Sri Lanka `A' vs Windies `A' Starts

Sri Lanka `A' vs Windies `A' Starts

Post by Vicky B. Vigneswar » Mon, 11 Nov 1996 04:00:00

Thursday 07, November 1996

Sri Lanka `A' vs Windies `A' starts today

Wickremasinghe unavailable

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.


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
a day.

``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
today's `Test'.

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
           Lanka Internet Services