Wednesday 20, November 1996
Six changes for final Test vs Windies `A'
SA'ADI THAWFEEQ reporting from Matara
Outclassed in the first two 4-day unofficial Tests by both pace and
spin Sri Lanka `A' go into the third and final match of the series
with the consolation of having their captain Marvan Atapattu back with
a guarantee that he will not be whisked away from the middle of an
Atapattu, the only centurion for Sri Lanka `A' in the series was
called up urgently to Sharjah while batting in the second innings of
the first `Test' which Sri Lanka `A' eventually lost in Kurunegala. He
missed the second `Test' which Sri Lanka also lost at the SSC, but had
the satisfaction of scoring his maiden half-century for his country at
international level in Sharjah.
The team for today's `Test' starting at the Uyanwatte Stadium has
undergone six changes from the one that lost at the SSC.
Appearing for the first time in the series will be left-hand batsman
Varuna Waragoda, schoolboy leg-spinner Nimesh Perera and Sri Lanka
fast bowler Ravindra Pushpakumara, who did not play a single game in
Kenya nor Sharjah.
Pushpakumara's presence gives more depth to the fast bowling
department as he will pair off with the experienced but luckless
With left-arm spinner Jayantha Silva being rested, the onus of spin
will heavily fall on off-spinner Ruwan Kalpage, who will have the
totally inexperienced Perera in support. Kalpage bowled superbly at
the SSC to take a match bag of 12 wickets, but his efforts became a
wasted one when the batting failed miserably in the second innings.
With the return of Atapattu, Russel Arnold and wicket-keeper Lanka de
Silva, the batting certainly runs down to No. 8.
Although results are not the sole criterion in contests of this
nature. The performacnes of the second string, whose next step is the
national team, is to say the least, rather disappointing.
Apart from Atapattu's century in the first `Test', the only other
notable contributions have come from Duleep Samaraweera, and Kalpage -
all ex-Sri Lanka Test cricketers. None of the newcomers have so far
made any big impact to put enough pressure on the senior players,
which is a worrying factor.
West Indies `A', despite their apprehensions about the umpiring on the
tour, have every reason to feel happy with the outcome of the series
in which they have taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead.
Nothing annoyed them more than to see acting captain Sanjeewa
Ranatunga run up to the bowler from slip position and slow the over
rate down considerably at the SSC. They were also not happy with
Ranatunga holding on to the ball during drinks breaks and between
wicket falls. The failure on the part of the umpires to check these
incidents has greatly disturbed the visitors, who seem to have more
faith in their religion than on the umpires.
When they pulled off an unlikely victory at the SSC, all the team
members gathered around each other in silent prayer for some minutes
The West Indies are also likely to make some changes to their team in
order to give exposure to as many players.
``One of the reasons for the tour is to *** as many players as
possible and to give them the experience of playing in different
conditions. I have no doubt the team management will sit down and come
up with a good combination giving consideration to the other
players,'' said West Indies `A' coach Gus Logie.
Among those under consideration are all-rounder Laurie Williams,
spinners Nagamootoo and Samaroo and wicket-keeper/batsman Ridley
Jacobs - none of whom have played in the series so far.
SRI LANKA `A' (from): M. S. Atapattu (captain), D. P. Samaraweera, R.
P. Arnold, M. M. Nawaz, S. Ranatunga, V. S. K. Waragoda, S. K. L. de
Silva, R. S. Kalpage, G. P. Wickremasinghe, K. R. Pushpakumara, N. R.
G. Perera. Reserves: D. P. M. Jayewardena, T. T. Samaraweera, M.
WEST INDIES `A' (from): R. A. Harper (captain), S. C. Williams, P. A.
Wallace, F. L. Reifer, D. E. E. Joseph, T. O. Powell, S. G. B. Ford,
O. D. Gibson, R. N. Lewis, N. B. Francis, C. E. Cuffy, L. R. Williams,
M. V. Nagamootoo, A. Samaroo, R. D. Jacobs.
UMPIRES: W. A. U. Wickremasinghe and I. Anandappa.
Thanks: Daily News(http://SportToday.org/)