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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Sri Lanka made to work hard
Asia Cup, Dambulla: Sri Lanka 239 (50 overs) beat UAE 123 (47.5 overs) by 116 runs

Avishka  Gunawardene
Gunawardene top scored for Sri Lanka with 73

Asia Cup hosts Sri Lanka proved too strong for the United Arab Emirates as they recorded a 116-run victory in a day-night game at Dambulla.

Avishka Gunawardene top scored with 73 in an unexceptional Sri Lanka score of 239 all out as Khuram Khan took 4-32.

The UAE opted for survival instead of a run chase and 16-year-old Ram Veera Rai hung on for 37 overs to make 39.

Upul Chandana and Muttiah Muralitharan shared seven wickets but UAE lasted to the 48th over for a total of 123.

It was a satisfactory comeback by Muralitharan (3-21) who opted to miss the recent Test series in Australia.

But for once his figures were surpassed by a fellow spinner as Chandana followed up his 10 wickets in Cairns with figures of 4-22.

He finally ended the UAE's resistance by bowling Ali Asad for 12 as he swung across the line.

"Chandana has been bowling well for the past couple of months and it was nice to see Murali back in the squad. We missed him in Australia," said captain Marvan Atapattu.

Asad had earlier performed well with the ball, claiming 2-35 as he shouldered the main seam bowling burden after Asim Saeed had to be carried off after two overs with an ankle injury.

Ram Veera Rai
Rai was not overawed on his one-day international debut

Sri Lanka's big name batsmen failed to perform with the exception of the powerfully built Gunawardene, who went in at number three and was seventh out after collecting nine boundaries in his 89-ball innings.

Khuram's accuracy and subtle variations meant none of the home batsmen were able to get on top of him and he even outfoxed Muralitharn to bowl him for three.

Gunawardene departed with the score on 190 but Chandana and Nuwan Zoysa each made 21 to put things beyond the UAE's reach.

Zoysa took two early wickets at the start of their reply and sent down eight overs for figures of 2-11.

He could not dislodge Rai, however, and the youngster showed an excellent temperament as he occupied the crease for two and a quarter hours before Chandana finally breached his defence.

Sri Lanka: S T Jayasuriya, W S Jayantha, K C Sangakkara (Wkt), D P M D Jayawardene (Capt), D A Gunawardene, T M Dilshan, S H T Kandamby, U D U Chandana, D N T Zoysa, M Muralitharan, L S Malinga.

United Arab Emirates: Asim Saeed (Wkt), Fahad Usman, Arshad Ali, Naeemuddin Aslam, Khuram Khan (Capt), Syed Maqsood, Asghar Ali, Sameer Zia, Mohammad Tauqir, Ali Asad, Ramveer Rai.


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