Cricket: Jones leads the recovery

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The Independent Online
Australia 247 and 206-5; Sri Lanka 258-9 dec

POOR Sri Lankan catching helped Australia recover from a potentially precarious position to the comparative safety of 206 for 5 at the close of the fourth day of the second Test in Colombo yesterday.

The tourists, who won the first Test by 16 runs, are now 195 runs ahead of Sri Lanka, who declared their first innings closed at the overnight total of 258 for 9.

Dean Jones benefited from three let-offs to hold the innings together with an unbeaten 48 in a stay of 167 minutes. With him is Greg Matthews, who has scored 23 in an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 57.

Sri Lanka's chances of making early inroads into the Australian batting were dashed by the poor wicketkeeping of Romesh Kaluwitharana, who was responsible for failing to stump Jones at nought and six as he jumped out to drive at the spinners, and Allan Border at 25 when he failed to hold an inside edge off the Australian captain.

However, Border did not take advantage, adding just three runs to his total before Don Anurasiri trapped him leg before wicket.

Jones rode his luck further when the Sri Lankan captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, took the second new ball and off the third over, Champaka Ramanayake found the outside edge of his bat. But Chandika Hathurusinghe spilled a straightforward catch at second slip. Sri Lanka captured three Australian wickets within the space of nine balls to reduce the visitors from 102 for 1 to 104 for 4 in the afternoon session.

(Sri Lanka won toss) AUSTRALIA - First Innings 247 (D M Jones 77, G R J Matthews 55). SRI LANKA - First Innings 258 for 9 dec (P A de Silva 85, U H C Hathurusinghe 67; C J McDermott 4-53).

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings T M Moody b Muralitharan. . . . . . . . . . 54 M A Taylor lbw b Hathurusinghe. . . . . . . 26 D C Boon c Mahanama b Anurasiri. . . . . . .15 D M Jones not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 M E Waugh lbw b Muralitharan. . . . . . . . .0 * A R Border lbw b Anurasiri. . . . . . . . 28 G R J Matthews not out. . . . . . . . . . . 23 Extras (b2 lb7 nb3). . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Total (for 5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 Fall: 1-61 2-102 3-104 4-104 5-149.

To bat: I A Healy, C J McDermott, A I C Dodemaide, M R Whitney. Bowling: Ramanayake 8-0-35-0; Liyanage 10-1-34-0; Hathurusinghe 12-3-12-1; Anurasiri 34-9- 48-2; Muralitharan 23-5-68-2. Umpires: I Anandappa and U Wickremasinghe.

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