Sri Lanka 'A' claimed a first innings lead in the first unofficial Test against Ireland 'A' thanks to an unfinished century stand for the fifth wicket between Milinda Siriwardana and Kamindu Mendis at the SSC grounds yesterday.
Siriwardana shared 139 runs with Mendis after Sri Lanka were reduced to 46 for 4 in reply to Ireland’s first innings total of 153 all out to finish day on 185 for 4. Irish seamer Mark Richard Adair ran through Sri Lanka’s top order with a vicious bowling effort early on but the Sri Lankan duo ensured Sri Lanka 'A' lose no further wickets before stumps were drawn on day one.
Siriwardana, the former Sri Lanka international, crafted his innings beautifully hitting nine boundaries in his unfinished 73 off 77 balls while the former Sri Lanka U-19 skipper was unbeaten on 64 off 90 balls with ten hits to the ropes. The partnership grew from strength to strength as they played cautiously, waiting for the lose balls.
Ireland 'A', taking the first lease of the wicket were reduced for 62 by the 17th over by the Sri Lanka seam and spin bowlers but a fighting half century by James McCollum, 76, helped them reach a total of 153. The highlight of tourists innings was a 50-run stand for the seventh wicket between top-scorer McCullum and Neli Rock who made 28 before becoming Mohamed Shiraz fourth victim.
Sri Lanka 'A' seamer Mohamed Shiraz (4 for 47) and spinners Lasith Ambuldeniya (4 for 46) and Nishan Peiris (2 for 30) shared all ten wickets among them within the space of just 45.2 overs.
Ireland 'A' 153 all out in 45.2 overs (J. McCullum 76, N. Rock 28: M. Shiraz 4 for 47, L. Ambuldeniya 4 for 46, N. Peiris 2 for 30)
Sri Lanka 'A' 185 for 4 in 42 overs (M. Siriwardana 73n.o, Kamindu Mendis 64n.o, Avishka Fernando 20: M. Adair 3 for 34)