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January 7, 2024
Charith Asalanka’s dashing century and Dilshan Madushanka’s 2/0 undone by rain washout 

Sri Lanka Cricket

By Srian Obeyesekere

Charith Asalanka stroked a dashing century in yesterday’s rain washed out ODI opener against Zimbabwe on 12 for 2 after 4 overs highlighted by the left-hander’s dash and swagger in reviving a listless innings from 125 for 4 after 21.2 overs that had stop started on halfhearted contributions at the top in lifting Sri Lanka to 273 for 9 in 50 overs at the R. Premadasa International Stadium after skipper Kusal Mendis, having opted to bat, had played an uncharacteristic wait and see knock of 46 before running himself out and one drop Sadeera Samarawickrama fallen for 41 following a bad start fifth ball duck by the recalled Avishka Fernando.

In that scenario, full credit to Asalanka, who progressively rose to the challenge in three figure gung-ho in transforming a 54-ball half century filled with 5 boundaries into the full bloom of 101 off 95 lit up by 4 over the top in that ultimate charge to putting his side into a winning position having ignited the Lankan innings to 183 for 5 by the 35th over from that early gloom. That he did fall prey when all was done by needlessly failing to make his mark at the bowlers end into the third ball of the final over when he should have hogged the center stage strike instead of sending Jeffrey Vandersay to the striker’s end was the only blemish to a glorious performance.

That Asalanka’s century effort, his third, and strike bowler Dilshan Madushanka’s 2 wicket burst for no runs in 2 overs was undone by the rains in Sri Lanka’s victory leaves the 3-match equation in the balance to be decided by the remaining two contests.   

Going back to skipper Mendis’ performance, the usually aggressive right-hander was apparently into the cautious approach to fronting the bowling given his high elevation into the big captaincy boots where the wait and see approach of wicket preservation is sturdy thinking in innings building, but running himself out of the equation was bad sense to it.

That Sri Lanka had a debutant in 24-year old Janith Liyanage 24 off 34 with a solitary boundary pushed into the pivotal one drop job in a fair start to his career, with left-hander Sahan Arachchige at No.5 – 11 off 24, marked that moderate early building phase new look composition.

Former skipper Dasun Shanaka 8 off 19 was a continued poor form exit by a half half hearted lollypop catch to gully.



Sri Lanka 273/9 (50 Overs)

(Charith Asalanka 101, Kusal Mendis 46, Sadeera Samarawickrama 35, Janith Liyanage 24, Dushmantha Chameera 18, Sahan Arachchige 11, Richard Ngarava 2/39, Faraz Akram 2/58, Blessing Muzarabani 2/62, 

Sikandar Raza 1/41)

Zimbabwe 12/2 (4 Overs)

(Dilshan Madushanka 2/0)

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