The writing was on the wall for Sri Lanka in their World Cup warm-up game against Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday when they were reduced to 75 for six chasing a target of 148. All the big guns; Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka had fallen for low scores but a stunning unbroken seventh wicket stand between Avishka Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne rescued them and in the end Sri Lanka cruised to a four wicket win with six balls to spare.
There was no television coverage of the game and to make matters worse, there were no updates of the scores either in any of the online scoring platforms. So fans had to entirely depend on a couple of Sri Lankan journalists in UAE to know the outcome of the game. There was a sigh of relief in the middle of the night when photographer Sameera Peiris, who is doing some freelance work for The Island, broke the news that Sri Lanka had secured a hard fought win.
The partnership between Avishka and Chamika was worth 73 runs and came off 55 balls. Avishka finished unbeaten on 62 off 42 balls with four fours and three sixes while Chamika was 29 not out off 25 balls with one four and a six.
Avishka was expected to open the batting but on Tuesday, he batted at number four and it remains to be seen what Sri Lanka will do with the 23-year-old prodigy when the qualifiers start.
While some feel that he is better off opening the innings to exploit the field restrictions during Power Play, others believe that Aravinda’s heir should bat where the greatest batsman produced by the nation batted – number four.
Chamika, meanwhile, needs to make a lot of improvements to his game but in the brief time he has been with Sri Lanka, he has shown a lot of promise and looks to be the kind of player who needs to be given the long rope.
Dushmantha Chameera did not play a single IPL game despite being called up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the second leg of the IPL. He showcased what RCB lacked by bowling a superb spell on Tuesday and finished with three wickets.
Wanidu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Maheesh Theekshana and Dasun Shanaka finished with a wicket each as Sri Lanka restricted Bangladesh for 147. Soumya Sarkar top scored for Bangladesh with 34 runs.
A hamstring injury to Kusal Perera last month was a huge worry for Sri Lanka ahead of the World Cup. But he has recovered and played Tuesday’s warm-up game although he only made four runs.
Sri Lanka’s second warm-up game is today against Papua New Guinea in Abu Dhabi.
Bangladesh, Oman and Papua New Guinea are playing the qualifying round in Group ‘B’ and two teams will go through.
The former champions will remain in Abu Dhabi for their first two games of the qualifying round in Group ‘A’ against Namibia and Ireland. They will move to Sharjah for the third game against Netherlands. Sri Lanka need to win two of the three qualifying games to progress to the World Cup.
Sri Lanka had reached the finals of the T-20 World Cup on three occasions; 2009 in London, 2012 in Colombo and 2014 in Dhaka. They were champions in the 2014 edition beating India in the finals.
Bangladesh 147 for seven in 20 overs
(Sayumya Sarkar 34, Dushmantha Chameera 3/27)
Sri Lanka 148 for six in 19 overs
(Avishka Fernando 62*, Chamika Karunaratne 29*)
Phil Salt sets up big win for Dambulla Giants
Phil Salt hammered 64 in 27 balls and Nuwan Pradeep and Ramesh Mendis picked up three wickets each as Dambulla Giants beat Kandy Warriors by 20 runs in the second match of the Lanka Premier League played at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday.
In reply to Giants’ 190 runs, Warriors could post only 170 as Padeep and Mendis shared six wickets between them.
Phil Salt was the Player of the Match for his 64 which was inclusive of four fours and five sixes. “I’m just going out there trying to play positive cricket,” he said. “I know from playing out here a few times that the new ball doesn’t stay new for very long, and you’ve got to make the best of it.”
Salt and Niroshan Dickwella gave a superb start to the tournament for Giants as they put on 97 runs together in the first 7.4 overs. From that point on, it was always going to be tough for Warriors. Dickwella scored 37 runs inclusive of six fours. Skipper Dasun Shanaka chipped in with 24 runs while Ramesh Mendis hit an unbeaten 22 runs in 11 balls.
Warriors did fight with the bat thanks largely to Rovman Powell’s 42 off 21, but the best they could do was get close enough so their net run rate wasn’t too badly damaged.
Dambulla Giants 190 for 7 in 20 overs
(Niroshan Dickwella 37, Phil Salt 64, Dasun Shanaka 24, Ramesh Mendis 22n.o.; Lahiru Kumara 3/34, Al-Amin Hossain 2/36)
Kandy Warriors 170 for 8 in 20 overs
(Angelo Perera 24, Rovman Powell 42, Sachindu Colombage 27; Nuwan Pradeep 3/31, Ramesh Mendis 3/21)
Vijaya, Rantharu shine at Dialog President’s Gold Cup Volleyball Championship
Rantharu Sports Club, Debegama and Vijaya Sports Club, Koswadiya won the men’s and women’s titles respectively of the Dialog President’s Gold Cup Volleyball Championship 2020 at the National Youth Services Council Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
Vijaya Sports Club, Koswadiya beat Hirdaramani Sports Club Galigamuwa 3-1 in the women’s final. After being beaten 18-25 in the first set the team fought back scoring victories in the next three sets to win the award.
J.W.P. Thushari (best setter), Chathurika Ranasinghe (best blocker), Sanjeewani Adhikari (best defender) and Dinesha Prasadani (best attacker and most valuable player) who did well for the winners received awards for their outstanding performances. Nimeshika Sewwandi Gunasekara and Harshani Senaratne from Hirdaramani were adjudged the best server and best receiver respectively.
Women’s Champions Vijaya Sports Club pose with their awards.
In the men’s final, Rantharu Sports Club, Debegama beat United Sports Club, Nattandiya to win the men’s title.
Kanishka Madushanka (best server), Ruchira Sampath Jayatunga (best setter), Nishan Kodisinghe (best blocker), Suranga Wickramasena (best defender) and Sanka Dineth Jayaratne (most valuable player) received individual awards for Rantharu.
Kushan Chamara (best receiver) and Mahela Indeewara (best attacker) won awards for United.
Chathurya, Thehan, Oneli, Tania win Under 18 doubles titles
Chathurya Nilaweera and Thehan Wijemanne and Oneli Perera and Tania Doloswala won the Under 18 boys’ and girls’ doubles titles of the 106 Colombo Championships on Sunday.
In the Under 16 doubles finals, Saajida Razick and Dinara de Silva and Thilina Dissanayake and Nithila Goonetilleke were the girls’ and boys’ winners respectively, while Abdul Cader and Dhanushka Dias clinched the Under 14 boys’ doubles title.
Under 18 girls doubles final:
Oneli Perera and Tania Doloswala beat Hasali Gajaba and Minuki Wanniarachchi (2-4, 4-2, 10-4)
Under 18 boys doubles final
: Chathurya Nilaweera and Thehan Wijemanne beat Vichinthya Nilaweera and Heshika Perera (4-1, 4-1)
Under- 16 girls doubles final:
Saajida Razick and Dinara de Silva beat Dinethya Dharmaratne and Anitra Dharmaratne (5-3, 4-2)
Under 16 boys doubles final:
Thilina Dissanayake and Nithila Goonetilleke beat Methvan Wijemanne and Lisal Goonetilleke (5-3, 4-2)
Under 14 boys doubles final:
Abdul Cader and Dhanushka Dias beat Kavidu Sawmya and Ganuka Fernando (4-2, 5-3).
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