Queensland v Sri Lanka
The Daily News - 22-25 November 1995
Misfortune befalls Sri Lanka Asanka out of 1st Test with fractured thumb
Sri Lankan batsman Asanka Gurusinha seems certain to miss next month's first Test against Australia in Perth after an adverse medical report Tuesday.
The 29-year-old left-hander has a fractured left thumb and will be in plaster for at least a week, team manager Duleep Mendis said Tuesday.
Apart from missing the tour's first four-day match against Queensland starting here Wednesday, Gurusinha is expected to be out of action for at least a fortnight. The opening match in the three-test series begins on December 8.
STRUCK ON GLOVE
Gurusinha, who was struck on the glove during his innings of 50 in a one-day match against Queensland last weekend, will remain in Brisbane until after the Mackay match before rejoining his teammates.
``I think most probably Asanka will be out for about two weeks and hopefully he will be all right after that,'' Mendis said.
``Luckily they didn't have to open it up for surgery. But the way things are now I have my doubts that he will play in the Test.''
Sanjeewa Ranatunga, younger brother of captain Arjuna Ranatunga, and Sanath Jayasuriya are in line to fill Gurusinha's test place.
``It is a loss for us, obviously, but the person who comes in will have to take the opportunity,'' said Mendis.
Mendis expected changes to the side that collapsed to a 46-run defeat to Queensland on Sunday.
``There might be some changes because that was the one-day team and of course we don't have two of our bowlers here,'' he said, referring to 20-year-old pacemen Chaminda Vaas and Manjula Munasinghe, who are yet to join the tour.
Rain again marred the tourists' preparations Tuesday when they were forced to reschedule training after heavy overnight showers.
``It's very important that we get some good practice, batting and bowling,'' said Mendis.
Sheffield Shield champions Queensland will have a full strength team, including former Test stars Allan Border and Matthew Hayden.
Muralidharan a handful for Queensland
Unpredictable spinners Muttiah Muralidharan and Jayantha Silva showed promise of things to come for the Sri Lankan cricket tourists after bamboozling Queensland's top batsmen here on Wednesday. At the close of the opening day of the four-day match, Queensland were 277 for seven, but the bewitching performance of Muralidharan was a hot topic.
Queensland batsman Jimmy Maher, who made a half century, was still perplexed at stumps as to how Muralidharan managed to bowl orthodox right-arm offspin out of the back of his hand. Maher, now a regular in the star-studded Queensland line-up, described it as the best spin he had faced in his three seasons of first class cricket, although would not draw comparison with Australian ace Shane Warne.
Maher's 50 and a ruthless 73 from Andrew Symonds rescued Queensland from a precarious 44 for three in the first hour. Test cricket's top runscorer Allan Border resumes on 34 on Thursday with Andrew Bichel on seven.
Maher and Symonds shared in a 107-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but Maher, who had to fight for every run, believes the unusual actions of the two Sri Lankan spinners will fool the Australian batsmen in the coming Test series, which gets under way in Perth on 8 December.
Muralidharan, acknowledged as Sri Lanka's top spinner, took 2-79 from 28 overs, but the end result was not indicative of the way he bowled. Silva had 0-42 from 19 overs. ''They have the subtle differences in their actions which will always make them very difficult to play,'' Maher said.
Left-handed Maher misread Muralidaran for a legspinner at first. ''I went to cut the first few but they were hitting me on the hip, I didn't have a clue,'' Maher said. ''In terms of spin they were the best I've faced, they were turning them two feet.'' Maher overcame the battle only to fall to a pull shot off paceman Pramodya Wickramasinghe. In a contrasting innings to Maher's, the stylish Symonds was mostly comfortable against the spin, although might have had some advantage being right-handed.
His knock continued the majestic form which has made him headline news over the last 12 months since making his maiden first-class hundred against England this time last year. Symonds' battle with Muralidharan was clearly decided. His footwork was superb as he took 29 runs from 35 balls from the unorthodox action of the right-armer.
Maher was dropped twice on 27 and 31 while Symonds was put down by Aravinda de Silva when on 21.
It was a bad day in the field for the Sri Lankans, who were on top early when pacemen Pramodya Wickramasinghe and Ravindra Pushpakumara gave them three early breakthroughs. Pushpakumara was particularly impressive early in the steamy conditions in an unchanged nine-over spell. Pushpakumara troubled the Queenslanders early with his deceptive bounce and pace in taking the wickets of opener Trevor Barsby (15) and Martin Love (14).
'KASPRO' (7/64) WRECKS LANKAN BATTING - Bernie Wijesekera
Harrup Park, Mackay, Thursday
A career-best first class bowling feat by 23-year-old Michael Kasprowicz (7 for 64 in 22.3 overs) sent Sri Lanka reeling to 178 all out in reply to Queensland's 305 on day two of their tour opener now in progress here,Thursday.
A sad batting spectacle by the Lankan top order lacking temperament and concentration was easy prey to the Bulls pacemen led by Michael Kasprowicz and Andre Bichel 3 for 43 in 19 overs which saw the Sheffield Shield champions to a first innings lead of 127 runs to put them in command on day two.
The Sri Lankan bowlers bowled their hearts out to contain the strong Queensland batting line up to 305.
However the afternoon saw Sri Lanka top batsmen let them down after being 20 for 2 at lunch having lost their last eight wickets, under two sessions to be all out for 178 runs in 74.3 overs.
The redeeming feature of the innings was the determined fifth wicket stand of 81 runs between Sri Lanka's ''man of steel'' skipper Arjuna Ranatunga 77 (with 7 fours and 2 sixes in 128 balls) and Hashan Tillekeratne a responsible 21 runs sewed up the innings. It was Arjuna, who brought some glimmer of hope to the innings and played some effective strokes all round the wicket. Tillekeratne lost concentration with the total at 137 for four when the batsman played a poor stroke to give 'keeper Seccombe a simple catch off Kasprowicz for 21 (with 3 fours made in 91 balls). The writing was on the wall when Arjuna was taken at first slip by Border to give Kasprowicz his fifth wicket.
It was a disappointing performance by the Lankan batsmen for the second time against Queensland, when they lost the one-dayer too due to poor batting. Queensland in their second innings were 13 for no loss at close in four overs.
PACEMEN MOP UP THE TAIL
Sri Lanka's fast duo, Wickremasinghe and Puspakumara, making use of the second new ball taken overnight at 88.2 overs, did well to demolish the last three batsmen for 28 runs, including last man out Allan Border (48) and Queensland were all out for 305, within the space of 8 overs bowled between them. Pushpakumara, got the first scalp for the morning to dismiss Bichel for 10, well held by 'Murali'.
Kasprowicz was beaten by a lifting delivery from 'Wicks' for 'keeper Kaluwitharana to pocket the catch. Border, apparently playing his farewell match before retirement here at Harrup Park, when on 44, pulled 'Pushpa' for 4 over mid-wicket, but in the next delivery going for a big hit, had his stumps cartwheeling for 48 made in 128 balls, with 3 fours in 162 mts.
The Lankan bowlers performed well with Wickremasinghe leading the way, with some hostile and accurate bowling (4 for 49 in 25 overs), followed by workhorse Pushpakumara (4 for 114), in 22 overs. But Muralideran, teased the batsmen with his guile and in a marathon spell of 28 overs had 2 for 79.
Allan Border, on day one, highly commended 'Murali'. ''He is a much improved bowler than I saw him in '92. He spins better now, but with better variation he should earn more wickets,'' Border added.
Border also praised orthodox left-arm spinner, Jayantha Silva and said your team should fare well in the coming Test series.''
OUR OPENERS FULLY TESTED
The openers Mahanama and Hathurusinghe were fully tested by pacemen Kasprowicz and Tazelaar with some fiery bowling. In the third over of the innings 'Hathuru' fending at a short ball gave Law a catch at second slip for 1, off Kasprowicz. Sanjeewa Ranatunga who came in next dug himself well for 40 mts, but Bichel, who replaced Kasprowicz, cut one back to remove Sanjeewa lbw for 3.
At the adjournment, Sri Lanka were 20 for 2 in 17 overs with Mahanama batting with grim determination on 10 and Aravinda on 2. But after lunch in the second over, the Lankans received a body blow. Ara fell to Bichel's first over when he attempted to pull the 5th ball, over fine-leg, and offered a catch to Tazelaar for 3.
Arjuna Ranatunga the ''man for a crisis'' joined Mahanama. With Arjuna timing the ball, picked up runs freely against the pacemen. Meanwhile Mahanama, sound in defence, saw the 50 coming on the board. Kasprowicz changing ends had Mahanama lbw for 19 (made in 95 balls, 125 mts with a 4). At this stage Arjuna on 23 took control of the innings, with Tillekeratne, showing his usual resolute approach.
Arjuna, hit Law for a straight hit to the sightscreen _ a glorious six. Arjuna with an off drive to the pickets completed his 50 (made in 74 balls 5 fours and a six).
At tea Sri Lanka were 103 for 4, in 47 overs made in 189 mts with Arjuna on 54 and Hashan a gritty 10 n.o., in an unfinished 47-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Sri Lanka struggle against Queensland - Bernie Wijesekera
Sri Lanka are struggling to save their first four-day game on Australian tour as the visitors, chasing a victory target of 383, were struggling at 59 for 3 on the third day of their tour match against Queensland in Mackay on Friday.
The 'bulls' are nicely poised to pull this game on the final day with only seven wickets to be captured in 90 overs, with a long tail to follow barring No. 6 slot bat, Hashan Tillekeratne and Romesh Kaluwitharne.
It was a sad tale of woes again when both openers Mahanama and Hathurusinghe failed followed by Aravinda de Silva who made a quick exit with only four runs, to the bowling of Dirk Tazelaar (left-arm fast medium), who had Mahanama caught behind by the keeper Seccombe for 18 (with 2 fours in 29 balls in 34 mts). Then in Andrew Bichel's first over, he had Hathurusinghe caught on the leg-side by the keeper for 7. Two balls later after conceding 4 runs to Aravinda de Silva, he had the batsman caught at forward short-leg for 4 by Martin Love - a disastrous start indeed.
All hopes of Sri Lanka making a match of it again fell on the broad shoulders of Arjuna Ranatunga, when he joined his younger brother Sanjeewa with the total at 31 for 3. Arjuna on 2, was lucky to survive when he attempted to slash Taselaar through the cordon, but only to be missed by Border at slips with the total at 40.
At the close Arjuna on 10 and Sanjeewa on 13 in 33 balls batted with grim determination to the close if the two brothers continue their disciplined approach today, Sri Lanka are bound to make the 'bulls' sweat for victory, with a long innings.
In an energy sapping third day's play entertaining cricket was dished out to the avid sugar cane farmers, who took a day off to watch this match in their numbers. The 'bulls' leading by 127 runs on the first innings were given a solid start by openers Trevor Barsby and Mathew Hayden who added 81 runs between them for their overnight score 10 for no loss, until Sri Lanka's spin twins, maestro Muralidaran and left-arm spinner Jayantha Silva curtailed their run-chase.
Silva, broke the stand first in the third over when he accounted for Hayden's wicket for 36 runs ( with 4 fours made in 68 balls). In his next over 'Murali' struck twice when he bowled Barsby for 51 (with 7 fours made in 62 balls) and then two balls later, he had Martin Love caught at slips by Mahanama for a duck - three wickets failing for one run - 95 for 3 after being 94 for no loss.
With both spinners bowling to an excellent line backed by good fielding, the Queenslanders lost another wicket before lunch that of Stuart Law, brilliantly held by Sanjeewa Ranatunga at deep mid-wicket for a diving catch, inches from the ground, to dismiss the batsman for 14 to give Muralideran his third scalp.
Maher was joined by hard-hitting Symonds, who whipped Jayantha Silva for a six over mid-on. At lunch they were 123 for 4.
Murali and Silva bowled 18 overs between them in this session. After lunch Arjuna pinned his faith on 'Murali' who continued to bowl a marathon spell from lunch to tea - 16 overs and picked up the wicket of Allen Border, who went for a big hit only to be well held by Pushpakumara at long on for 31 runs (with 2 fours).
Earlier he had the wicket of Andrew Symonds, also caught by Pushpakumara in the deep for 15 runs. Jayantha Silva too getting much bite off the pitch, picked two more wickets before tea - 204 for 8. 'Murali' at this stage had 5 for 74 in 26 overs, while Silva 3 for 60 in 20 overs.
Despite leading by 331 runs, the Shield champions continued to bat and were finally all out for 255 runs, with keeper Wade Secombe scoring a determined 38 n.o. (2 fours and 2 sixes in 48 balls).
It was a fascinating day for the two Lankan spinners who shared the ten wickets between them - 'Muralideran' 5 for 87, in 31 overs and Jayantha Silva 5 for 96, in 24.4 overs in the gruelling heat.
It was indeed a fine performance by the duo in preparation for the Test series against Australia. The Lankans were set an imposing task of making 385 to win with 20 overs on the final day on Saturday.
Both openers Mahanama and Haturusinghe fell easy prey to the fiery bowling of Dirk Tazelaar and Andrew Bichel - both dismissed at 27.
Source: The Daily News