It was only the fourth time in 22 attempts that Sri Lanka have beaten the Australians. Victory will have been all the sweeter for the home side following their defeat in this year's World Cup.
Put into bat, Tom Moody and Mark Taylor put on 109 for the first wicket to lay the foundations of an imposing total of 247 that was achieved at just under five runs an over. Taylor went on to score a chanceless 94 while Moody was dropped twice in his 54.
Their efforts, however, proved to be in vain as a third-wicket partnership of 147 in 22 overs between the World Cup captain Aravinda de Silva and Gurusinha moved Sri Lanka closer to victory. The experienced pace trio of Craig McDermott, Mike Whitney and Tony Dodemaide were unable to force a breakthrough and in one over de Silva struck 20 runs off McDermott, including two huge sixes over mid-off and extra cover which eased the fears over their flagging run rate. He was eventually run out for 105 and was deservedly given the man-of-the- match award for his heroic efforts.
Back in Blighty meanwhile, Durham have been unable to put the brakes on their disappointing slide towards the foot of the Championship. Further evidence of their inability to amass a sizeable score since the departure of Dean Jones was provided on the second day at Hartlepool.
In reply to Glamorgan's first innings of 396 for 6 declared they slumped to 201 all out on a wicket described by the opposing captain Hugh Morris after his century on Friday as a 'belter'. Ian Botham's half-century was the only bright spot in Durham's performance as they capitulated to the seam of Darren Foster. He took five wickets to set up a formidable first-innings lead of 195 which, in the light of their recent form, Durham will find difficult to overhaul in their follow-on.
A resilient 83 by Desmond Haynes and an unbeaten 64 by Paul Weekes helped Middlesex avoid a similar humiliation at Uxbridge, after Gatting, Roseberry and Ramprakash were all dismissed in quick succession. With the support of John Carr, Weekes took Middlesex to the relative sanctuary of three batting points and enabled his side to make an unlikely declaration.
Warwickshire have abandoned their ground at Coventry as one of their venues due to the reduction in fixtures brought about by next season's four-day revolution in county cricket.Reuse content