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RESULT
Tour Match, Benoni, August 23 - 25, 2008, Sri Lanka A tour of South Africa
576 & 229/5d
(T:594) 212 & 145/4

Match drawn

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Tharanga shines in drawn encounter

Upul Tharanga stood out with a quick-fire 169 as Sri Lanka A gained valuable batting practice in their high-scoring draw against the South African Challenge XI at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni

Cricinfo staff
25-Aug-2008
Sri Lanka A 576 (Tharanga 176, Gunawardene 90, Kandamby 71, Mbane 3-73) and 229 for 5 dec (Mathews 101*) drew with South African Challenge XI 212 (Baxter 46, Udana 3-32) and 145 for 4 (Baxter 75*, Herath 3-26)
Scorecard

Upul Tharanga led the Sri Lankan batting assault with a quick-fire 169 © AFP
 
Upul Tharanga stood out with a quick-fire 169 as Sri Lanka A gained valuable batting practice in their high-scoring draw against the South African Challenge XI at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
Batting first, Sri Lanka set off at a rollicking pace despite the early dismissal of Tharanga Paranavitana, reaching 50 in the ninth over. Tharanga found strong support from Kanchana Gunawardene, with whom he added 226 runs for the second wicket. Gunawardene fell ten runs short of three figures when he was dismissed by Cliff Deacon. In the mean time, Tharanga, who brought up his hundred, continued to flay the South African bowlers before he was caught behind by Wendell Bossenger off Lundi Mbane.
Thilina Kandamby, Sri Lanka's captain, contributed a 99-ball 71 and batted with the lower order to extend the duration of the innings. South Africa's frustrations were compounded by a 52-run last-wicket stand, with Sujeewa de Silva, who made 43, doing the bulk of the scoring. Sri Lanka had put on a massive total, but more importantly, got those runs at a shade under five an over. The pick of the South African bowlers was Mbane, who finished with creditable figures of 3 for 73.
South Africa began their first innings in solid fashion, with the opening pair of Chad Baxter and Adrian McLaren (34) putting on 84 runs. But a three-wicket burst from debutant seamer Isuru Udana sparked a sudden collapse, the home side slipping to 123 for 6. Deacon and Mbane each scored 30s to ensure that South Africa went past 200 but they were still 364 runs adrift when they were bowled out.
The tourists decided against imposing the follow-on and opted for batting practice ahead of the contests against South Africa A. Angelo Mathews, the middle-order batsman, made the most of the opportunity with an unbeaten 101 off 127 balls, including ten fours and a six. Sri Lanka then declared their innings with a massive 594-run lead.
South Africa needed to bat out a little bit more than 40 overs, but left-arm spinner Rangana Herath gave them a few jitters by taking three wickets to push them down to 92 for 4. But Baxter's steady half-century, and his unbroken 53-run stand with Bossenger (28*), ensured that there was no further alarm.
Sri Lanka now travel to Potchefstroom, where they take on South Africa A in the first of three four-day matches beginning Friday.

SAA Ch XI Innings
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