Miller shines but Sri Lanka A on top
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Left-arm spinner continued to press his claims for a senior team place with a four-wicket haul but his effort was outshone by Dimuth Karunaratne’s century, on the opening day of the first four-day “Test” between West Indies A and Sri Lanka A here Wednesday.
At the close, Sri Lanka were 310 for five, after winning the toss and opting to bat first at Warner Park.
The left-handed Karunaratne made 101, and was supported by Kithuruwan Vithanage with 62, opening partner Udara Jayasundara who made 57, and Ashan Priyanjana who chipped in with a cameo unbeaten 51.
Miller, who has played a Test and 39 One-Day Internationals but has been overlooked for the last two years, was the best Windies A bowler with four for 93.
Karunaratne and Jayasundara put on 104 for the first wicket as Sri Lanka A overcame two short rain stoppages to reach 92 without loss at lunch.
The 25-year-old Karunaratne, with six Tests behind him, hit 13 fours in an innings that required 159 balls and lasted 216 minutes.
Jayasundara, meanwhile, a 22-year-old left-hander, gathered his runs over 98 balls in 115 minutes at the crease, and counted nine boundaries.
Miller got the breakthrough after the interval, claiming Jayasundara to a catch at the wicket but West Indies A were forced to toil again as Vithanage joined Karunaratne to add 94 for the second wicket.
Vithanage, a 22-year-old left-hander with two Tests under his belt, faced 103 balls and hit six fours in 139 minutes of batting.
Karunaratne eventually raised his century off 157 balls but fell just before tea when he pulled left-arm seamer Sheldon Cotterel to Kraigg Brathwaite at mid-wicket.
Three wickets – including that of Vithanage’s – then tumbled for just 35 runs as Miller made inroads into the middle order.
However, Priyanjana arrived to play a breezy knock, carving out nine fours and a six off a mere 65 balls to keep the Sri Lankans on top.
The 23-year-old put on 51 for the fourth wicket with wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva who hit 26.
SRI LANKA A 310 for five (Dimuth Karunaratne 101, Kithruwan Vithanage 62, Udara Jayasundara 57, Ashan Priyanjana 51 not out; Nikita Miller 4-93)
SRI LANKA 1st Innings
U Jayasundara c wkp Walton b Miller 57
*D Karunaratne c Brathwaite b Cotterel 101
K Vithanage lbw b Miller 62
+K Silva c Johnson b Miller 26
A Perera c Johnson b Miller 4
A Priyanjana not out 51
C Da Silva not out 4
Extras (lb3, nb2) 5
TOTAL (5 wkts, 90 overs) 310
Fall of wickets: 1-104, 2-198, 3-229, 4-233, 5-284.
Bowling: Gabriel 13-2-39-0, Cotterel 16-3-50-1, Carter 6-1-16-0, Miller 33-8-93-4, Deonarine 5-0-37-0, Permaul 17-1-72-0.
Toss: Sri Lanka A.
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite & Nigel Duguid