Skipper Kumar Sangakkara hammered 110 off 95 balls as Sri Lanka blazed to a score of 301 on their way to a 112-run win over Queensland in their opening Australian tour match on Friday. The Sri Lankans, building up to their three-match one-day international series with Australia next month, were spearheaded by Sangakkara and Chamara Silva (75) at the Gabba.
The tourists then dismissed Queensland for 189 off 36.1 overs with paceman Dilhara Fernando taking 4-41 off 6.1 overs and fellow fast bowler Dammika Prasad snaring 3-43 off eight overs.
Sangakkara was heartened by the way his team started on one of Australia’s bounciest wickets but said they had plenty of important work ahead of them with a one-dayer and T20 against New South Wales before taking on Australia.
“We still have a lot of improvement (left) but I like the way we batted especially getting through the start in the first 12 overs on a wicket that was slightly soft and had a bit in it,” he said.“We consolidated well and put on a good total and in our first 15 overs we bowled we managed to make some inroads.”
Sangakkara was pleased to kick off his tour in good form.
“It was nice to get runs on the board first up… it was very satisfying,” he said. Sri Lanka rested star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, former skipper Mahela Jayawardene and senior batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan in their tour opener. Queensland’s under-strength bowling attack were on top early with the tourists struggling with the extra bounce of the Brisbane wicket at 30 for two in the eighth over.
But Sangakkara, who shrugged off a hamstring strain to play, single-handedly turned around the Sri Lankan innings.
The wicketkeeper-batsman set a solid platform by dominating an 87-run stand with Chamara Kapugedera (35) before a century partnership with Chamara Silva. Sangakkara, who hit 10 boundaries and five sixes, brought up his century with his fourth six off leg-spinner Cameron Boyce, and then repeated the dose over deep mid-wicket two balls later.
Ben Laughlin (3-54) removed Sangakkara in the 41st over with a slow full-toss which the left-hander chipped to mid-wicket.
But the Sri Lankan lower order carried on in similar fashion, belting 49 runs from the last five overs, including a six by Thisara Perera off the last ball.
In Queensland’s innings only number six Craig Philipson put up any resistance with 69 off 62 balls including 11 fours.
Sri Lanka have another one-dayer against NSW in Sydney on Sunday followed by a Twenty20 game against NSW on Wednesday. AFP