Sports

Shanaka stars with century on day one of second 'Test'

Friday, October 20, 2017

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FLORENCE HALL, Trelawny — A pulsating, shot-filled unbeaten century from Dasun Shanaka lifted Sri Lanka 'A' out of trouble to a position of dominance on day one of the second 'Test' against West Indies 'A' at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium here yesterday.

The 26-year-old, right-handed Shanaka smashed eight huge sixes and five fours in his 102, which came off just 108 balls, to help the visitors to 294 all out, after tottering at 137-5 — having chosen to bat first.

The Sri Lankans then struck twice before bad light stopped play at 5:20 pm with the hosts reduced to 14-2 after 10 overs. Spinners Malinda Pushpakumara (1-5) and Shehan Jayasuriya (1-0) removed openers Montcin Hodge (2) and John Campbell (5).

For Shanaka, it was his fifth first-class century and fittingly the landmark came with his eighth six and last scoring shot — a savage pull over midwicket off leg-spinner Damion Jacobs.

After arriving at the crease midway the post-lunch session with Sri Lanka A having lost three quick wickets, including Captain Dhananjaya de Silva (73), Shanaka dominated a sixth-wicket stand of 105 with Roshen Silva, 30.

He relished the spin of Rahkeem Cornwall (2-85) and Jacobs (2-74) with seven of his eight sixes clouted off their bowling. But he would have being especially proud of a straight hit off the pacy 20 year-old Oshane Thomas — playing his second first-class match — who troubled him on occasions.

Shanaka should have been out at 18, but John Campbell at first slip spilled the low catch off Keon Joseph (3-32), who bowled with impressive pace and commitment. And at 42, 'keeper Jahmar Hamilton just failed to get the gloves to an edge, low down, off Thomas.

Earlier, after choosing to bat on a pitch with good grass covering and which provided predictable pace and bounce, Sri Lanka 'A' were two wickets down with just 36 on the board, losing Sandun Weerakoddy (8) and Ron Chandraguptha (9) to edged catches to the 'keeper off Joseph.

De Silva and his vice-captain, left-handed Charith Asalanka (41), repaired the early damage with an enterprising century stand. However, half an hour after lunch Jacobs struck, removing Asalanka as the lefthander top-edged an attempted square drive against Jacobs for a looping catch to backward point at 128-3.

The captain followed shortly after, having hit six fours and faced 89 balls — under edging an attempted hook off Joseph to the 'keeper. And Cornwall struck the very next over, finding the edge of left handed Shan Jayasuriya's tentative bat for a comfortable catch to slip at 137-5.

It was then left to the heroics of Shanaka and Silva to repair the innings. The loss of Silva — deservingly to Thomas (1-53), caught behind by Hamilton — at 242-6 signalled the end was near for the Sri Lanka 'A' innings. However, Wanindu Hasaranga ( 4), Pushpakumara (0), Kasun Rajitha (1) and Asitha Fernando (0) did enough to ensure Shanaka could celebrate his century.

In fading light, the Sri Lanka, left-armer Pushpakumara hit Hodge's off stump as the right-hander played tentatively forward and the left-handed Campbell was trapped leg before by off-spinner Jayasuriya's faster arm ball.

From the first 'Test', which West Indies 'A' won by an innings and 13 runs, the hosts replaced fast bowler Reynard Leverdige — who had left the field with a leg strain in that game — with Thomas.

Sri Lanka 'A' made two changes, replacing Lahiru Kumara and Chamika Karunarathne with Kasun Rajitha and Roshen Silva.

— Garfield Myers

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