ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 40
Kandy Times

Malinga Bandara comes on stage

By S.R. Pathiravithana

This game at the Asgiriya Stadium,depicts the discovery of a young schoolboy leg spinner by the name of Malinga Bandara who even belatedly took over his rightful place in the national squad.

Mahela scored sixty seven

This was the era that Sri Lanka thus after their impressive World Cup win in 1996 had climbed to the higher echelons of the cricket arena and were enjoying their Midas’s touch.

Leading this Board Xl against the visiting New Zealand team was left hander Sanath Jaysuriya in the presence of their chairman of selectors – Duleep Mendis and regular skipper Arjuna Ranatunge who were having a close look at medium pacers Suresh Perera, Indika Gallege, leg spinner Malinga Bandara and left arm spinner Amal Dalugoda.

Bandara bagged 3 wickets while playing as a teenager

When Sri Lanka went to bat first they had to weather an onslaught on their bowling by Sri Lanka Test opener Sanath Jayasuriya. Jayasuriya threatened to take apart the New Zealand bowling when he raced to his half-century off 81 balls with two sixes and five fours. He reached 83 in 140 minutes with two sixes and 12 fours, before back cutting Shayne O'Connor to Chris Harris at backward point to after putting an impressive second wicket stand of 112 in 90 minutes with Mahela Jayawardene. Jayawardene went onto score an impressive 67. After the departure of these two, the Board President's XI batting lost its momentum and despite home town boy Sajith Fernando scoring 25 and Pradeep Hewage 30, New Zealand were able to curb the run flow and pick up wickets at regular intervals to redress the balance. New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming was forced to shuffle his bowlers around and the brunt of the bowling fell on Priest. Priest who took a wicket with his first delivery in Sri Lanka by getting through the defences of Dulip Samaraweera for 14, ended the day with figures of 3 for 76.

The New Zealand openers in Mathew Horne and Bryan Young their turn made short work of the Lankan medium pace attack when shared an opening partnership of 124 runs. Horne made 92 and Young, a sedate 32 in 211 minutes to enable New Zealand finish the second day on 211 for 4 wickets in reply to the Board President's XI's total of 300 for 9 declared.

Regular opener Horne made good use of a dropped catch at 49 when he drove a full toss from Malinga Bandara to Mahela Jayawardene at silly mid-off, to hit 13 fours in an innings lasting 186 minutes.

New Zealand's weakness against leg-spin was exposed when 18-year-old schoolboy Malinga Bandara captured 3 of the four wickets to fall for 68 runs. He began a mini collapse by having Young caught on the drive at slip off the first ball of a new spell after tea, and then went on to add the wickets of Spearman and Fleming. Following the century opening stand, New Zealand lost four wickets for 37 runs before Craig McMillan (16) and Adam Parore (30) checked the slide with an unfinished fifth wicket partnership of 50. The board XI made 82 for one in their second innings before the game was terminated at the final drinks break with nothing to play for. The bowling honours for the Board President’s Xl went to Mahela Jayawardene, who picked up four wickets for 29 runs with his part-time medium-paced off-breaks. He contributed a stylish 67 in the first innings.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.