The Defense Service Games(DSG) 2018 Men’s cricket segment ended in a stalemate after the final was washed out due to heavy rains on both scheduled days.
After a very one sided group stage with Navy unable to win a single game, Air Force and Army were set to battle it out for the championship on the 22nd of May, 2018 in Welisara with a reserve day on the 23rd. Both days were unfortunately washed out due to heavy rains and left the organizers no choice but to declare the teams joint champions.
The two group stage games between Army and Air Force ended with one win apiece setting up a mouthwatering contest between the Soldiers -a Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) tier ‘A’ outfit- and the Airmen-a tier ‘B’ outfit-. Air Force had a slightly better net run rate compared to Army during the group stages which helped them finish in number one position ahead of the final.
DD De Zoysa was the man in form for Army throughout the tournament, averaging just below 50 inclusive of two half centuries in four innings, while MJS Perera was more than impressive with the ball capturing 12 wickets in four outings.
Army batting/bowling stats
Army’s Asela Gunaratne didn’t appear in any of the games due to injury, but discarded Sri Lanka players Seekuge Prasanna and Ajantha Mendis made a number of appearances though they had a quiet time throughout the tournament.
Dilip Tharaka, Sanju Jayasekara and skipper Ranga Dissanayake crossed the 100-run mark for Air Force, as they had a brilliant run in the tournament including a thrashing of the tier ‘A’ Army unit by a massive 142 runs in the tournament opener.
The right arm leg spin of Lakshan Fernando yielded 7 scalps for him in the tournament as he finished as top wicket-taker for Air Force while Buddhika Sandaruwan was miserly with an economy rate under 3 runs per an over and six wickets.
Army were the defending champions coming into the tournament having toppled Navy in the 2017 DSG Men’s cricket finale.