Mathews' fight­ing 'ton' saves Lankans some blushes

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

An­gelo Mathews de­fied New Zealand XI’s bowl­ing at­tack and over­came un­ac­cus­tomed tough con­di­tions at the McLean Park in Napier with a mas­ter­ful cen­tury on the open­ing day of the tour match on Satur­day. Sri Lanka were in dan­ger of be­ing bowled out cheaply af­ter host bowlers ran through Sri Lanka’s frag­ile bat­ting or­der re­duc­ing them for 104 for nine by the 36th over but Mathews--pos­si­bly best bats­man in the Sri Lankan side, scored an un­beaten 128 as Sri Lanka de­clared on 210 for nine.

At stumps, Sri Lankan bowlers did well to re­strict New Zealand XI for 67 for 4. Lahiru Ku­mara, Su­ranga Lak­mal, Dush­man­tha Chameera and Dil­ruwan Per­era picked one wicket each.

The 31-year-old for­mer Sri Lanka skip­per shared an un­beaten 106 runs for the last wicket with Lahiru Ku­mara who re­mained un­beaten on 12 fac­ing 48 de­liv­er­ies. It was a bril­liant ef­fort from Mathews who shoul­dered

Sri Lanka first In­nings

D Gu­nathi­laka c MW Chu b LR Dud­ding .............................................................. 0 L Thi­r­i­manne c WT O'Don­nell b MW Sned­den .................................................... 6 D Chandi­mal c DN Phillips b LI Ge­orge­son ........................................................ 26 K Mendis c MW Chu b MW Sned­den ................................................................. 0 A Mathews not out .......................................................................................... 128 D de Silva c MW Sned­den b PF Younghus­band ................................................ 14 N Dick­wella c WT O'Don­nell b PF Younghus­band ................................................ 0 R Silva c DN Phillips b BP Coburn ....................................................................... 0 D Per­era lbw b BP Coburn ................................................................................... 0 S Lak­mal c KD Clarke b BP Coburn ................................................................... 10 Ku­mara not out .................................................................................................. 12 Ex­tras (b 0, lb 4, wd 8, nb 2) ............................................................................. 14 TO­TAL (for 9 wick­ets de­clared in 59 overs) ..................................................... 210 Fall of wick­ets; 1-1 (MD Gu­nathi­laka, 0.4), 2-10 (HDRL Thi­r­i­manne, 5.1), 3-10 (BKG Mendis, 5.3), 4-59 (LD Chandi­mal, 15.4), 5-87 (DM de Silva, 24.3), 6-87 (DPDN Dick­wella, 24.4), 7-88 (ARS Silva, 25.6), 8-88 (MDK Per­era, 27.3), 9-104 (RAS Lak­mal, 35.2)

Bowl­ing: LR Dud­ding 9-1-38-1,MW Sned­den 7-0-29-2, BR Hamp­ton11-1-38-0, LI Ge­orge­son 5-2-13-1, RF Younghus­band 10-6-25-2, BP Coburn 13-4-44-3, WT O’Don­nell 4-0-19-0

New Zealand XI first In­nings

LI Ge­orge­son c BKG Mendis b RAS Lak­mal ......................................................... 8 DS Robin­son lbw b CBRLS Ku­mara ..................................................................... 4 WT O'Don­nell c LD Chandi­mal b PVD Chameera ............................................... 22 San­deep Pa­tel not out ........................................................................................ 14 DN Phillips b MDK Per­era ................................................................................. 17 MW Sned­den not out .......................................................................................... 0 Ex­tras (b 0, lb 0, w 0, nb 2) ................................................................................. 2 TO­TAL (for 4 wick­ets in 31 overs) ...................................................................... 67 Fall of wick­ets: 1-4 (DS Robin­son, 3.6), 2-35 (LI Ge­orge­son, 16.6), 3-35 (WT O'Don­nell, 17.6), 4-63 (DN Phillips, 26.2)

Bowl­ing: Ka­sun Ra­jith 6-3-10-0, Lahiru Ku­mara 5-2-10-1, Dush­man­tha Chameera 5-1-28-1, Su­ranga Lak­mal 4-2-6-1, Dil­ruwan Per­era 6-2-6-1, Lak­shan San­dakan 5-0-7-0 the bur­den of the in­nings af­ter Sri Lanka’s top and mid­dle or­der col­lapsed in a too fa­mil­iar fash­ion.

Only skip­per Di­nesh Chandi­mal man­aged to score more than 20 runs in the in­nings--a ma­jor worry for the de­pleted Sri Lankans who will take on the high-rid­ding New Zealand in a twom­atch Test se­ries start­ing next Satur­day (15). Out of Mathews' 128, 94 runs came off through bound­aries (19) and sixes (3)--such has been his dom­i­nance in the 177 run ball in­nings.

Sri Lanka who were given a 3-0 thrash­ing by Eng­land at home few days back, were ex­pect­ing their bats­men to put runs on the board, but what tran­spired in the mid­dle was a to­tal calamity. Sri Lanka had a worst pos­si­ble start to the match, af­ter elect­ing to bat first, when they were re­duced for 10 for 3 by the 6th over with Danushka Gu­nathi­laka ( 0), Lahiru Thi­r­i­manne (6) and Kusal Mendis (0) back in the pavil­ion in quick suc­ces­sion. There was brief re­sis­tance from skip­per Chandi­mal who scored 26 runs adding 49 for the fourth wicket with Mathews but rest of the bat­ting col­lapsed around Mathews like nine pins be­fore Lahiru Ku­mara braved the threat with a suf­fi­cient ef­fort with the bat. Out of the 11 bat­ters five of them failed to get off the mark.

For the New Zealand XI chi­na­man Blake Coburn was the pick of the bowlers claim­ing 3 for 44 while W Sned­den and RF Younghus­band claimed two wick­ets each.

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