Dickwella, Ashen half tons steer SL home

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Niroshan Dickwella and Ashen Bandara’s brilliant knocks steered Sri Lanka ‘A’ to a 4 wicket win over Australia ‘A’ in a high scoring game in the second unofficial ODI at the SSC on Friday. 

Batting first, Australia handed a mammoth target of 312 runs for the home team, which they achieved with 7 balls to spare.

Australia were off to a positive start with their openers Travis Head and Josh Phillippe adding a 83 runs for the first wicket. Travis Head was the hero for the visitors with a watchful 110 runs off 86 deliveries including 15 boundaries and 2 sixes. He was well supported by Phillippe with a quick 34 off 25 deliveries before Pramod Madushan got the breakthrough in the 10th over.

Despite the loss of two wickets in quick succession, Marcus Harris then joined Head at the middle and engaged in a 62 run partnership for the third wicket. Australia were in a dominant position at the end of 30 overs and  Aaron Hardie also chipped in with a watchful 58 runs off 51 deliveries from down the order to help his team post 312 runs before they were bowled out.

Pramod Madushan, who has been called up to the ODI squad, pinned back Australia’s charge claiming 4 wickets for 50 runs, while Nisala Tharaka and Sahan Arachchige shared two wickets each.

In reply, Sri Lanka were off to a decent start with a 41 run partnership for the first wicket between Niroshan Dickwella and Oshada Fernando. Oshada (24) was the first wicket to fall when he was caught behind off Matthew Kuhnemann’s bowling in the 8th over.

Kamindu Mendis then joined Dickwella in the middle and the duo added a mature 116 run partnership while maintaining a decent run rate to put pressure on the Aussies.

Dickwella’s 73 ball 83 runs ended when he attempted a sweep shot and ended being caught at mid wicket off Kuhnemann’s bowling.

Australia bowlers continuing to bowl a good length and were successful when Tanveer Sangha put himself on a hat-trick by claiming a return catch off Kamindu Mendis and having Janith Liyanage caught at midwicket for a golden duck.

Adding salt to their wounds Dhananjaya de Silva (30) was also caught behind against the impressive Kuhnemann, and Sri Lanka ‘A’ still needed 108 with five wickets in hand.

However, a well-constructed stand of 85 between Bandara (73* off 65 balls) and Sahan Arachchige (31) took them close to the target, before Dunith Wellalage (17) added the finishing touches.

Brief scores:

Australia A: 312 all out (48.4) (Travis Head 110, Aaron Hardie 58, Pramod Madushan 4-50)

Sri Lanka A: 315-6 (48.5) (Niroshan Dickwella 83, Ashen Bandara 73*, Matthew Kuhnemann 3-43)

By Mustaq Sydeen