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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 06:35 GMT 07:35 UK
Sri Lanka ease to victory
Tour match, Darwin, day four (stumps):
Northerns Territory Chief Minister's XI 419 & 145-9 dec lost to Sri Lanka 378-7 dec & 187-5 by five wickets

Glenn McGrath
I'm so much more confident and couldn't be happier at the moment
Glenn McGrath
Sri Lanka completed a five-wicket win over the Northern Territory Chief Minister's XI on Sunday.

Chasing 187 to win, Sri Lanka cruised home on the final day at Darwin's Marrara Oval thanks chiefly to an unbeaten 66 from Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Australian paceman Glenn McGrath, making his comeback after nearly a year off with an ankle injury, finished with figures of 1-25 off 14 overs.

The first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia begins in Darwin on Thursday.

Ian Redpath took two for 22 off seven for the Northern Territory, claiming the wickets of Romesh Kaluwitharana for 12 and Russel Arnold for 32.

Tilan Samaraweera was run out for 32 when he collided with Dilshan halfway down the pitch just before lunch.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardena was earlier out leg before wicket to Terry Bayly for 26.

McGrath has been recalled to the national side for the Tests but has been told he needs to justify his inclusion after almost a year's out because of ankle problems.

But he is happy with progress, insisting: "I'm so much more confident and couldn't be happier at the moment.

"That's the best my ankle has felt and the best I've hit the crease for the last two-and-a-half years - and to me that was the secret to me bowling well."

Opening batsman Justin Langer said he was also impressed with McGrath's performance and predicted he would soon be back to his best.

"He hasn't bowled much for 12 months and I guess it's hard for a superstar to be patient," Langer said.

"But it's like a Rolls Royce, you've got to be a bit patient, get the oil going."


Chief Minister's XI: Justin Langer (capt), Ian Redpath, Simon Katich, Rhett Bowden, Ashley Williams, Ken Skewes, Martin Brown (wkt), Darren Treumer, Anthony Dent, Terry Bayly, Glenn McGrath, Greg Brautigam.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumara Sangakkara, Tilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Russel Arnold, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Upul Chandana, Dilhara Fernando, Farveez Maharoof, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga.




SEE ALSO
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Langer dominates Sri Lanka
24 Jun 04  |  Cricket
Williams out of Test series
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Australia opt for Tait pace
09 Jun 04  |  Cricket
Murali boycotts Aussie tour
15 Jun 04  |  Cricket


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