Philippe stars again as Australia set up final day push


Josh Philippe’s super form continued with another half-century as he pushed Australia ‘A’ into a healthy position in their tour match against Sri Lanka ‘A’ in Hambantota.

Only 54 overs were possible on day three before bad light intervened just before the tea break, but there was enough time for Phillipe to reach 69 off 70 balls to complement his 94 off 102 in the first innings. 

Philippe and Nic Maddinson (59 off 95 balls) came together at 3-67 and produced a century stand to put the Aussies into a position of power.

West Australian Philippe smashed 10 fours in his innings, including three in a row off left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya in the 33rd over.

Neither could go on to reach three figures, but when the umpires called stumps Australia A were 5-212 with a lead of 317 runs. 

Aaron Hardie (four not out) and Jimmy Peirson (13 not out), who only came into the game yesterday as a replacement for Travis Head, were the unbeaten batters. 

Beginning the day 129 runs in arrears, Sri Lanka A’s final two wickets lasted only 8.1 overs with Mark Steketee taking both to finish with innings figures of 3-51.

With a 105-run lead, Australia A’s openers came out with intent and Marcus Harris and Matthew Renshaw scored at six runs per over for the first 10 overs. 

The visitors avoided a top-order collapse that saw them lose 3-15 in the first innings, but there was a hint of déjà vu as Renshaw, Harris and Henry Hunt all fell in the space of six runs to give the hosts a sniff. 

Hunt’s forgetful match continued as he chipped a simple catch to midwicket to complete a pair of ducks. 

Brief scores:

Australia ‘A’: 379 and 212-5 (Josh Philippe 69, Nic Maddinson 59, Lakshitha Manasinghe 2-83)

Sri Lanka ‘A’: 274 all out (Nuwanindu Fernando 86, Lahiru Udara 50, Todd Murphy 4-67)