Arnold 'ton' helps Board XI to 301
by SA'ADI THAWFEEQ
NCC opening bat Russel Arnold gave the new-look national selection committee some food for thought by stroking a marvellous 140 for the Sri Lanka Board XI in their two-day game against the touring Pakistan tourists at Police Park, Bambalapitiya yesterday.
The national selectors although not present at full strength, were given a treat of left-handed batsmanship by the lean and tall Arnold who struck 20 fours in a stay of 381 minutes. Arnold missed at 53 in the gully off young fast bowler Mohammad Zahid, made full use of the lapse to enable his team total 301 all out. Zahid, finally got Arnold's wicket with his first ball of a new spell getting through the batsman's defences to comprehensively bowl him .
Arnold shared a 104-run second wicket partnership with another left- hander Sanjeeva Ranatunga whose innings of 52 in 174 minutes (8 fours) was the only other notable contribution in the Board's innings after Marvan Atapattu had won the toss and chosen to bat first.
With a question mark hanging over the fitness of key fast bowler and captain Wasim Akram, three days before the first Test, his new ball partners Waqar Younis and Mohammad Zahid bowled impressively to share six wickets apiece.
Pakistanis lost acting captain Rameez Raja cheaply for six when he attempted a drive and was caught behind off Ravindra Pushpakumara. Salim Elahi and Asif Mujtaba carried Pakistan without further loss to 43.
Day 2 report
Centuries from Elahi, Malik
By SA'ADI THAWFEEQ
Salim Elahi and Salim Malik brightened a gloomy day for Pakistan with contrasting centuries in their two-day tour game against a Sri Lanka Board XI which ended in a draw at Police Park, Bambalapitiya Thursday.
The Pakistanis began the second day of their match with the sad news that one of their key fast bowlers Waqar Younis would be out for the rest of the tour with a fractured toe.
But that did not stop opening bat Elahi and Malik from gaining some valuable batting practice ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Elahi went on to make 106 in 272 minutes with a six and 13 fours before retiring. Malik was dismissed soon after reaching his century in 184 minutes with the aid of nine fours.
Apart from these two batsmen, none of the other Pakistanis used the opportunity to gain some useful practice.
Russel Arnold, who struck a delightful 140 on the first day, displayed his all-round prowess by reducing the Pakistanis from a total of strength at 242 for 3 to 281 for 8 by capturing three wickets for seven runs with his off-breaks.