Michael Leask stars with bat as Scotland hunt win

Michael Leask smashes the ball to the boundary to bring up his hundred at Titwood. Picture: Donald MacLeod

Michael Leask smashes the ball to the boundary to bring up his hundred at Titwood. Picture: Donald MacLeod

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MICHAEL Leask yesterday hammered a superb century as Scotlands Development XI continued to dominate their three-day clash with MCC at Titwood, Glasgow.

Resuming on 58-3 after the Scots had dismissed their rivals for 170, Leask took charge from the start with a series of expansive shots.

The Forfarshire batsman dominated stands of 82 with Richie Berrington (38) and 87 with club-mate Craig Wallace (33) to reach three figures from 115 balls.

He went on to make 119 with 17 boundaries and four massive maximums.

Leask’s effort allowed Scotland to post an impressive 322 all out to forge a first-innings lead of 152.

MCC were soon in trouble in their second innings as Brad Wheal, the five-wicket hero of Tuesday, made the early breakthrough.

Scott Cameron, the third Forfarshire player of the day to feature, also claimed two wickets as the visitors reached 184-5 at the close, a slender lead of 32 which leaves the Scots firm favourites to complete victory today.

Meanwhile, Kumar Sangakkara endured misfortune and disappointment at the start of his penultimate Test, as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 183 by India in Galle.

Sangakkara made only five, falling to a very sharp catch by KL Rahul at silly point off the full face of the bat, when he pushed defensively off the back foot off Ravi Ashwin (6-46).

The Sri Lanka great was the first of the off-spinner’s victims, after Sri Lanka had chosen to bat – and India then reached stumps on 128-2.

Sangakkara, who will call time on his outstanding career after the first two Tests of this three-match series, was in the action early as the pace of Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron accounted for the hosts’ two openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva. But 15-2 became 27-3 – and despite captain Angelo Mathews’ battling 64 from 92 balls and his sixth-wicket stand of 79 with Dinesh Chandimal (59), the wiles of Ashwin ensured there would be no lasting recovery in an innings featuring three ducks and three other single-figure scores.

Mathews went up the pitch only to fall to a brilliant juggling reflex catch at short-leg by Rohit Sharma off Ashwin, then Chandimal’s was the first of two wickets in two balls for Amit Mishra when he charged the leg-spinner but edged an attempted big hit over mid-on to slip.

India’s reply hit early snags when Dhammika Prasad and first-change Mathews each struck – Rahul and Rohit going lbw.

But opener Shikhar Dhawan (53 not out) and captain Virat Kohli (45no) put on an unbroken stand of 100 to ensure it was the tourists who had by far the best of an eventful first day.

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