EMERGING TEAMS ASIA CUP 2019
Oman drew first blood when they shocked reigning champions Sri Lanka by 4 wickets with 7 balls to spare in the Under-23 Emerging Teams Asia Cup curtain raiser played at the Shiekh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground, Coz Bazaar in Bangladesh on Thursday.
Oman’s victory was highlighted by a scintillating unbeaten 131 by opening batsman Jatinder Singh off 150 balls inclusive of 13 boundaries and a six in a trotal of 269 for off 48.5 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s 268 all out off 50 overs.
Put in to bat, Sri Lanka got off to a good start with openers Pathum Nissanka who made 40 off 62 balls containing 2 sixes and a boundary and Minod Bhanuka 33 off 35 with 6 boundaries posting 58 off 12.3 overs. With the dismissal of Nissnka with the total on 86 off 19.3 overs and Kamindu Mendis for 17 with the total on 112 for 3 off 27 overs skipper Charith AsAsalanka stepped in to lift the run rate making 57 off 65 balls containing 2 boundaries and 2 sixes apiece. He figured in a 59-run alliance for the fifth wicket with Ashen Bandara who top scored with 62 off 51 balls with 4 boundaries and 2 sixes. Asalanka was fifth out with Sri Lanka on 202 in the second ball of the 41st over and Bandara was seventh out with the total on 254 off 48.1 overs before No.8 Ramesh Mendis’ 28 off 23 with a six and boundary lifted Sri Lanka to 268.
Oman’s run chase saw openers M.E. Sanuth (19) and the hero of the day centurion Player of the Match Jatinder Singh put on 42 off 8.5 overs, but the Lankans struck to reduce Oman to 4 for 90 off 19.2 overs with spinner Amila Aponso accounting for the next three batsmen Aqib Ilyas for 7, Aamir Kaleem for 1 and Mohammad Nadeen for 10. But Jatinder Singh rallied the innings figuring in a rollicking 148-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Suraj Kumar (70 off 77, 4×4, 3×6) off 26 overs putting Oman within sight of victory on 238 for 5 wickets when the latter departed from where it was plain sailing.
Sri Lanka Emerging Team 268 All out (50 Overs) Run rate: 5.36 (K.N.A. Bandara 62, K.I.C. Asalanka 57, P. Nissanka 40, R.T.M. Mendis 28, P.H.K.D. Mendis 17, M.E. Sanuth 3/41, J. Odedra 2/52)
Oman Emerging Team 269/6 (48.5 Overs) Run rate: 5.5
(J. Singh n.o. 131, S. Kumar 70, N. Khushi n.o. 21, S. Goud n.o. 2, M.A. Aponso 3/4)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-