COLOMBO – Ireland Wolves opener James McCollum led the way with a battling 76, while Mark Adair claimed three quick top-order wickets on Day One of the Ireland Wolves v Sri Lanka four-day match at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.
Winning the toss, Wolves Captain Harry Tector elected to bat first, however the side struggled to put together vital partnerships amongst the top-order and the Wolves soon found themselves 62-6 in the 17th over. Only opener James McCollum stood tall and compiled a vital 76 from 108 balls, including ten boundaries.
A late 50-run partnership with Neil Rock (28 runs) helped pushed the Wolves total towards the 150-run mark, however the side were bowled out for 153 in the 46th over.
In response, Sri Lanka A started well but soon lost four wickets in quick succession around the tea break, and were at a precarious 46-4 after 15 overs – Mark Adair the main destroyer claiming three of the wickets, all caught behind by wicket-keeper Lorcan Tucker.
With the Wolves in the hunt, Sri Lanka A then put on an unbroken 139-run stand between Milinda Siriwardana (73*) and Kamindu Mendis (64*) to end the day on 185-4.
After play, James McCollum said:
“We didn’t have much of an idea what their bowling would be like so we assessed the conditions and the bowlers in front of us. To be honest, the deck actually played very well, especially against pace as there wasn’t much in it.”
“Always when you get off to a dodgy start you’re trying to just kind of consolidate. I find with subcontinent conditions, especially with how there spinners are, if you’re not looking to score you’ll find a way of getting out. It was very much a case of trying to stay positive and stay out there as long as possible.”
About his 50-run stand with Neil Rock:
“Pebs [Neil Rock] and I had a really good conversation is just about what the bowlers were trying to do. At the time we were five or six down, so it was really a case of trying to stay out as long as possible but also trying to score off balls that were favourable in our areas. So it was a good partnership, but obviously we would have liked to extend that to try and get up over 200 but, look, it’s a learning experience every day we’re here. There’s a lot of guys who haven’t spent much time out in subcontinent conditions so it’s very much a learning experience.”
“[The batting camp in Bangalore] was absolutely great – it was my first time in India. It was basically ten days of facing spin for four hours a day. It gave me a great idea of what to expect over here. I feel very prepared for what we’re going to get. Fordie [Graham Ford] and Ben Smith were very good with us over there and gave us a good indication of what to expect..”
SCORECARD IN BRIEF
Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 5-8 January 2019, SSC Colombo
Ireland Wolves 153 (45.2 overs; J McCollum 76, N Rock 28; L Ambuldeniya 4-46, M Shiraz 4-47)
Sri Lanka A 185-4 (42 overs; T Siriwardana 73*, P Mendis 64*; M Adair 3-34)
Stumps on Day One