Sri Lanka’s only tour match before their three-Test series against Australia ended in a draw in Canberra yesterday when they declared on 396-6 at lunch on day three.
The tourists still trailed the 439-6 made by the Chairman’s XI but both sides agreed to bring an end to a high-scoring match on a Manuka Oval wicket that offered little to the bowlers.
Tillakaratne Dilshan, who retired unbeaten after reaching his century, top-scored for Sri Lanka with Prasanna Jayawardene (71), Dinesh Chandimal (57) and Kumar Sangakkara (55) also making half centuries.
New South Wales left-hander Scott Henry plundered an unbeaten 207 in the Chairman’s XI innings, while Test aspirant and captain Usman Khawaja made 56 before he was withdrawn from the match to play in the domestic Twenty20 competition.
“It was a good wicket and a good practice match as all the batsmen managed to get a good hit,” wicketkeeper Jayawardene told reporters. “I think we’ll get a different wicket from this in the Test matches and I think our bowlers did okay.”
Tasmanian allrounder Luke Butterworth said the Sri Lankans were in for a surprise when they arrive at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart for the first Test, which starts on Friday.
“Yeah, it might be a bit of a shock,” Butterworth said, pointing out they will need to spend plenty of time adjusting on the practice wickets.”
“I think they’ll adapt but it’s definitely going to be a lot different to the wicket out here [in Canberra],” he said.
“[The wicket] was pretty flat when I left there. I think [curator Marcus Pamplin] is going to put a fair bit of work into it,” Butterworth said.
“There’ll be a fair bit in it, day one, but I don’t think it’s going to be a typical Sheffield Shield wicket when 20 wickets fell in two days,” he said.
Butterworth was full of praise for Sri Lanka’s powerful batting line-up.
“They batted really well,” he said. “You can tell they’re a high-class batting team. They showed that out there and it was tough to knock them over.”
The tourists, who have never won a Test in Australia, also play matches in Melbourne and Sydney.