The Sri Lanka Emerging team beat their Afghan counterparts by 1 wicket with just 4 balls remaining today at the Colombo Cricket Club Grounds to secure a spot in the Semifinals.
Sri Lanka in their chase of 211 were cruising towards victory at 155/4 in the 34th over with in-form Kamindu Mendis and Captain Sammu Ashan on 47 and 34 respectively. Suddenly, Sri Lanka lost 3 wickets in 3 consecutive overs which pushed Kamindu Mendis to a situation, where he was the only recognized batsman to pull Sri Lanka out of the hole.
The defending champions, Sri Lanka Emerging Team got off to a winning start..
Left arm spinner Zia-ur-Rehman, the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan today, luckily finished his 10 overs right after the collapse making life easier for Kamindu Mendis. After adding 30 steady runs for the 8th wicket with Shehan Madushanka, both the batsmen perished within the space of 3 and a half overs leaving the last pair of Asitha Fernando and Lasith Embuldeniya with a task of 14 runs in 29 deliveries.
This time it was all-rounder Karim Janat’s medium pace which troubled the Lankan batsmen, but not the last pair. The duo held their nerves and took Sri Lanka over the line in the last over saving the hosts from embarrassment. Embuldeniya scored 6 runs in 23 deliveries while Asitha scored 9 off 15 with a crucial boundary.
Before the collapse happened Kamindu Mendis and Sammu Ashan, who led the team because appointed skipper Charith Asalanka was ruled out of the tournament due to an injury he sustained during yesterday’s game against Oman, were successfully involved in repair work in terms of a 74-run partnership for the 5th wicket.
The Sri Lankan top order were unable to provide an ideal start as opener Sandun Weerakkody and number 3 batsman Hasitha Boyagoda were dismissed cheaply. Avishka Fernando backed his half-century in the previous game with a quick 34 runs while Asela Gunaratne, who was prmoted up the order contributed with 32 runs.
Early in the day Afghanistan didn’t start well either, after winning the toss and electing to bat first. Both openers were sent back to the dressing room early by opening bowlers Asitha Fernando and Jehan Daniel, who came into the side replacing Chamika Karunaratne.
Shahidullah then together with national cap Karim Janat put up a valuable 84-run stand before he got out as left arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya’s first victim. Embuldeniya who came in to the side replacing injured Jeffrey Vandersay went on to pick up 3 wickets for just 35 runs putting breaks to the Afghan inning which looked like reaching a big score.
Kamindu Mendis, before his match winning knock of 71 runs in the run-chase, picked up 3 crucial wickets with his ambidextrous spin. His 3 wickets included the very important wicket Karim Janat who scored 68 runs and was well set to build on it.
The Afghanistan skipper, explosive Najibullah Zadran was dismissed by pacie Shehan Madushanka for just 2 runs which proved costly for the visitors at the end. With the help of some useful cameos from wicket keeper Rahmatullah Gurbaz and Azmatullah Omarzai towards the end of the inning Afghanistan managed to score a modest 210 runs.
With this win Sri Lanka and India, who beat Afghanistan yesterday and Oman today, will qualify to the Semifinals. The two teams will meet each other on the 10th Monday to decide the leader of the group.
SL Emerging won by 1 wicket
|Ihsanullah Janat||c S Weerakkody b A Fernando||10||12|
|Ibrahim Zadran||c S Weerakkody b J Daniel||2||10|
|Karim Janat||b K Mendis||68||99|
|Shahidullah Kamal||c A Fernando b L Ambuldeniya||38||54|
|Nasir Jamal||c A Gunarathne b L Ambuldeniya||12||15|
|Najibullah Zadran||c K Mendis b S Madushanka||2||6|
|Rshmanullah Gurbaz||c S Madushanka b L Ambuldeniya||31||26|
|Azmatullah Omarzai||c & b K Mendis||22||34|
|Qais Ahmad||(runout) S Jayasuriya||6||12|
|Zia Ur Rehman||not out||4||10|
|Fazal Haque||c S Ashan b K Mendis||7||9|
Sri Lanka’s Innings
|Sandun Weerakkody||c Ihsanullah b A Omarzai||1||7|
|Avishka Fernando||c R Gurbaz b Shahidullah||34||31|
|Hasitha Boyagoda||c Q Ahmad b Z Rehman||1||16|
|Asela Gunarathne||c & b Najibullah||32||35|
|Kamindu Mendis||c R Gurbaz b K Janat||71||98|
|Shammu Ashan||c Shahidullah b Z Rehman||34||45|
|Shehan Jayasuriya||lbw by Q Ahmad||1||2|
|Jehan Daniel||b Z Rehman||1||2|
|Shehan Madushanka||c Ihsanullah b K Janat||9||25|
|Lasith Ambuldeniya||not out||6||23|
|Asitha Fernando||not out||9||15|