Birt Bulldozes Tourists at Derby

Sri Lanka endured a humiliating second day of their tour match with lowly Derbyshire, with their county opponents capitalising on a rusty batting performance before hammering the tourist’s attack to all quarters and opening up a 261 run lead.

Australian Travis Birt led the charge for the home side, flattening the Sri Lankan bowlers in an explosive 83. The left-hander, who is likely to remain at Derbyshire for the rest of the season following Mohammad Yousuf’s withdrawal, faced just 53 balls and smashed twelve fours and a pair of sixes. Muttiah Muralitharan struggled after a positive first innings display, and picked up just one wicket in 13 overs, that of opener Chris Taylor for 53. Hasan Adnan remained unbeaten on 33 at the close of play, with Derbyshire 208 for four.

Earlier the inauspicious home seam attack had wreaked havoc in the Sri Lankan top order, with Vandort, Tharanga, Sangakkara and Dilshan all falling cheaply. Jehan Mubarak (33) led the recovery, while Chamara Kapugedera and Farveez Maharoof, 45 and 44 respectively, staking their claim for Test places. Seamers Tom Lungley and Kevin Dean both took two wickets, as Kumar Sangakkara declared 53 runs behind to give his bowlers another shot at the Derbyshire batsmen.

The final day of three is tomorrow, 1st May.

Derbyshire 219
Steve Stubbings 43, Chris Taylor 34
Lasith Malinga 3-59, Muttiah Muralitharan 3-47

Sri Lanka 166-7 dec
Chamara Kapugedera 45, Farveez Maharoof 44
Kevin Dean 2-32, Tom Lungley 2-59

Derbyshire 208-4
Travis Birt 83, Chris Taylor 53
Tillakaratne Dilshan 1-22, Lasith Malinga 1-43

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