Thursday 07, November 1996
Sri Lanka `A' vs Windies `A' starts today
SA'ADI THAWFEEQ reporting from Kurunegala
Sri Lanka discard fast bowler Pramodya Wickremasinghe has pulled
out of the first four-day unofficial Test between Sri Lanka `A'
and West Indies `A' beginning at the Welagedera Stadium today.
Wickremasinghe, who was named in the eleven, has made himself
unavailable on medical grounds.
Cricket Board sources said that Wickremasinghe has been medically
advised to rest, but failed to give any reasons for him taking
such a decision.
Wickremasinghe has been playing poorly in the recent past and was
left out of the Sharjah tournament (beginning today), in order to
give him a chance of regaining his place in the senior side with
some good performances for the `A' side against the West Indies
`A'. However, the present turn of events will only prove a set-
back for him, from making an early return to the senior team.
Knocking on the door are young fast bowlers like Nuwan Soysa, who
will now share the new ball today with Mario Villavarayen, and
Wendell Labrooy, who is being sent here from Colombo to take
Villavarayen's place in the reserves. Wickremasinghe's position
has virtually been filled by left-armer, Sanjeeva de Silva in the
senior one-day team.
LOT OF TROUBLE
However, the key to Sri Lanka `A's success over their West Indian
counterparts lies with left-arm leg-spinner Jayantha Silva. If
the big turning Silva can reproduce the same form he showed
against Zimbabwe, whom he spun to defeat in two Tests, taking 13
wickets for 100 runs, then Windies `A' are in for a lot of trou-
For that to happen, the weather has to remain dry. There has been
occasional overnight showers here, and although yesterday was
sunny, the Windies could not do anything more than have some
fielding practice and exercises at the stadium before calling it
``The wicket was very wet, perhaps affected by the rain overnight
and in the past couple of days. There were no real nets here, and
it is difficult to practice under such circumstances,'' said West
Indies `A' captain Roger Harper yesterday.
``We'll have to make the most of it and be ready when tomorrow
(Thursday) comes,'' he said.
Windies will make their final selection without injured all-
rounder Laurie Williams, who was still in Colombo receiving
treatment for a broken nose by courtesy Nuwan Soysa in the tour
`opener' last week. Williams is expected to join the team today.
One area the West Indies `A' wont have to worry about is their
batting. Openers Stuart Williams and Philo Wallace have both
scored centuries, while middle-order batsman David Joseph and
Tony Powell have hit half-centuries in the two games leading upto
West Indies' main concern would be their bowlers who have been
unable to bowl sides out under a total of 240.
For Sri Lanka `A' skipper Marvan Atapattu, this is the best op-
portunity to show his true capabilities as a batsman of interna-
tional class. He has been in and out of the national team on
three occasions, and it has not helped his cause. This is the
fourth occasion he has been picked to lead a second string side -
the previous occasions being the under 18 schools tour to England
in 1988, the youth Asian Cup in Bangladesh in 1989 and against
the touring Australian Academy in 1992. Atapattu will bat at No.
The series is also vital for cricketers like Ruwan Kalpage, San-
jeeva Ranatunga and Duleep Samaraweera, all discards from the
senior side, to perform well and catch the selectors' eye.
SRI LANKA `A' - M. S. Atapattu (captain), D. P. Samaraweera, R.
R. Arnold, S. Jayantha, S. Ranatunga (vice-captain), I. S. de
Saram, S. K. L. de Silva, R. S. Kalpage, M. Villavarayan, K. J.
Silva, N. Soysa.
WEST INDIES `A' - R. A. Harper (captain), S. C. Williams, P. A.
Wallace, F. L. Reifer, D. R. E. Joseph (vice-captain), T. O.
Powell, S. G. B. Ford, O. D. Gibson, R. N. Lewis, C. E. Cuffy,
A. Samaroo, N. B. Francis, M. V. Nagamootoo, R. D. Jacobs.
UMPIRES - P. Manuel and D. A. S. Dissanayake.
Thanks :: The Daily News (Sri Lanka) and
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