Sri Lanka fight back after bad start against Queensland

BRISBANE, Australia, Nov 2, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka fought back after an early innings collapse to claim four Queensland wickets on an eventful opening day of their three-day tour match at Allan Border Field here Friday. The Queenslanders won the toss and had the tourists struggling at 81 for six in the 27th over before wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene (58 not out) and Malinga Bandara (43) mounted a rescue bid.

The pair put on a 71-run partnership for the ninth wicket to enable skipper Mahela Jayawardene to declare at 210 for nine off 63.2 overs and regain the initiative late in the day.

Sri Lanka picked up four wickets, including the valuable scalps of Test batsman Andrew Symonds (22) and opener Jimmy Maher (4) to have Queensland a shaky 60 for four before bad light forced an early end with 5.4 overs remaining.

“We were taken by surprise more than anything,” said Sri Lanka’s senior opening batsman Marvan Atapattu, who scored 48 before being caught in the gully off Mitchell Johnson with the last ball before lunch, leaving his side at 81 for six.

“We expected the wicket to be harder and bouncier.

“But we shouldn’t have any doubts about our talent and our abilities going into the Test match.”