Cricket: Border unhappy

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Australia 247 and 296-6 dec

Sri Lanka 258-9 dec and 136-2

Match drawn

THE target set by Australia of 286 in 62 overs on the last day of the second Test in Colombo yesterday proved beyond the capabilities of Sri Lanka, who finished 150 runs adrift of their objective, the sides settling for a draw with eight overs left and the Australians 1-0 up in the three-match series.

Although Roshan Mahanama and Chandika Hathurusinghe shared an opening partnership of 110, Sri Lanka could not meet the asking rate of 4.6 an over after Australia had declared their second innings on 296 for 6 at lunch yesterday, Dean Jones having completed his 11th Test century.

It was Craig McDermott, having taken four wickets in the first innings, who finally separated the Sri Lankan pair when he had Hathurusinghe taken in the gully by Tom Moody for 49.

Allan Border, Australia's captain, described the game as one of the worst in his 132-Test career, largely because of bad weather over the first two days. 'This is one of the worst Tests I have played in. The weather interfered, the ball kept low and we batted for survival in the first innings,' he said.

(Sri Lanka won toss)

AUSTRALIA - First innings 247 (D M Jones 77, G R J Matthews 55; C P H Ramanayake 3-64, D Liyanage 3-66).

SRI LANKA - First Innings 258 for 9 dec (P A de Silva 85, U C Hathurusinghe 67; C J McDermott 4-53).

------------------------------------------------------------------------ AUSTRALIA - Second Innings (Overnight: 206-5) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ D M Jones not out 100 G R J Matthews c Mahanama b Anurasiri 51 I A Healy not out 4 Extras (b4 lb9 nb5) 18 Total (for 6 dec) 296 Fall (cont): 6-280. Did not bat: C J McDermott, A I C Dodemaide, M R Whitney. Bowling: Ramanayake 12-0-49-0; Liyanage 13-1-47- 0; Hathurusinghe 12-4-12-1; Anurasiri 44-11-66-3; Muralitharan 34-7-109-2. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ SRI LANKA - Second Innings ------------------------------------------------------------------------ R S Mahanama lbw McDermott 69 U C Hathurusinghe c Moody b McDermott 49 A P Gurusinha not out 8 S T Jayasuriya not out 1 Extras (lb6 nb3) 9 Total (for 2) 136 Fall: 1-110 2-129. Did not bat: P A de Silva, *A Ranatunga, R Kaluwitharana, C P H Ramanayake, D Liyanage, S D Anurasiri, M Muralitharan. Bowling: McDermott 19-7-32-2; Whitney 5-2-13-0; Matthews 21-5-59-0; Dodemaide 5-2-11-0; Border 4-0-15-0. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Match drawn

Umpires: I Anandappa and U Wickremasinghe.