Sans the routine warm-up taste of playing against English opposition with cricket hit by the COVID pandemic, Sri Lanka’s make do Intra-Squad 50-over practice match on Tuesday between Kusal Janith Perera’s XI and Kusal Mendis’ XI that ended in a tie at Cardiff, did see some positive performances from both camps with one more to be worked out on Friday ahead of the opening T20 against England on June 23 at Cardiff.
The even Stevens equal score lines between the two sides did see Kusal Mendis’ XI make 250 for 9 wickets in the allotted 50 overs with young Ramesh Mendis figuring prominently with an 89-ball 71-run top score followed by Isuru Udana’s 57-ball 44 and Oshada Fernando 39 off 34.
In response, Avishka Fernando coming thumbs up with a 71-ball 64 did underwrite his appetite for runs on English wickets in the wake of his world cup century in 2019. In that run up were Dasun Shanaka 44 off 54 and Danushka Gunathilaka 30 off 27 and the skipper himself Kusal Janith Perera 28 off 25.
In the bowling department, for Perera’s XI, Akila Dananjaya and young pace bowler Chamika Karunaratne impressed with 3 wickets apiece followed by Binura Fernando’s 2 wickets.
Similarly, from the opposite camp, young pace bowling hopeful Asith Fernando had best figures of 3 for 43 followed by Dushmantha Chameera 2 for 44 and Praveen Jayawickrama 2 for 44.
Kusal Mendis XI– 250/9 (50 overs)
(Ramesh Mendis 71, Isuru Udana 44, Oshada Fernando 39,
Kusal Mendis 19, Akila Dananjaya 3/28, Chamika Karunaratne 3/38
Binura Fernando 2/38, Nuwan Pradeep 1/20)
Kusal Janith Perera’s XI 250/9 (50 overs)
(Avishka Fernando 64, Dasun Shanaka 44, Danushka Gunathilaka 30,
Kusal Perera 28. Asitha Fernando 3/43, D Chameera 2/26, P Jayawickrama 2/44
W Hasaranga 1/37, R Mendis 1/39)