Weerakoon takes six as Windies 'A' tumble
DAMBULLA, Thursday - BRC's left-arm spinner Sajeewa Weerakoon kept
faith with the selectors who opted to play him ahead of leg-spinner
Kaushal Lokuarachchi by grabbing six wickets for 62 runs to produce his
best international performance at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium here
Weerakoon started an astonishing West Indies 'A' batting collapse in
the last over before tea by bowling skipper Daren Ganga behind his legs
At that stage West Indies 'A' batting first on winning the toss had
progressed to a healthy 228-3 before caving in for 295 all out. In a
sensational 16 minutes after the tea break West Indies 'A' lost four
wickets for six runs and, within the space of 13 balls either side of
tea, five wickets fell for eight runs.
Weerakoon accounted for three of them while off-spinner Suraj Mohamed
picked up two in one over to keep the pressure on the West Indies 'A'
Skipper Russel Arnold kept this pair bowling in tandem after tea as
they ran through the rest of the batting.
By stumps Sri Lanka 'A' were 68-3 having lost openers Michael van
Dort (3) and Avishka Gunawardena (34) and Jehan Mubarak for 17.
Ganga and teenage opener Xavier Marshall both missed out on centuries
as West Indies 'A' made full use of a flat surface coupled with a
lightning fast outfield to run up an impressive total of 228 for three
wickets by tea before their sensational collapse.
Ganga, the 26-year-old right-hander from Trinidad fell one run short
of completing his 15th first-class hundred when he was bowled for 99 by
Weerakoon in the last over before the tea break. Nineteen-year-old
Marshall hit a scintillating 82 off 107 balls inclusive of 10 fours and
three sixes before he too fell to Weerakoon.
It was a good toss for West Indies 'A' skipper Daren Ganga to win and
he had no hesitation in choosing to bat first. Openers Marshall and Ryan
Ramdas raced to 48 off ten overs, which included 36 runs in boundaries.
Once Ramdas fell leg before wicket to Priyankara Silva for 22, Ganga
joined Marshall in a run a ball century partnership that produced 102
runs for the second wicket.
To keep the batsmen tied down on this type of pitch the Sri Lankan
bowlers had to bowl a strict line and length, but they erred and paid
Dilhara Fernando attempting to make a comeback to the senior team
after injury suffered the most being carted around for six fours and a
six in his morning spell of seven overs, which cost him 47 runs.
Marshall completed a fine half-century off 63 balls (7 fours, 1 six)
by cover driving Fernando to the boundary and followed it up with two
successive fours to celebrate the occasion.
When spinner Mohamed was brought on shortly before the lunch break,
Marshall greeted him with two successive sixes to go past his highest
first-class score of 62. Of the 15-member team on tour, Marshall is the
most inexperienced having played in only five first-class matches before
setting foot in Sri Lanka.
When a maiden first-class century was within his grasp Marshall
attempted to drive Weerakoon across the line and only succeeded in
putting up a catch to Gajanayake at forward short leg.
He batted for 157 minutes and his dismissal at 150 slowed down the
rate of scoring to some extent although Ganga carried on the attack by
hitting 11 fours and two sixes in his 194-minute stay at the crease.
Marlon Samuels survived a caught and bowled chance to Fernando at 11
but was out for 20 in the second over after tea. Deonarine, Morton and
Mohamed all followed cheaply.
The slide was temporarily halted by Carlton Baugh (28) and Tino Best
(23) who added 50 off 51 balls for the eighth wicket before the spinners
again broke through.
Sri Lanka was forced to leave out opener Ian Daniel after he had
failed a fitness test for a dislocated right finger. Malintha Gajanayake
WEST INDIES 'A' - 1ST INNINGS
X.M. Marshall c Gajanayake b Weerakoon 82
R. Ramdas lbw b Silva 22
D. Ganga b Weerakoon 99
M.N. Samuels c Gajanayake b Mohamed 20
N. Deonarine c Gajanayake b Mohamed 1
R.S. Morton c Arnold b Weerakoon 1
C.S. Baugh run out 8
D. Mohammed c Mubarak b Weerakoon 6
T. la B. Best c Gajanayake b Weerakoon 23
D.M. Washington not out 4
J.J.C. Lawson b Weerakoon 4
Extras (lb-2, nb-3) 5
TOTAL (all out, 70.2 overs, 305 mins) 295
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-48, 2-150, 3-228, 4-229, 5-230,
6-230, 7-236, 8-286, 9-287, 10-295.
BOWLING: Fernando 12-0-56-0 (2nb), Silva 10-0-48-1,
Wijekoon 12-0-41-0 (1nb), Weerakoon 21.2-7-62-6,
SRI LANKA 'A' - 1ST INNINGS
M.G. van Dort c Morton b Lawson 3
D.A. Gunawardena c and b Washington 34
J. Mubarak c Baugh b Mohammed 17
M.K. Gajanayake not out 9
Extras (b-2, lb-2, nb-1) 5
TOTAL (3 wkts at close, 12.3 overs, 69 mins) 68
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-16, 2-52, 3-68.
TO BAT: R.P. Arnold, H.A.P.W. Jayawardene, M.R.G. Wijekoon,
M.M.S. Mohamed, C.R.D. Fernando, R.C.R.P. Silva,
BOWLING: Best 4-1-31-0, Lawson 6-0-27-1 (1nb),
Washington 3-1-6-1, Mohamed 0.3-0-0-1.