Opening batsman Pathum Nissanka struck a brilliant 115 off 78 balls as the Sri Lanka Emerging Team beat the Bangladesh Emerging Team by 7 wickets with 24 balls to spare on the Duckworth & Lewis method in a rain interrupted match at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, Khulna on Saturday.
In a high scoring contest of the two sides openers setting the tone with centuries, the Bangladeshis, batting first piled up 269 for 5 wickets in 50 overs on Saif Hassan’s 130-ball 117 (4×4, 7×6). Sri Lanka breezed to 199 for 3 in 24 overs at a run rate of 8.29 runs per overs to win on a faster run rate on the D L method.
Mendis’ power packed century was the cornerstone to the Sri Lanka Emerging Team’s triumph. He clobbered 8 boundaries and 5 sixes with a strike rate of 147.43. After Sri Lanka had lost opener Hastha Boyagoa for 12 with the total on 64 and skipper Charith Asalanka for 2 with the total on 68 by the first ball of the 11th over, Nissanka took charge of the situation to propel his side to victory, He figured in a fruitful unbeaten 122-run alliance for the third wicket with Minod Bhanuka who made a fluent 55 off 32 balls studded with 5 boundaries and 3 sixes.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Emerging Team was spearheaded by Saif Hassan’s 130-ball knock inclusive of 4 boundaries and 7 sixes. Other main run getters were Asif Hossain 68 off 70 balls containing 6 boundaries and a six and Najmul Hossain Shanto 39.
However, Pathum Nissanka had different ideas with his timely match winning century and reposed the faith placed in him while kindling the type of form that made him a schoolboy batting sensation. He was adjudged Player of the Match.
Bangladesh Emerging Team 269/5 (50 Overs) Run Rate: 5.38 (S. Hassan 117, A. Hossain 68, N.H. Shanto 39, K.K.V. Perera 2/47)
Sri Lanka Emerging Team 199/3 (24 Overs) Run Rate: 8.29
Target 199 from 28 Overs. (P. Nissanka 115*, M. Bhanuka 55)
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-