28th November 1999

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Zimbabwe seam bowler Henry Olonga celebrates the dismissal of Sri Lankan opening batsman and captain Sanath Jayasuriya caught Andy Flower for 6 runs November 27. - REUTERS

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Zimbabwe face uphill struggle

The second day's play began under sunny skies, although that was no guarantee of continued good weather at this time of year in Zimbabwe. However the sun continued to shine all day, especially for the Sri Lankan team.

They finished the day 62 runs ahead of Zimbabwe with seven wickets still in hand, and even after two days' play it seems that only a change in the weather could save Zimbabwe from heavy defeat. It was an as yet unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 131 between Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan that really pulled Sri Lanka ahead, and they survive to torment the home side further on the morrow.

Zimbabwe were 163 for nine overnight, and with their last pair of Olonga and Matambanadzo together, both very much in the rabbit class. Matambanadzo got the score moving off the second ball of the day, although not quite in the manner he planned. He tried to hook a bouncer from Zoysa, and the ball hit the top of his helmet and bounced over the keeper's head for a leg-bye. In Zoysa's next over Olonga appreciated the gift of a full toss which he hit past mid-on for four. He then reached double figures with a push for two through the covers, only his second excursion into that realm in Test cricket.

The last-wicket stand had already lasted longer than expected, but it came to an end when Matambanadzo (6) pushed a catch to Jayawardene at silly mid-off and Zimbabwe were all out for 174, with Olonga undefeated on 10.

Zimbabwe appeared to miss a wonderful chance of an early breakthrough when Gary Brent bowled the second over, opening the bowling with Olonga. Jayasuriya, on 1, edged his second ball at shoulder height to the right of Gripper at third slip, who could not hold it. Jayasuriya continued to live dangerously, however, twice slashing and missing at Olonga in the following over, and then in the paceman's third over, immediately after cutting a four to third man, slashing again at a wide one and edging a catch straight to Andy Flower behind the stumps. He made 6, and Sri Lanka were 17 for one.

Atapattu looked in confident mood, keeping the score moving through drives and pushes through the field, especially through the covers as the Zimbabwean bowlers maintained their line just outside off stump. Arnold began cautiously, but then slashed a ball from Brent just clear of Gripper in the slips to the third-man boundary, then nudged a ball uppishly past short leg for a single. Matambanadzo replaced the luckless Brent after the latter had bowled four overs, and soon made a ball fly at Atapattu.

Arnold began to look more confident, showing aggression to the deliveries outside off stump, cutting well and off-driving Matambanadzo for four. With Atapattu also cutting a four, 11 came off the over. Strang replaced Olonga at the Clubhouse end, and had Atapattu snicking a ball just short of the slips. The scoring rate slowed, but the batsmen continued to play sensibly, running well between the wickets, until lunch, when Sri Lanka were 61 for one, with both batsmen on 25.

Gripper bowled the first over after lunch with his off-breaks, perhaps in the hope that he might be able to contribute in one department of the game, after his first-ball dismissal and dropped catch. It was not a good start, as Arnold cut his first ball to the point boundary, and six came off the over. With Olonga at the other end not quite finding his rhythm, runs came quite freely, and Arnold pulled away from Atapattu, driving Strang through extra cover for four when he replaced Gripper. After that it seemed so easy as the two batsmen kept out the good balls and put away anything slightly off line.

The second wicket when it happened was a surprise, and this was perhaps the one memorable moment of an unspectacular day. The batsmen attempted a third run as Johnson fielded a ball off the pads near the fine-leg boundary and were surprised by his superb instantaneous turn and throw; the third umpire signalled out in the closest of decisions. Atapattu was the man to go, for 37, a great relief for the Zimbabweans, and the score was 97 for two.

The runs almost came to a standstill for a while, and Arnold was not destined to reach his fifty; one run short, he played forward to a ball from Strang moving away outside the off stump, and the ball flew off the edge to Campbell at second slip, reducing Sri Lanka to 105 for three.

After those two quick wickets, the new batsmen had to settle in, with Dilshan looking uncomfortable against Strang, while Jayawardene edged Olonga for four uppishly through the vacant third-slip position. Then, with some well-placed strokes and good running between the wickets, the runs started to come again. The accent was on steady accumulation, and the teams went in to tea with Sri Lanka on 140 for three (Jayawardene 21, Dilshan 16).


Zimbabwe 174 allout

Sri Lanka 1st innings

MS Atapattu run out (Johnson/Campbell) 37

*ST Jayasuriya c A Flower b Olonga 6

RP Arnold c Campbell b Strang 49

DPMdeS Jayawardene not out 71

TM Dilshan not out 57

Extras (lb 6, w 3, nb 7) 16

Total (3 wickets, 82 overs) 236

Bowling: Olonga 15-2-52-1 (1w), Brent 16-3-46-0 (2w), Matambanadzo 13-2-40-0 (3nb), Strang 22-9-39-1, Gripper 1-0-6-0, Whittall 11-2-33-0 (3nb), GW Flower 4-1-14-0

Bloomfield bundled out for 169

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Left arm leg spinner Nisitha Rupasinghe captured five wickets as, defending Champions Bloomfield were shot out for 169 against CCC in their Inter Club Division one Premier League game at Maitland Crescent yesterday.

Rupasinghe was well supported by Hemantha Boteju(2/20) and Harith Jayasuriya 2/27) as Bloomfield were made to work hard for their runs The home side consolidated their position further when their openers M Van dort and Damitha Hunukumbura put on 51 runs before rain halted play.

Dilan-Hashan in century stand

Half centuries from Dilan Ramanayake(71) and Hashan Tilekaratne(61) helped NCC to take first innings points against Matara SC at Maitland Place.

NCC began the day at 7 for 2 and were helped by a 130 run stand for the 3 rd wicket between Ramanayake and Tilekaratne.Both batsmen found no terrors against the mediocre Matara SC attack to notch up half centuries.Ramanayake batted enterprisingly to hit six boundaries while Tilekaratne displayed his usual grit in the center to strike 7 boundaries and compile a useful half century.

Sebastianites in command

A mesmerising spell of left arm leg breaks from Sebastianites Dinesh Perera (5/5)sent Kurunegala YCC crashing to 41 all out at the Welegedara Stadium yesterday.

Chasing Sebastianites first innings total of 137 the home side were bundled out in 40.1 overs on a wicket that was highly unpredictable.Perera the former Nalandian finished with the amazing figures of 9.1-6-5-5 and was well supported by Dinusha Fernando who captured 4/18.

At Maitland Crescent:CCC vs Bloomfield

Bloomfield -39/2 overnight 169 (Sajika Abeynayake 42 Pubudu Dasanayake 32 Hemantha Alles 24 Chamara Soyza 22 Nisitha Rupasinghe 5/59 Hemantha Boteju 2/20 Harith Jayasuriya 2/27)

CCC -51/0 (M Van dort 40 n o)

At Maitland Place:NCC vs Matara SC

Matara SC-144

NCC - 7/2 overnight 259/7 at close(Dilan Ramanayake 71 Hashan Tilekaratne 61 Carmen Mapatuna 42 Ruwan Kalpage 34 n o Malinga Bandara 12 n o S M Ramazan 2/58 N R C K Guruge 3/63)

At the Welegedara Stadium:Kurunegala YCC vs Sebastianites SC

Sebastianites -113/8 overnight 137(Laknath Fernando 26 n o J C Gamage 6/22 Ajith Ekanayake 2/39)&48/2(S K Silva 15 Ranga Yasalal 12 n o)

Kurunegala YCC-41 all out(Dhrshana Jayakody 10 Dinesh Perera 5/5 Dinusha Fernando 4/18.

BRC outclass Singha

By Bernie Wijesekera

The revamped Burgher Recreation Club, annihilated Singha S.C. by an innings and 85 runs on day two in the Premier Tropbhy three-day match continued at Havelock Park, yesterday.

It was all over just after lunch (1.35 p.m.). The architects of this facile win was brought about by Wendall Labrooy 3 for 33 in the visitors' first innings. Wendall coming to the wicket at no. 8, waded into the hapless Sinha attack to smash 101 in 134 balls which included six fours and three sixes. Labrooy was involved in an aggressive eight wicket stand of 96 runs with Suwangi Madanayake (40) for BRC to post 272 runs.

The Ambalangoda Club in the second innings were all at sea against the accurate bowling of that young allrounder Malinda Warnapura. Warnapura in his fourth over wrought havoc. In the last three deliveries he performed a hat-trick - capturing the wickets of M. Kumara, H. W. Kumara and P. Milton. At this stage Sinha were 81 for 4, but crashed to 81 for 7 and all out for 106. In the end. Warnapura's figure read - 7.3 - 0 - 22 - 6.

It's a pity that the Ambalangoda Club had to suffer this humiliating defeat as most their frontline players have migrated in search of greener pastures - probably due to better playing facilities. Two of them Saman Jayantha and Chamarda de Soysa (Bloomfield) Jayantha scored a debut 182 against Matara S.C., while Soysa made 101 against the BRC last weekend.

At Havelock Park

Sinha S.C. 81 in 23.2 overs (H. Premasiri 36, W. Labrooy 3 for 33, H. Rushdi 4 for 33, S. Wijekoon 3 for 5) and 106 in 25.3 overs (J. Kumara 30, T. Thushara 19 n.o., Malinda Warnapura 7.3 - 0 - 22 - 6) BRC 237 for 8 overnight 272 in 65.2 overs. (N. Bopage 40, Nisal Fernando 30, Wendall Labrooy 101, S. Madanayake 40, T. Thushara 3 for 66, P. Milton 3 for 66, I Dilshan 2 for 59).

Unbeaten 134 by Arjuna

Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga made his second hundred for the S.S.C. 134 not out (in 239 balls, with 8 fours) against Colts CC on day two in their match continued at Havelock Park, yesterday.

Colts electing to bat first were marooned when they were bowled out for 68 runs, with medium pacer Dilhara Fernando capturing 6 for 29.

SSC in reply were 224 for 4 on Friday, with Arjuna on 65 n.o.

Arjuna batting sedately kept the innings together. Batting with authority he was involved in a fourth wicket stand of 97 with skipper. Hemantha Wickremaratne 52 (four fours and two sixes). He added further agony to the hapless Colts bowlers sans their key players to put on 100 runs for the eighth wicket with tailender Dilhara Fernando 42. SSC eventually declared at 372 for 8. This was Arjuna's second 100 for the season. In the first match he made 79 and 141 against Wattala Antonians.

Colts in their second innings were 99 for 2 when bad light stopped play at 5.15 p.m. followed by rain.

The match will be continued today.

Colts CC 68 in 27.2 overs (C. Mendis 12, J. Kulatunga 14, Dilhara Fernando 6 for 29, D. Gamage 2 for 24) and 99 for 2 at stumps in 33.3 overs. (S. Janaka 23, S. Attanayake 27, C. Mendis 19 n.o. J. Kulatunga 12 n.o.)

SSC (224 for 4 overnight) contd. 372 for 8 dec. (Malintha Perera 22, R. Sureschandra 46, S. Ranatunga 26, A. Ranatunga 134 n.o., H. Wickremaratne 52, Dilhara Fernando 42, D. Liyanage 2 for 70) (B.W.)

At the Sara Stadium

In a low - scoring match at the 'Sara' Stadium, Tamil Union earned a first inning points win over Police S.C in a rain - curtailed match continued here yesterday.

The law Enforcing team batting first scored 185 runs in the first innings. Tamil Union in reply started slowly. After being 60 for one had to fight hard to overhaul the visitors total. Eventually made 207 for 8, with consistent run-getter Ruvin Peirs (35) steadied the innings to steer T.U. to a first innings win. Earleir N. Weeraman 39 and Nuwan Shiroman 37 batted with assurance to boost the total. The match will be continued today.

Police S.C. (167 for 8 overnight) contd: 185 (Rangana Fernando 42, K. Mahinda 30, Sanjeewa Jayaratne 4 for 42, Upul Chandana 2 for 31) Tamil Union 207 for 8 in at stumps. N. Weeraman 39, Nuwan Shiroman 37, Upul Chandana 15, Ruvin Peiris 35, Gayan Wijekoon 29, A. Priyantha 2 for 59, D. Gunawardena 2 for 47) (B.W)


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