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Warm-up match: Leicestershire v Sri Lanka
Sa'adi Thawfeeq - 11 May 1999

Lanka in 48-run win over Leicestershire

Leicester, Tuesday - Thankfully, the sun shone in the afternoon to allow for at least a 25-over shoot out and world champs Sri Lanka did not miss out on such an opportunity to complete their preparations for Friday's World Cup opener against England in a winning vein, beating county champions Leicestershire by 48 runs at Grace Road here today.

Acting captain Aravinda de Silva handled the side beautifully, scoring a pulsating 54 not out off 65 balls (2 sixes, 3 fours) for Sri Lanka to reach 143 for 5 after choosing to bat first. And then, juggling his bowlers around skilfully to dismiss Leicestershire for 95 runs with three balls left in the final over.

Sanath Jayasuriya in need of a big score set the tempo with a typically aggressive knock of 36 off 28 balls (1 six, 5 fours) and de Silva put the finishing touches to the innings after the opener had departed at 54 for 2 in the eighth over.

Romesh Kaluwitharana, Mahela Jayawardene and Roshan Mahanama made only ten runs amongst them, but Marvan Atapattu (21) and Upul Chandana (13 n.o.) hung around long enough to help de Silva set the county a demanding target.

Leicestershire were pushed on the back foot from the very first ball of the innings, when left-armer Chaminda Vaas brought one delivery back sharply to trap the free scoring Darren Maddy plumb in front of the wicket. From there onwards it was a hard grind for the county and they were nowhere close to the asking rate of 5.76 runs an over.

After his initial spell, Vaas returned towards the latter stages of the innings to clean up the tail and finish with his second successive haul of four wickets. He took 4 for 31 against Nottinghamshire on Sunday.

Sri Lanka with two wins under their belts and a rain-washed first game at Northampton, had every reason to be satisfied with their build up towards the World Cup. Their fielding has improved vastly and their batsmen are showing signs of getting into the groove for the big occasion. However, the most encouraging aspect of these warm-up games is the bowling performances of their four seamers, Vaas, Upashantha, Wickremasinghe and Hathurusingha, who have impressed with their tight line making it difficult for opposing batsmen to score freely as they would have liked.

Source: The Daily News