A five-wicket haul from medium-pacer Daryl Tuffey was not enough to see New Zealand to victory against a Sri Lanka A side in a tour match at Colombo on Sunday.
The tourists fell well short of the target set by the Sri Lankans, who won the 50-over match at the SSC ground by 61 runs. The match was a warm-up for the ODI tri-series starting later this week. The game also provided the Kiwis to rest some of their frontline players and give others in the squad a game against a Sri Lanka A side that included a handful of recent international players.
Tuffey led a solid bowling performance, taking five wickets in helping to dismiss the Sri Lanka side for 234. But then the visitors struggled against a tight Sri Lanka attack and were all out for 173 in the 42nd over. Tuffey started off in spectacular fashion, taking the wickets of Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Udawatte inside the first six overs and with Upal Tharanga run out, Sri Lanka A was reeling at three for 14. Then Lahiru Thirimanne (51) and Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (42) led a middle order recovery which saw the home side scoring freely until Tuffey combined with Jesse Ryder to remove the last three Sri Lanka wickets. The Sri Lankan A side were all out for 234 in the 48th over.
Tuffey was the pick of the bowlers with five for 43, while Ryder took two for 18. After Ryder gave a brisk start to the chase, scoring 20 from 19 balls, Sri Lanka A quickly got on top taking wickets and making the tourists middle order succumb.
Brendon McCullum, captaining the side offered resistance with a measured 34 from 58 balls until he was caught in front Pushpakumara's off-spin. Pushpakumara, with three for 36, and right arm medium pacer Dilhara Fernando, three for 40, were the best of the Sri Lanka A bowling effort.
Brief Scorecard Sri Lanka A 234 in 47.5 overs (Thirimanne 51, Pushpakumara 42,Rupasinghe 34, Chandimal 29, Kandamby 26; Tuffey 5/53, Ryder 2/18) New Zealand 173 in 41.5 overs (Oram 39, McCullum 34, Ryder 20;Pushpakumara 3/36, Fernando 3/40) Sri Lanka A won by 61 runs