Australia A 254 (Peirson 67*, Rasanjana 5-82) and 370 for 5 (Peirson 128*, Hunt 107, Hardie 78*) beat Sri Lanka A 330 for 9 dec (Dananjaya 92, Udara 63, Arachchige 61, Boland 4-38, Steketee 4-69) and 290 (Dananjaya 77, Arachchige 58, Boland 3-51, Sangha 3-53) by five wickets
Peirson’s unbeaten 128 followed his undefeated 67 in the first innings which helped keep Australia A in the game after the rest of the batting struggled. It also meant he was not dismissed in his three innings during the two-match series having been subbed into the opening match when Travis Head was called into the ODI squad.
Peirson had not been an original member of the Australia A squad but was called up when Peter Handscomb left the tour for family reasons.
Earlier, Hunt had made 107 from 212 deliveries after the top order had been removed by Lakshitha Rasanjana and Dilshan Madushanka. A notable element of both centuries was the relative lack of boundaries: Hunt hit just three while Peirson’s 189-ball stay only included four in what became a one-day style chase during the final session.
The five-wicket victory completed a successful tour for the Australia A which saw them take the four-day series 2-0 following a share of the two one-day matches. The benefit of the concurrent series to the senior tour was also emphasised by the ability to draft players in amid what has been a lengthy injury list during the T20Is and ODIs while giving others preparation.
At various times Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Matt Kuhnemann and Scott Boland have moved between the squads. Kuhnemann made his ODI debut and played four matches in the series while Boland, who is part of the Test squad, claimed seven wickets in this match in his first competitive bowl since the end of the Australian season in late March.
Left-arm spinner Jon Holland and offspinner Todd Murphy, along with Kuhnemann, will stay on with the Test squad as part of the preparation for the two-match series in Galle. None of them have yet been officially added to the group, but with doubts continuing over Ashton Agar after his side strain there could yet be an opening.
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