Published : 10:06 am  July 21, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (559) reads | 


Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe continued from where he left on day one as he took another fivewicket haul for an impressive match Untitled-1bag of 10 for 64 as the Sri Lankan XI succumbed to an innings and 162-run defeat in the three-day warm up game which ended at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium yesterday. It was a pathetic batting performance by the Sri Lankan XI and was the last opportunity for some of them to claim a spot in the forthcoming Test series, which now looks bleak considering their approach. Skipper Milinda Siriwardena though making a contribution in the first innings was unable to make any impression.

O’Keefe who wrecked the Sri Lankan XI first innings in 12.2 overs put in a better and improved performance as he demolished their batting the second time in just 6.5 overs. The Sri Lankan XI left with a daunting task of erasing 243 runs to avoid an innings defeat, were bowled out for a meager 83. The only resistance put in by the Sri Lankan XI batsmen was the 49-run stand for the third wicket between Shehan Jayasuriya and Asela Gunaratne and their dismissal saw their team hit rock bottom as O’Keefe and right arm spinner Nathan Lyon ran through the home side batting in just 20.5 overs.

This was after left arm pacie Mitchell Starc got rid of opener Oshada Fernando for his second duck of the match and Manoj Sarathchandra with the score on one. Earlier in the day the Australians resuming on 431 for 9 saw the overnight batsmen O’Keefe, who was on 62, and Jackson Bird frustrating the Sri Lankan bowlers. The pair succeeded to add another 43 runs and in the process associated in a last-wicket stand of 58 runs with O’Keefe remaining unbeaten on 78, which had nine boundaries, and to end up as |his sides’ top scorer. The performance by the Australian spinners and their batsmen would no doubt gained tremendous confidence for them in preparation for the first Test match which starts on July 26 at the Pallekele International Stadium.