Ton-up for Sri Lanka skipper Dilshan

Dilshan struck 123 off 134 balls against Middlesex. (FILE)

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan answered a hundred from England skipper Andrew Strauss with one of his own on the second day of the islanders’ tour opener against Middlesex at Uxbridge on Sunday.

Dilshan struck 123 off 134 balls and with Tharanga Paranavitana, who made 103, put on 209 for the first wicket.

Both openers retired to give batsmen lower down the order some time in the middle ahead of a three-Test series against England that gets underway in Cardiff later this month.

Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal added an unbroken 59 to take Sri Lanka to 309 for two declared in reply to Middlesex’s first innings 360 for eight that featured 151 from Strauss.

Dilshan was reprieved on 10 when he was dropped by Jamie Dalrymple at second slip and, having made 114, was missed again when Strauss failed to hold a catch at point.

But his innings featured several fine shots, including 14 fours and a six driven way back over Tom Smith’s head.

Paranavitana, a left-hander who is set to open with Dilshan in the first Test, which starts at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens on May 26, reached a hundred off 145 balls with 15 fours.

At stumps, on the second day of three, Middlesex were 26 for one in their second innings.

Earlier, Middlesex, 321 for five overnight, added 39 runs before their innings was closed at 360 for eight after 100 overs.

Chanaka Welegedara, the left-arm seamer likely to share the new ball with Dilhara Fernando in the Test matches, took two wickets and spinner Ajantha Mendis, added one to his first day haul.

Welegedara had Dawid Malan caught at mid-on and Smith caught behind, while Mendis had Anthony Ireland well-taken by Thilan Samaraweera on the midwicket boundary.

Mendis, who took four for 285 in two championship matches for Somerset before dropping out of the county side with a back strain, finished with two for 83 from 20 overs.

Sri Lanka also face the England Lions - the national A side - in a four-day fixture at Derby starting on Thursday in their second and final warm-up game before the Test campaign.


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