Sri Lankans Emerge towards disaster | Sunday Observer

Sri Lankans Emerge towards disaster

Charith Asalanka
Charith Asalanka

The defending champions of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup, Sri Lanka, were knocked out of the Emerging Asian Cup cricket tournament after they lost their third and final game against Afghanistan Emerging at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

At the start of the tournament, Sri Lanka’s so-called emerging players or players of the future were comprehensively beaten by the Oman and Pakistan Emerging teams in their first two matches and the defeats meant the Sri Lankans returning empty handed after the first round.

It was a poor batting display by the Sri Lankan batsmen throughout the tournament unexpected from a talented set of players.

The team was led by Charith Asalanka who had so much confidence in his players to retain the title this time with a well balanced team.

But overall the batsmen were never among the runs with the exception of skipper Asalanka who made a half century against Oman and a century against Afghanistan.

Analysts have been alarmed over the shabby performance of the Sri Lankan team and fear that the future of the country has to be reviewed drastically.

“This is a very serious matter to consider. They are the replacements for the National team in the future and they should have made good use of the competition,” said one analyst.

The most disappointing match was against Oman coached by former Sri Lanka skipper and manager Duleep Mendis.

Oman went into the tournament not as favourites while the Sri Lankan team fielded under-23 players with previous international exposure compared to the Omani players. But Oman’s players produced a fine display with opener Jitender Singh clobbering an unbeaten 131 to chase down Sri Lanka’s total of 269.

In their second game against Pakistan the Sri Lankan bowlers did well to restrict the batsmen to 183 in 49.5 overs with Asitha Fernando taking 3 for 28 while Kalana Perera and Amila Aponso had two wickets each.However the Sri Lankan batsmen were left struggling to be dismissed for 93 in 30.5 overs with 16 year old paceman Mohammad Hasnain grabbing 6 for 19 in a seven over spell to pocket the man of the match award. The Sri Lankans lost their last seven wickets for just four runs.

Against Afghanistan the Sri Lankan Emerging players managed to total 238 thanks to a one-man show by Asalanka who made a century.

However the Sri Lankans from 202 for three at one stage in 40 overs lost their last seven wickets for 36 runs. Afghanistan reached their target in the 45th over with seven wickets in hand as Sri Lanka used up eight bowlers. Kamindu Mendis, Asitha Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Amila Aponso, Pathum Nissanka and Mithun Bhanuka were the other players with good experience to deliver.