Cricket: De Silva gives succour to Sri Lankan hopes

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The Independent Online
Sri Lanka 226-4 v India

THE vice-captain of Sri Lanka, Aravinda de Silva, hit a fine century, his first at home, to help his country to a useful score of 226 for 4 on the first day of the third and final Test against India in Colombo yesterday.

De Silva, who reached his century with a towering six over mid-wicket off the leg-spinner, Anil Kumble, scored an unbeaten 118 in 306 minutes of great concentration. He hit two sixes and 12 fours, and faced 241 balls.

With his sixth century in 34 Tests, De Silva provided the backbone of the Sri Lankan innings after the early loss of the openers, Roshan Mahanama and Chandika Hathurusinghe, who were both dismissed for six.

Asanka Gurusinha struggled to his first fifty in 12 Test innings to start the recovery, and featured in a partnership of 136 with De Silva. However, the home captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, fell for nine.

Kapil Dev, who took the wicket of Hathurusinghe, now needs eight more to pass Sir Richard Hadlee's world record of 431 Test wickets.

(Sri Lanka won toss)

SRI LANKA - First Innings R S Mahanama lbw Prabhakar. . . . . . . . . . . . .6 U C Hathurusinghe c Amre b Kapil Dev. . . . . . . .6 A P Gurusinha c Tendulkar b Kumble. . . . . . . .56 P A de Silva not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 * A Ranatunga c Kapil Dev b Venkatapathy Raju. . . 9 H P Tillakaratne not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Extras (b2 lb13 nb1 w1). . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Total (for 4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226

Fall: 1-13 2-29 3-165 4-182.

To bat: S T Jayasuriya, R S Kaluwitharne, G P Wickramasinghe, M Muralitharan, K P J Warnaweera.

INDIA: * M Azharuddin, M Prabhakar, N S Sidhu, V G Kambli, S R Tendulkar, P K Amre, Kapil Dev, K S More, A Kumble, Venkatapathy Raju, R K Chauhan.

Umpires: B C Cooray and P Manuel.

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