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Queensland v Sri Lankans
The Daily News - 19 November 1995

Sri Lanka lose tour opener

Sri Lanka's cricket tour of Australia lurched to an uncertain beginning here Sunday when Arjuna Ranatunga's men crashed to a 46run one-day defeat to Queensland.

The Sri Lankans, bowling along at 124 for two in the chase after the Sheffield Shield champions' 208, collapsed dramatically, losing 38 for nine to be all out for 162 off 45.1 overs and hand victory to Queensland.

The Sri Lankans are renowned as notoriously slow starters. They lost the first game of the Champions Trophy before winning this year's title in Sharjah and lost the opening Test before their historic 2-1 series win in Pakistan a few months ago.

The tourists fell away badly after a brilliant springboard established by the technically-proficient Roshan Mahanama (58) and Asanka Gurusinha (50), who shared in a 119-run second-wicket partnership off 166 balls.

Mahanama and Gurusinha batted beautifully complementing each other and stifling Queensland with the left and right hand combination.

They appeared to find little trouble on a wicket which the Queenslanders found difficult in their innings.

The wicket resembled a dusty Colombo wicket with little bounce despite its hardness. Mahanama and Gurusinha revelled on it.

The pair went run for run after coming together when opener Sanath Jayasuriya was dismissed lbw for a duck by Michael Kasprowicz in the third over. But the pair departed within minutes of each other.

Gurusinha holed out to Matthew Hayden at point for 50 (73 balls) while Mahanama fell in the next over to a marvellous catch behind by Ian Healy's understudy Wade Seccombe after facing 107 balls for his half-century.

Queensland skipper Stuart Law triggered the wicket tumble with a career best 5-26 from 10 overs including the crucial wickets of Mahanama and captain Arjuna Ranatunga (5).

Law, troubled by a virus, only brought himself on as Queensland's sixth bowler after the full time bowlers had no reward for their efforts.

Earlier Queensland opener Matthew Hayden battled the uneven wicket which produced some deliveries which barely rose off the pitch from both pacemen and spinner.

Just as he looked as though he might bat through he was bowled by Gurusinha for 53 after 147 minutes at the crease. Andrew Symonds, who turned his back on an invitation to tour India with the England A team, lifted Queensland's run-rate with a slick 25 from 29 balls.

It took a direct hit from well outside the circle to end Symond's innings with a direct hit from mid wicket from Muttiah Muralidaran.

Source: The Daily News