Sri Lankans humbled by Essex

High off an impressive victory against England in the recently concluded third Test match, the touring Sri Lankans were brought back to ground with a thud on the home turf of Essex. The county side thrashed the tourists by 6 wickets with 12 overs to spare.

Medium pacer Jahid Ahmed debuted for Essex and snared 4 wickets in the game. Ahmed dismissed Sanath Jayasuriya (30) and Russel Arnold (7) among his wickets.

The Sri Lankans started well after being asked to bat first. The openers added 48 for the first wicket, then former England spearhead Darren Gough broke through with the first of 2 victims.

Gough trapped Tharanga lbw for 16. The breakthrough initiated a quick slide of wickets, and the score slipped to 77 for 6.

Allrounder Ravi Bopara claimed 3 wickets in the collapse with his medium-paced bowling. Prasanna Jayawardene (46) combined with Jehan Mubarak (28) in a partnership of 72 runs, as the two spared the blushes of the Sri Lankans somewhat.

However, Essex were made to chase 173 for victory after the Sri Lankans were ultimately dismissed for 172 in 43.3 overs.
Under-19 player Varun Chopra (6) was an early breakthrough for the visitors, when he was run out with the score on 39.

Timothy Phillips (5) and Bopara (9) followed in quick succession to allow the Sri Lankans some footing in the game. However, half-centuries from Mark Pettini (69) and Sout African/Dutch allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate (63 not out) steadied the effort for Essex.

Maharoof returned to collect the wicket of Pettini, but James Foster (15 not out) saw the game home alongside ten Doeschate.

Sri Lankans 172 all out (43.3 overs)
Prasanna Jayawardene 46, Sanath Jayasuriya 30
Jahid Ahmed 4-32, Ravi Bopara 3-23, Darren Gough 2-32

Essex 174-4 (38 overs)
Mark Pettini 69, Ryan ten Doeschate 63*
Nuwan Kulsakera 1-22

Essex won by 6 wickets.

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