By Srian Obeyesekere
SSC opening batsman Nipun Dhananjaya took top billing as the highest run getter with 376 runs having struck a century and three half centuries averaging 75.2 from six matches in the Sri Lanka Cricket Major Club Under-23 50-Over Tournament.
Dhananjaya cracked a century on his way to becoming the leading run scorer in the tournament when he reached exactly 100 against Bloomfield C&AC on the final day of the first round of the tournament on October 4. He brought up his century off 117 balls inclusive of 7 boundaries.
A feature of Dhananjaya’s batting has been his success as an opening batsman having reverted from his longtime regular No.4 berth performing for his club. He has stamped his name as a highly talented player for the future having caught the eye early of the national selectors in captaining the Sri Lanka Under-19 XI in 2018 and 2019 up to February 2020 when his final appearance at that level was against South Africa.
Dhananjaya has skippered the Sri Lanka Youth XI on eight occasions. In 2018 he captained the side against India, and had the honour of wearing the captaincy mantle in the Youth Asia Cup 2018 conducted in Bangladesh as well as a home tour against Bangladesh the same year. He also did so in the home tours against Australia and Pakistan and the tour of Bangladesh in 2019. He also captained the side in the three-cornered tournament featuring the West Indies and England in the West Indies in 2019 as well as in the Youth World Cup held in South Africa early this year.
Nipun Dhananjaya, who was born on September 28, 2000, is a solid left hand batsman and quite an effective right arm legbreak bowler.