By Srian Obeyesekere
Sri Lanka Emerging defeated Japan by 45 runs in the penultimate game to make it four in a row and poised for a clean sweep in the 5-match T20 series at the Sano International Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Sri Lanka ran up 131 off 19.5 overs on winning the toss and dismissed the host nation for 86 in 18.4 overs with Theesan Vithushan claiming 3 wickets for 18.
However, the more experienced Lankans were made to fight for it by minnows Japan’s bowlers, who like in the previous game, had their opponents unsettled early on. Sri Lanka Emerging had to overcome early losses from 1 for 7, 2 for 19 and 3 for 27 after 4.5 overs before Ranmith Jayasena 39 off 27 inclusive of 4 boundaries and a six, and Sakuna Liyanage 31 off 19 with 5 boundaries and a six carried the side through.
Japan, in defeat did once again have the one bright spot in the batting in Kendel Kadowaki Fleming who followed up his 43 in the previous game with another rousing 33 off 28 balls infused in 5 boundaries and a six. The only other host nation batsman to reach double figures was Alex Patmore 18 off 26 with 2 boundaries. Two of Japan’s bowlers too did figure with the ball in future hopefuls Kohei Kubota who took 3 wickets for 23 and Muneeb Siddique 2 for 28.
The other Lankan wicket takers were Lakshan Gamage 2 for 16, Sithum Disanayaka 2 for 19 and Skipper Dellon Peiris 2 for 19.
Sri Lanka Emerging 131 (19.5 Overs)
(Ranmith Jayasena 39, Sakuna Liyanage 31, Sithum Disanayaka 13, Hirantha Jayasinghe 11, Dunith Jayatunga 10, Kohei Kubota 3/23, Muneeb Siddique 2/28, Kento Ota-Dobell 1/16, Sabaorish Ravichandran 1/24).
Japan 86 (18.4 Overs)
(Kendel Kadowaki Fleming 33, Alex Patmore 18, Theesan Vithushan 3/18, Lakshan Gamage 2/16, Sithum Disanayaka 2/19, Dellon Peiris 2/19)