Sri Lankan batsmen hit form ahead of Test

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Sri Lanka’s top order batsmen all found form before their three-day match against a South African Invitation XI ended in a draw at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.

Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal all hit half-centuries before play was called off in mid-afternoon with Sri Lanka on 212 for five in their second innings after leading by 84 runs on the first innings.

No fewer than seven Sri Lankan batsmen made scores of 50 or more in the team’s only warm-up match ahead of the first Test against South Africa, starting in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

Perera and Tharanga were promoted to open the batting in the second innings and made 51 and 50 respectively before retiring. It completed an unusual feat by the tourists with four different opening batsmen all retiring after hitting half-centuries. Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva made 71 and 80 respectively in the first innings and did not bat in the second innings.

Chandimal hit a quick 60 off 52 balls, while captain Angelo Mathews followed a first innings duck by making 37 in the second innings before play was called off. Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva were the other players to make half-centuries in the first innings, leaving the tour selectors probably having to leave out at least one in-form batsman when they pick the Test side.

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