|Friday, 6 June 2003|
Lankans win West Indies tour opener
St. Georges, Granada (Thursday) - Sri Lanka won an easy tour game against the Shell Cricket Academy to begin their tour of West Indies in fine style. Leading from the front, Marvan Atapattu, Sri Lanka's one-day captain, made 99 and Muttiah Muralitharan returned figures of 3 for 5 as Sri Lanka won by 115 runs.
Atapattu won the toss and opted to bat, after which Sri Lanka made 243 for 7 in their 50 overs. Atapattu's 99 was the centerpiece of the innings, though worryingly, none of the other batsmen managed to convert their starts.
The Shell Academy batsmen were never up for the chase, and had no answers to Muralitharan. Five of Muralitharan's seven overs were maidens, and he stifled the Shell Academy batsmen completely in the middle overs, snuffing out all resistance.
Prabath Nissanka was the first to strike for Sri Lanka, getting rid of Kurt Wilkinson for just 5. Krishna Arjune (17) and Dwayne Bravo (12) showed some spunk in a 32-run stand, but Arjune was out with the score on 40, and three more wickets fell on 44. After that, it was routine. Matthew Sinclair, the wicketkeeper, top-scored with 22, but the Shell Academy XI only managed to crawl to 128 for 9 in their 50 overs.
The quality of the opposition notwithstanding, it was a good start to a tour which doesn't allow much time for acclimatisation. The Cable & Wireless one-day series between Sri Lanka and West Indies starts this weekend.
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