Queensland beat Sri Lanka ahead of first test

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BRISBANE, Australia, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's preparations for this week's first Test against Australia suffered a blow today when they lost by four wickets to Queensland at the Allan Border Field.

Chasing 142 for victory, Queensland reached the target for the loss of six wickets to bring an end to dismal few days for the tourists ahead of the first test in Brisbane starting Thursday.

Clinton Perren was 62 not out at the close, with man of the match Ashley Noffke unbeaten on 21.

Queensland had earlier bowled Sri Lanka out for 226 in their second innings and appeared to be cruising to victory when they went to tea at 36-1.

But while the Sri Lankan batsmen failed to come to terms with the grassy wicket, the pace bowlers kept them in the match.

Farveez Maharoof (3-33) took the only wicket before tea when he dismissed opener Jimmy Maher for 12 with the score on 35.

But after tea the home side lost four wickets for only 10 runs to slump to 51-5, with Maharoof removing Ryan Broad, who was caught behind for 26 and Andrew Symonds, caught at second slip for three.

Lasith Malinga's low, slinging action appeared to catch Chris Simpson (1) and first-innings century-maker Andy Bichel (0) off guard, both trapped lbw in consecutive balls.

Wicketkeeper Chris Hartley denied Malinga a hat-trick before he was stumped for eight off leg-spinner Malinga Bandara's bowling, leaving the home side 78-6.

Perren's steadying innings of 62 not out came from 74 balls and included nine boundaries.

Michael Kasprowicz (3-29) and Noffke (3-21) set up the exciting finish, each taking three wickets to bowl the tourists out for 226 in their second innings, despite a feisty 84 from tailender Chaminda Vaas.

Noffke took match figures of 8-57 while Test-squad member Mitchell Johnson had a quiet game taking only two wickets for the match.

REUTERS RAR RN1730

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