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19th September 1999

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Justin Langer who top scored for Australia with 45 in the
1st Innings sweeps this one in their three day match
against the Board XI at the CCC grounds.
Pic by Dunstan Wickramaratne
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Muller, Slater put Aussies in control

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Five wickets from new boy Scott Muller and a power-packed century from Michael Slater helped Australia to take firm control against the Sri Lanka Board Presidents XI at the end of the second day's play in their three day game at the CCC grounds yesterday.

Right arm medium pacer Scott Muller who was flown in as a replacement for the injured Jason Gillespie, justified his selection when he broke the back of the Sri Lankan batting with a hostile spell of fast bowling that earned him five wickets and reduced Sri Lanka to 185 all out. The 28 year old Queenslander was well supported by Damien Fleming who captured 4 for 40.

Sri Lanka's overnight batsmen Indika de Saram (23) and Chamara Silva (66) brought some respectability to the Lankan total after a disastrous start, with a 77 run stand for the fourth wicket. Young Chamara Silva scored his third half century against the visitors underlining his reputation as a solid middle order batsmen. His 66 included 10 boundaries and came off 86 balls.

However with the departure of Silva and Saram the rest of the batting flopped to the pace of Fleming and Muller as the home side slid to 125 for 8. Only an enterprising 46 from 52 balls from Suresh Perera which included three sixes (all off Shane Warne) and five boundaries helped the Board Eleven to 185 all out.

Enjoying a 41 run lead the Australian openers Michael Slater and Greg Blewet added 49 before Pushpakumara accounted for Blewett. Justin Langer then joined Slater and added a further 40 runs before Suresh Perera broke through the left hander's defence. This brought the out of form Mark Waugh to the crease. The stylish right hander shrugged off his poor form to slowly but surely play himself in before launching on to his usual fluent strokes. He remained unbeaten on 37.

At the other end opener Slater made full use of some ordinary bowling to compile an aggressive century. He cut, drove and pulled to hit 14 boundaries and three sixes in his 136 ball knock which would have not only boosted his confidence before this week's second Test but also helped the visitors to take a commanding 264 run lead at the close.

Australia 1st innings 224 all out

Sri Lanka Board XI-185 all out in 52.2 overs (Indika de Saram 23, Chamara Silva 66, Prasanna Jayawardene 19, Suresh Perera 46; Damien Fleming 4/40 Scott Muller 5/64)

Australia 2 nd innings 223/3 at close (Greg Blewett 16, Justin Langer 21, Micheal Slater 119; Ravindra Pushpakumara 1/57 Suresh Perera 1/27, Saman Jayantha 1/9)

Lanka fancied to retain the cup

The defending champions Sri Lanka, did well to beat Northern territories from Darwin (Australia) in the first Test at Nittawela 15-0, in a two Test series.

They play the second Test today at Longden Place. Kick-off at 5.15 p.m.

This is the third annual rugby contest, masterminded by our Rep. in Australia, Dilip Kumar- which is an added fixture in the international calendar.

NTRFU, won the first tie played here in 1997, while the Lankan team did well to make amends to win the Cup on a better points average, last year in Darwin

Today's match should end in a keen contest with the new-look Lankan team led by Asoka Jayasena. The tourists did well to beat the Defence Services, after a bruising battle on Friday after leading 8-7 at the interval.

With 15 points in front Sri Lanka, look set to retain the Cup.

The local team is much fitter and has the stamina, to hold against their burly opponents.

The NTRFU team lacks that much - needed co-ordination, apparently may be due to not training together. This was evident in their match against Defence Services XV. (B.W.)

Thomians cager champs

S.Thomas' Mount Lavinia won the boys under 19 cager finals played for the Andec Cup conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Basketball Association played at the St. Anthony's College Courts at Katugastota.

S.Thomas' beat St. Sebastian's in the semi finals, S.Thomas' beat St. Anthony's Katugastota by 101 points to 71 and St. Sebastian's beat St. Anthony's Wattala by 67 points to 66 after leading 36/34 at the half time.

The Thomians beat Richmond by 55 points to 22, St. Anthony's Wattala beat D.S.Senanayake 71/54, St Anthony's Katugastota 98/53 and St. Sebastian's beat Royal 66/44 in the quarter finals.

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