Gilchrist puts Australia in winning position

Associated Press

Darwin, July 2:

Acting captain Adam Gilchrist scored 80 runs before being run out just before stumps on Friday to put Australia in a commanding position over Sri Lanka in the first cricket Test.

On Friday Australia was bowled out for 201 at Marrara Oval in the second-last scheduled over of the day, meaning Sri Lanka will need 312 to win the match when play resumes on Saturday. With 20 wickets having fallen in two days, that total will be an imposing one. Gilchrist came to the crease with Australia in trouble at 77-5 and was run out nine balls before stumps. Australia dismissed Sri Lanka for 97 runs — Sri Lanka’s sixth-lowest total in test history — to take a first-innings lead of 110. The home side lost 3-14 inside 25 balls when they started their second innings.

Darren Lehmann made his second half-century of the match as Australia recovered slightly. His 50 came off 55 balls with eight fours, but four balls later he was out for 51, dismissed by Lasith Malinga as Kumar Sangakkara took his fourth catch of the innings. Gilchrist then posted a half-century off 80 balls with six fours. He was run out when he started for single and couldn’t get back before Mahela Jayawardene’s throw. He faced 123 balls, hitting 10 fours.

Newcomer Malinga took 4-42 for Sri Lanka to complete a memorable debut. Shane Warne took three wickets to move to 520 Test wickets — one ahead of retired West Indian Courtney Walsh and seven behind record holder Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka. Glenn McGrath, back in the team after a yearlong break due to injury, passed former world record holder Kapil Dev to take fourth place on the list of Test wicket-takers. The paceman moved through the Sri Lankan middle order early in the day, taking three wickets to finish with figures of 5-37. When he removed Russel Arnold, he claimed his 24th five wicket haul in Tests and moved past Dev’s former world record of 434 wickets with 435.

England register win

Leeds: England powered to its first victory of the NatWest Series on Thursday at Headingley with a seven wicket win over the West Indies on the back of incisive fast bowling from Steve Harmison and James Anderson and a Marcus Trescothick half century. Harmison and Anderson each took three wickets as the hosts swept aside the West Indies for 159 off 40.1 overs. Ramnaresh Sarwan top-scored with 46. Trescothick then charted the victory course with a power-packed 55 off 46 balls as England romped to victory with 28 overs to spare.

Left-hander Andrew Strauss (44 not out) and the returning Andrew Flintoff (21 not out) completed the job with an undefeated stand of 40 off 30 deliveries. Earlier, Harmison and Anderson starred as the visitors faltered after being sent in.

Harmison led the way with three for 31 off ten overs, bettering his three-wicket haul at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday as his personal best. Anderson claimed the prize wicket of Brian Lara on his way to three for 37 off eight overs. Harmison granted England a rousing start with the wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul in his first over. The left-hander nibbled a catch off the outside edge to Geraint Jones, one of four catches for the Kent gloveman.

Jones and Harmison also combined to remove Dwayne Smith cheaply and the run out of Chris Gayle next ball put England in control at 29 for three. Michael Vaughan’s swift pickup and direct hit left Gayle a yard short after Sarwan had pushed his first delivery into the covers. The Jamaican left-hander smacked five fours in 23 off 29 balls before he was cut short.

Sarwan and Ricardo Powell (36) then gave the innings some substance in a crucial seventh wicket stand of 63. They responded positively to the crisis and their flourishing stand was only broken by a stunning overhead catch by Paul Collingwood at backward point. The Durham man leapt high to pluck a rasping square cut in his right hand to the disbelief of Sarwan.