Day four: Sri Lanka A 252 and 498/7 (Kusal 147, Chaturanga 103*, Priyanjan 103, Bracewell 3/102) New Zealand A 299/9 declared. Result: match drawn, at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Three centuries and classy batting from Sri Lanka A ensured the first unofficial Test v NZA ended in a draw. The home side were extremely positive, scoring at almost six an over at one stage, but decided against a declaration. They finished 451 runs ahead at the conclusion of a match where many overs were lost to rain.
It was tough going for the NZA bowlers, who worked hard in trying conditions for little reward. Doug Bracewell took three wickets, with Adam Milne, Todd Astle, Daryl Mitchell and Carl Cachopa all taking one wicket each.
The series now moves to Dambulla for the second unofficial Test, which starts 4.30pm NZ time on Monday.
Day three: New Zealand A 299/9 declared (Carl Cachopa 104, Daryl Mitchell 41, Luke Ronchi 47) Sri Lanka A 252 and 135/3 (Kusal Perera 62, Doug Bracewell 2/50, Adam Milne 1/16 ) at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Carl Cachopa scored a century on day three, as NZA were able to post a first innings lead against Sri Lanka A in the unofficial first Test. NZA were well placed at 175/1, but lost wickets cheaply in the lower middle order.
New Zealand A coach Grant Bradburn said “We really wanted to hammer home an advantage in that last session and build a good lead, but we didn’t put together those vital partnerships towards the end of the innings. We had little contributions from Devcich, Mitchell and Ronchi, but they didn’t push on - it still sets up a really intriguing last day.”
The Sri Lankan A batsmen came out with an extremely positive attitude in their 19 overs to reach 153/3, a lead of 88 with seven wickets in hand, with Kusal Perera scoring 62 from 45.
“The bowlers are looking forward to getting into their work tomorrow, the wrist spinners were getting some purchase, but there is enough there for the seam bowlers to really keep them interested. If we can knock the top off them early, who knows, we can expose them and perhaps put them under pressure and put ourselves in a winning position tomorrow afternoon, said Bradburn.
Day two: Sri Lanka A 252 (Ish Sodhi 3/34, Corey Anderson 2/27, Kaushal Silva 103), New Zealand A 31/0 at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
After heavy rain overnight, and wet underfoot conditions delayed a start, new Test BLACKCAP Ish Sodhi worked hard to make the most of a pitch offering a some turn and bounce, to bag three wickets as New Zealand A restricted Sri Lanka A to 252 all out on day two of the first unofficial Test in Kandy.
Paceman Doug Bracewell got the vital wickets of Kaushal Silva, who scored a patient 103, and Ashan Priyanjan for 40, while Corey Anderson and Mark Gillespie both got two for the innings to go with Mark Gillespie’s two scalps from day one.
New Zealand A coach Grant Bradburn said: “The bowlers stuck at it all day, the seamers particularly bowled very tight lines and showed good discipline. To dismiss Sri Lanka A for 252 was a very good day’s work,” said Brandburn.
New Zealand A openers Carl Cachopa (14*) and Anton Devcich (11*) safely negotiated some lively Sri Lanka A fast bowling on a tricky pitch in the 11 overs possible before bad light stopped play.
“Tomorrow we’ll look to get ourselves in and weather the new ball, the Sri Lankan attack showed plenty of pace this evening. It’ll be a challenge for our guys in the morning but we’ll look to advance the game as much as we can, to set up a result on day four. We’re here to play cricket and learn in a variety of different conditions, so it would be great to see our guys tested in a fourth innings chase, or a situation where we have to bowl Sri Lanka A out a second time,” said Bradburn.
Day three of the four day match is scheduled start at 4.30pm today NZ time.
Rain made day one of the unofficial Test between New Zealand A and Sri Lanka A a stop-start affair. For the tourists, Mark Gillespie removed dangerous batsman Kusal Perera for 2 in the fifth over, and returned to grab captain Dinesh Chandimal LBW for six to finish the day with 2 for 40. Fellow BLACKCAPS Test squad member Corey Anderson picked up the other wicket of the day during the 40 overs (of 90 scheduled) that were possible.