|Bell Hammers eighty seven
Dhammika Ratnaweera reporting from Dambulla
Ian Bell played a fighting knock of 87 with ten fours to guide ECB Academy to make a no decision against Sri Lanka A in their third and final unofficial cricket match concluded at Dambulla International Cricket Stadium yesterday.
After Sri Lanka A were all out for 399 in 148.3 overs the Englishmen made 271 for six wickets at close of the game with 15 mandatory overs to spare on the final session of the final day yesterday. The two captains Tilan Samaraweera and Chris Read agreed to halt the game at 4.50 p.m. and the two umpires Gamini Silva and Saman Amarasinghe halted the game with a no decision.
Ian Bell the right hander from Warwickshire played a major role in his 354 minutes in 274 balls, while opener Gorden Muchall who scored 43 with five fours, added 72 runs in a second wicket combination to buildup the innings. Left arm paceman Thilina Thushara who took 5 for 72 in the final innings, once again was among the wickets with 2 for 46 in his 14 overs spell. Kaushal Lokuarachchi the right arm leggie, took 2 for 49 in his 32 overs spell with 15 maiden overs.
Rodney Marsh, the Director and coach of the ECB cricket Academy told the Island after the match: "Our players tried to approach positive but Sri Lanka A side never played positively" They scored 399 in 148.3 overs but our boys got 368 in 99.5 overs in the final innings.
However the series ended in one all. Marsh the man behind the success of the touring team also praised the Dambulla Stadium. "The ground and wicket are fantastic, and this is the best ground Ive seen in Sri Lanka. The ground staff did a fine "Job" said Marsh. "We wanted to play one days and players are confident to take on one-day series." The first one-day game between the two teams will be played on March 14th at Dambulla Stadium and the 2nd one day game at Kurunegala on March 16.
ECB Academy 368 all out. Robert Key 105, Jim Troughton 109, Thilina Thushara 5/72 and 271 for six wickets at close in 110 overs. Chriss Read 19, Gordon Muchall 43, Ian Bell 87, Robert key 10, Jim Troughton 30, Rikki Clarke 17, Mark Wallace 36 n.o., Gareth Batty 16 n.o., Dharshana Gamage 1/31, Hasantha Fernando 1/16, Thilina Thushara 2/46 and Kaushal Lokuarachchi 2/49.
Sri Lanka A 399 all out in 148.3 overs Kaushal Lokuarachchi 89, Hasantha Fernando 60, Gareth Batty 3/84 and Richard Dawson 3/91.
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