The 25-year-old Yorkshire placeman Matthew Fisher had fine figures of 5 for 34 as Sri Lanka ‘A’ were struggling 134 all out in their first innings against England Lions on the opening day of the first unofficial four day Test cricket match played at Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday. England Lions made a bold reply by scoring 249 for 3 wickets at close.
Sri Lanka ‘A’ skipper Nipun Dhananjaya won the toss and decided to bat first but the top order was not up to the standard struggling 87 for 5 wickets after 18 overs. English bowlers posed a good challenge over Sri Lanka ‘A’ team from the beginning.
The openers Nishan Madushka and Oshada Fernando were unable to make solid platform while Madushka who scored brilliant 150 in the previous warm up game was unfortunately LBW to paceman Matthew Fisher in the first over of the game. Madushka was back to the pavilion after scoring only 1 run in 2 balls while Oshada Fernando (21) and Nuwanindu Fernando (17) were out within two overs and both wickets were taken by Nottinghamshire leg spinner Liam Patterson who finished 3 for 51 in his 13 over spell. At lunch Sri Lanka ‘A’ were reeling 101 for 6 wickets while second over after lunch Sadeera Samarawickrama who played really well during the first session was out scoring 43 in 60 balls with 7 fours. Bowling all rounder Lakshitha Manasinghe made useful 26 in 27 balls with 5 fours while Matthew Fisher finished superb spell of 5 for 34 in his ten over spell to wreck the Sri Lanka ‘A’ innings.
England openers skipper Hasheeb Hameed and Alex Lees made a solid platform adding 125 runs in 24.3 overs. Lees the 24-year-old right hander from Durham was first to out scoring 56 in 69 balls with 9 fours and a six while leg spinner Lasith Embuldeniya made a breakthrough to dismiss Lees.
Skipper Hameed played an anchor role scoring 81 in 109 balls while wicket keeper Sadeera Samarawickrama took a catch off the bowling of leg spinner Sahan Arachchige to depart Hameed.
Tom Haines remained at wicket with 62 in 72 balls with 7 fours with Josh Bohannon who was unbeaten 26 in 34 balls with 3 fours. Both Haines and Bohannon were associated 49 runs unbroken fourth wicket stand at close. Lasith Embuldeniya took 2 for 89 in his 17 overs spell while Sahan Arachchige took 1 for 22. Sri Lanka ‘A’ skipper Nipun Dhananjaya used six bowlers during 48 overs while England Lions played in an aggressive mood to get runs in quick session.
Sri Lanka ‘A’ 136 all out in 35.4 overs Oshada Fernando 21 , Nuwanindu Fernando 17, Nipun Dhananjaya 15, Sadeera Samarawickrama 43 , Lakshitha Manasinghe 26, Sam Cook 1/17, Matthew Fisher 5/34, Liam Patterson 3/51, Tom Abell 1/17.
England Lions 249 for 3 wickets at close in 48 overs Alex Lees 56, Haseeb Hameed 81, Tom Haines 62n.o., Josh Bohannan 26n.o., Lasith Embuldeniya 2/89, Sahan Arachchige 1/22.