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Sri Lanka scores several runs against Ireland thanks to heavy-hitting from Karunaratne and Madushka.

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GALLE: In the second Test against Ireland on Wednesday, Dimuth Karunaratne and Nishan Madushka each scored a century, setting a new Sri Lankan opening stand record of 228.

At the conclusion, the hosts were 357 for one, still 135 runs down, although they had nine wickets in hand.

After Karunaratne left the game for 115, the only wicket to fall on the third day of the contest, Madushka remained undefeated on 149 and Kusal Mendis was 83 runs short of a century.

The first Test was completed in three days thanks to the dominance of Sri Lanka’s spinners, but in the second match, the pitch provided little help for the spinners and the batsmen took control of the action.

In just 116 balls, captain Karunaratne surpassed his second consecutive century and the 16th century of his Test career.

But in the final over before lunch, two balls after being struck on the helmet, the left-hander misjudged a pull shot from Curtis Campher and was caught at deep fine leg.

Madushka had already reached his first Test century when he pulled a full toss off Harry Tector for six.

Their opening partnership of 228 broke the previous record set by Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya in 2000 against South Africa.

The run-fest between Mendis and Madushka continued as the number three sped to 83 off 96 balls with seven fours and five sixes, including three consecutive times off left-arm spinner Matthew Humphreys, who was quickly taken out of the attack.

The play was halted by poor lighting just before tea before the rain started and the event was called off for the day.

Despite the fact that “rain has played havoc,” Sri Lanka’s batting coach Naveed Nawaz felt his team could still win the match.

There are currently 180 overs left in the match, he informed the media.

“Our deficit is now only 135, so if we bat for another 90 overs, we can establish a good lead.

“We have wickets in hand, and this is still a good batting pitch.”

On the final two days, play will start 15 minutes earlier to make up for lost time.

In the two-match series, Sri Lanka is up 1-0.

Ryan Eagleson, the Ireland fast bowling coach, acknowledged that his team’s bowlers “are still learning and are less experienced in Test cricket”.

So you must be patient and give them space, he continued.



IRELAND (1st Innings) 492 (Balbirnie 95, Stirling 103, Campher 111; Jayasuriya 174-5)

SRI LANKA (1st innings, overnight 81-0):

Madushka, not out 149

Karunaratne c Humphreys b Campher 115

Mendis, not out of 83

EXTRAS (LB-8, W-1, NB-1) 10

TOTAL (for one wicket, 77 overs) 357

STILL TO BAT: A. Mathews, D. Chandimal, D. de Silva, S. Samarawickrama, R. Mendis, P. Jayasuriya, V. Fernando, A. Fernando

BOWLING: Hume 10-1-45-0, McBrine 26-2-85-0, Campher 12-1-47-1 (1w), Humphreys 8-0-56-0, White 17-0-91-0 (1nb), Tector 4-0-25-0. 

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