Bristol (England): Sri Lanka clinched a confidence-boosting 93-run One-day win over Gloucestershire on Sunday.
With a date with England on Thursday for the start of the triangular One-day series, which also includes India, the victory over the current best Limited Overs county side came at just the right time. Sri Lanka, which recently went down 0-2 in the Test series against England, was bowled out for 178 in a 63-run defeat against Somerset on Friday. However, this time around it managed 275 for eight with Russel Arnold, a centurion in the Third Test defeat by England at Old Trafford, making 80 from just 86 balls. He was ably supported by Naveed Newaz (64) in a stand of 97 for the fifth wicket. Captain Sanath Jayasuriya was also in form with a 48-ball 53 at the top of the order. Now that leading bowler Muthiah Muralitharan is out of the series with a shoulder injury, it is vital for Sri Lanka that someone else takes the off spinner's wickets. Pacemen Nuwan Zoysa (three for 43) and Dilhara Fernando (three for 46) did just that against Gloucestershire, the home side bowled out for 182 with more than 13 overs remaining. Only New Zealand batsman Craig Spearman (76) managed a meaningful score for Gloucestershire. Earlier, Sri Lanka's innings was almost derailed by Gloucestershire's Australia One- day specialist Ian Harvey. Medium-pacer Harvey took four for 35 and was on a hat-trick after dismissing Mahela Jayawardene (42) and Chamara Silva before Nawaz saw off a full toss. Sri Lanka plays its final warm-up match against Northamptonshire on Monday before facing England at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
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