Mendis shines as SL Legends continue winning streak

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Sri Lanka Legends continued their winnings streak when they registered a 11-run win over South Africa Legends in the 10th match of the Road Safety World Series worked off at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore yesterday (18). 

After being put into bat, Sri Lanka Legends posted 165-6 in their allotted 20 overs from the back of a brilliant cameo by Jeewan Mendis, and in reply South Africa Legends were restricted to 154-6.    

The Islanders were off to a shaky start when they lost skipper Tilakarathne Dilshan (2) early in the inning, when he attempted a ramp shot but ended up being adjudged LBW off Vernon Philander’s bowling.

After the early breakthrough, Upul Tharanga joined Dilshan Munaweera in the middle and the duo engaged in a 60 run partnership for the second wicket before Munaweera (26) was bamboozled by a peach of delivery by Johan Botha to pin down Sri Lanka’s charge.

Upul Tharanga too didn’t last long after Munaweera’s dismissal. He smashed two consecutive boundaries before being run out, courtesy a brilliant fielding effort from Johan Botha at mid wicket.

To make matters worse, Chamara Silva too threw his wicket away when Jonty Rhodes sharp fielding effort saw Silva (18) run out, to put Sri Lanka in a state of bother.

With Sri Lanka reeling at 4-95 with 13 overs done and dusted, Jeevan Mendis hammered a quickfire 43 off 27 deliveries including 5 boundaries and 2 sixes. to help Sri Lanka Legends go past the 150 mark.

Mendis, along with Asela Gunaratne, added a useful 36 runs for the sixth wicket, with Asela playing an anchor role for his 17 ball 25 runs.

In reply, Morne van Wyk led the chase with a fighting 76 off 55 deliveries, but the other batters failed to contribute, and South Africa Legends fell short by 11 runs.

Proteas followed a similar script with a shaky start with Andrew Puttick being the first wicket to fall when skipper Dilshan got the breakthrough in the second over of the innings to put early pressure on the opposition.

However, Morne van Wyk along with Alviro Peterson revived their innings with a 74 run partnership for the second wicket to put them in front at the end of 10 overs.

 Sri Lanka desperately needed a wicket, and Jeevan Mendis, this time with the ball, delivered to send Peterson (22) back to the pavilion to pin back South Africa’s charge.

With two wickets down, other batters failed to contribute and wickets kept falling at one end, but Morne van Wyk stood firm at the other end and smashed the Sri Lankan bowlers all over the park for a well deserved 76 runs off 56 deliveries before Kulasekara got the breakthrough in the 17th over to virtually seal the match.

With 27 runs required in 12 deliveries, it was too much for South Africa’s tail to handle and they were restricted to 154 runs.

Nuwan Kulasekara was the pick of the bowlers with 2-33.   

With this win Sri Lanka continue to lead the points table with 3 win from 3 matches.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka Legends: 165-6 (20) (Jeewan Mendis 43, Upul Tharanga 36, Garnet Kruger 2-43)

South Africa Legends: 154-6 (20) (Morne va Wyk 76, Nuwan Kulasekara 2-33) 

By Mustaq Sydeen