The defending champions, Sri Lanka Emerging Team got off to a winning start in the Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2018 beating Oman National Team by 109 runs in their opening match played at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
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Sri Lanka skipper Charith Asalanka won the toss and had no hesitation to bat first on a placid surface. The two Lankan openers, Sandun Weerakkody and Avishka Fernando got off to a rollicking start smashing 72 runs in the first powerplay.
Soon after right-handed Fernando reached his fifty, Weerakkody fell in the 13th over when the score was 81. Right-arm off-spinner Jay Odedra struck again, when Fernando too fell for the guile of Odedra as Sri Lanka were restricted to 98 for 2. Fernando’s excellent knock of 56 off 54 balls had nine boundaries.
Former Trinitian Hasitha Boyagoda looked in fine form at number three. He played a couple of eye-pleasing strokes to anchor the innings. Skipper Asalanka injured himself in the 23rd over and had to retire, which proved to be costly for the home team.
Kamindu Mendis joined Boyagoda and the young pair batted excellently to set up an excellent platform for Sri Lanka. Boyagoda top-scored with a brilliant knock of 80 off 94 deliveries with 6 fours and 1 six before falling to a short-pitched delivery of Bilal Khan.
Despite losing Boyagoda in the 38th over, Sri Lanka did not lose their momentum as vice-captain Sammu Ashan gave able support to Mendis to go past the elusive 300-run mark.
Asela Gunaratne, who is looking to make his comeback into the national team, failed to make an impact with the bat.
Mendis and Ashan scored at more than a run-a-ball as the Lankan innings gathered momentum. Mendis scored at over 120 to make a crucial 75 off 62 deliveries with 6 fours and 1 six. But, it was Ashan who provided the late blitz as Sri Lanka scored 95 runs in the final powerplay.
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Former Anandian Ashan bludgeoned 3 sixes and 3 fours to score a fine, unbeaten 57 off 34 deliveries as Sri Lanka posted 324 for 5 from their allotted 50 overs.
In reply, Oman too managed to get a decent start as their openers, Jatinder Singh and Twinkal Bhandari added 74 runs for the first wicket. Singh was dismissed by Mendis as Oman started losing wickets in quick time.
Asela Gunaratne bowled economically but without any success while Shehan Madushanka and Sammu Ashan took crucial wickets in the middle period. Ashan bowled his full quota of 10 overs, capturing 2 wickets for 34 runs.
Oman batsmen were strangled by the Lankan slow bowlers as none of the batsmen were able to score over 36. They were not given any room whatsoever to get near the final target as they ended on 215 for 8 from their 50 overs.
Sri Lanka will take on Afghanistan on 8th December, Saturday at CCC Grounds.
Sri Lanka’s Innings
|Sandun Weerakkody||c M Nadeem b J Odedra||29||31|
|Avishka Fernando||c & b J Odedra||56||54|
|Hasitha Boyagoda||c J Singh b B Khan||80||94|
|Charith Asalanka||not out||10||14|
|Kamindu Mendis||lbw by B Khan||75||62|
|Asela Gunarathne||st Bhandari b J Odedra||3||10|
|Sammu Ashan||not out||57||34|
|Chamika Karunarathne||not out||1||1|
Oman ‘s Innings
|Twinkal Bhandari||c & b S Madushanka||32||54|
|Jatinder Singh||c J Daniel b K Mendis||36||59|
|Aqib Ilyas||(runout) K Mendis||28||29|
|Khawar Ali||c S Weerakkody b S Madushanka||0||5|
|Zeeshan Maqsood||c J Daniel b S Ashan||16||25|
|Mohammad Nadeem||lbw by S Ashan||13||29|
|Ajay Lalcheta||b A Fernando||34||35|
|Fayyaz Butt||c S Weerakkody b H Boyagoda||26||52|
|Jayesh Odedra||not out||7||10|