The Sri Lanka Women’s team went down fighting against Bangladesh in the Gold Medal match at the South Asian Games today in Pokhara to settle for a Silver Medal while the Men’s team finished the league stage with yet another comfortable win in Kirtipur.
Sri Lanka Women vs Bangladesh Women – Women’s Final
Sri Lanka Women after winning the toss and electing to bowl first, were off to a dream start as all-rounder Umesha Thimashini claimed 4 wickets in the 7th over of the game. Her dream over put Bangladesh to a destitute situation, reeling on 36/5.
The best partnership of their innings, 30 runs between Nigar Sultana and Fahima Khatun for the 7th wicket, however helped them towards a better finish than what was expected. Sultana remained unbeaten on 29 as they finished on 91.
Malsha Ranathunga, bowling all 4 overs, gave away just 6 runs to end her spell with a brilliant economy rate of 1.50.
Sri Lanka’s run-chase started awfully as they lost 3 wickets for 14 within the first 6 overs. Skipper Harshitha Madavi once again came to Sri Lanka’s rescue as she anchored the innings scoring 32 off 33. Following her dismissal for 53, Lihini Apsara took over the mantle taking the chase all the way to the final over.
She scored 25 off 28 amidst wickets falling regularly from the other end. Despite experienced Bangladeshi national caps like skipper Salma Khatun, Nahida Akter and Jahanara Alam bowling the death overs, Sri Lanka’s inexperienced batters guided by 22-year old Apsara put up a praise-worthy fight taking the game down to the wire. However, Alam sealed the win for Bangladesh defending 7 runs in the last over with 2 wickets including that of Apsara.
Sri Lanka U23 vs Bangladesh U23 – Men’s
The Sri Lanka Men’s team (U23) extended their winning streak handing Bangladesh their first loss of the competition by 9 wickets. Bangladesh were reduced to 21/3 in just 4.1 overs after they were put in to bat by Sri Lankan skipper Charith Asalanka. The first 3 wickets were Bangladesh national caps, Mohammad Naim & Afif Hossain and their skipper Saif Hassan.
An 80-run stand for the 4th wicket between wicketkeeper Mahidul Islam and Yasir Ali brought Bangladesh back in to the game and helped them reach a competitive score of 150. National cap Zakir Hasan’s cameo towards the end helped them finish their innings on a high.
In bowling for Sri Lanka pacer Asitha Fernando finished with 2 wickets while Jehan Daniel and Kavishka Anjula picked up a wicket apiece. Sammu Ashan’s wicket with his part-time off-spin was the vital partnership-breaking wicket of Mahidul Islam.
Sri Lanka’s run-chase faced an early blow as Mehedi Hasan Rana, after starting the 2nd over with 3 back to back no balls, dismissed in-form Nishan Madushka for 6. Fortunately for Sri Lanka, it was the last blow they had to face as they cruised towards victory.
Playing his first game in the tournament, Lasith Croospulle steered Sri Lanka along with the ever-reliable Pathum Nissanka putting up an unbeaten stand of 134 in just 14.2 overs. Having scored heavily in the recently concluded SLC Emerging League back home, Croospulle seemed like he was batting in just another domestic game scoring with complete authority.
Sri Lanka will now face the same opposition in the final with a podium finish ensured tomorrow.
Final Points Table (Men’s)
|Sri Lanka U23||4||4||0||8|