By Srian Obeyesekere
Chilaw Marians SC’s Kamindu Mendis had the distinction of becoming thefirst batsman to score a century in the ongoing Sri Lanka Cricket Major Club U23 50-Over Tournament. The 22-year old right hander struck 117 against Negombo CC in his side’s 109-run win in the second week of the tournament. He also slammed 74 the previous week in Chilaw Marians 6-wicket triumph over Panadura SC.
The former Richmond College, Galle product born on 30 September 1998, Kamindu, who first turned out for CCC before moving over to Chilaw Marians, is a very effective all-rounder who came into the national limelight more for his ambidextrous bowling both right and left-arm deliveries during the same over. He made his ODI debut for the Sri Lanka versus South Africa in October 2018. This year Kamindu has had a good run with both bat and ball having also impressed in the SLC Major League Tier A Super Eight Tournament as well.
As a finger spin with both arms, Kamindu has won the satisfaction of coaches for his ability where he delivers the ball with skill and accuracy – his off breaks not quite as good as his left-arm orthodox, but not far off.
Mendis made his U19 debut for Sri Lanka days before his 16th birthday, and went on to captain the U19 side in the 2018 World Cup. The high point of his career was his selection in October that year to the mainstream Sri Lanka for the one-off T20 against England when he scored an impressive 24 having notched a half-century in the practice match before the England tour which influenced his selection.
He has scored 1121 in 22 innings from 15 matches in first class cricket averaging 59.00 including2 centuries and 8 half centuries with a highest of 169 with a strike rate of 58.87. He has also picked 18 wickets from a same number of matches in 21 innings having conceded 650 runs with a best of 4 for 43 averaging 36.11.