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Warnapura’s maiden ton lifts Sri Lanka



Malinda Warnapura celebrates a maiden Test century during the first day of the first test match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka in Georgetown on saturday. AFP

A punishing century (120) from left-hander Malinda Warnapura who made his maiden Test century helped Sri Lanka reach a first-day score of 269 for 4 against the West Indies at the Providence Stadium, here on Saturday.

The Sri Lankan’s were going well at 243 for two, but the Windies struck back with two quick wickets of Sangakkara and Samaraweera came back into the picture.

‘I was delighted to make my first Test century. Early on there was no movement and it was easy playing strokes. When I was nearing my century I was lucky to have Sangakkara as my partner who always kept urging me to concentrate. ‘My father would be the happiest, said a delighted looking Warnapura when interviewed at the end of the day.

With only three recognised batsmen remaining in the Lankan innings - Jayawardena 25 not out, Dilshan 15 not out and Prasanna Jayawardena, the first hour would be important.

The Lankans must look to build and get near to the 500 run mark so that they would not have to bat a second time. The wicket is bound to crack as the game progresses and a big total would allow off spinner Muttiah Muralitheran to have the Windies batsmen struggling to save the game.

Vandort played well for his 52 and the Windies captured a big wicket when they got rid of Kumar Sangakkara who was looking good for a big score for 50. Thilan Samaraweera dollied a catch to short mid on and did not trouble the scorers.

The Windies attack that looked ordinary in the first two sessions, hit back strongly in the final hour with Jerome Taylor excelling.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardena was all smiles when he won a dream toss and decided to bat first on a wicket that did not have a blade of grass to show which was an indication that it was going to be a batting paradise.

Sri Lanka went in with an extra spinner in left-armer Rangana Herath who bowled himself into the reckoning with six wickets in the practice game on the same surface.

The West Indies gave Suleiman Benn his first Test cap and left out off-spinner Amrit Jaggernauth.

From the first ball it was apparent that there was no pace bounce or movement for the home team pacemen Darren Powell and Jerome Taylor as openers Michael Vandort and Malinda Warnapura negotiated them with consummate ease.

Warnapura was the more aggressive of the two and was always on the look out for runs pushing and driving square on the off side. His timing was good and he was stylish playing the cover drive.

Vandort, the beanpole was on the slow side and was giving Warnapura good support in getting the scoreboard moving.

The openers hoisted the 50 untroubled and went to lunch on 85 for no wicket with Vandort on 32 and Warnapura on 53. Warnapura had seven fours in his 52 which was his second half century in three Tests.

The Windies captain Chris Gayle switched his bowlers looking for that elusive breakthrough. But the bowlers had no help whatsoever from the wicket.

Vandort and Warnapura continued with no problems whatsoever after lunch. They hoisted the 100 runs stand with Vandort making his 50 with 8 fours.

Then with the total on 130, Vandort was late in coming down on a yorker from Jerome Taylor and was adjudged LBW for 52. Vandort was very correct until his dismissal.

Kumar Sangakkara came in and allowed Warnapura the strike and egged him on to his first Test century. Warnapura reached his ton with a push to the off and with the pair going well, took tea at 190 for gone with Warnapura on 114 and Sangakkara on 23.

Georgetown, Guyana, Saturday

Sri Lanka 1st Innings 

M. Vandort lbw b Taylor 		 52 
M. Warnapura c wkpr Ramdin b Bravo 	120 
K. Sangakkara s D.S. Smith b Taylor 	 50 
M. Jayawardene not out 			 25 
T. Samaraweera c (sub) Dowlin b Taylor 	  0 
T. Dilshan not out 			 15 
Extras (lb4, w1, nb2) 			  7 
Total (4 wkts)	 			269 
		
Bowling: Powell 16-1-64-0; Taylor 18-4-59-3; Gayle 16-2-38-0; 
Bravo 19-1-48-1; Benn 18-5-46-0; Hinds 3-0-10-0. 
West Indies: C. Gayle, D. Smith, R. Sarwan, M. Samuels, 
S. Chanderpaul, R. Hinds, D. Bravo, D. Ramdin, S. Benn, J. Taylor, D. Powell. 

 

 

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