Tharanga had set up the chase, scoring at just better than run-a-ball as Dinesh Chandimal contributed a more leisurely half-century, but Sri Lanka A still had 68 runs to get from 55 balls, when Tharanga's demise brought Prasanna to the crease.
Rain earlier in the innings had cost the match six overs and reduced the target from 296 to 251, and though Prasanna had allrounders batting with him in the final stages, he took the lion's share of the strike and scored most of the runs. His 41 featured two sixes and five fours, and the winning runs came off the last ball of the innings.
Earlier, Jayawardene arrived in the fifth over of the Board Xi's innings after Kusal Perera and Kumar Sangakkara had fallen cheaply, and steadied the innings alongside Dimuth Karunaratne, who hit 39 from 54, as he trialled once again for the position of opener in the New Zealand series. Jayawardene's biggest partnership was to be with Ashan Priyanjan however, as the pair put on 81 for the fifth wicket - Priyanjan making 46 of those runs. De Silva bowled Jayawardene four runs shy of the batsman's 18th List A ton, but a 16-ball 31 from tail-ender Ishan Jayaratne ensured the Board XI finished strongly, at 295 for 8.
The three-match ODI series against New Zealand begins in Hambantota, on Sunday.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here