Sri Lanka A team got off to a fine start today at the Nondescript Cricket Club, Colombo, defeating Canada by 6 wickets with 104 balls to spare.
Promising young star Gihan Rupasinghe contributed with the top score of 74 runs which included 5 boundaries and 4 sixes.
In the bowling department, Farveez Maharoof and Nuwan Pradeep both shone, taking 3 wickets each. IC members will be very pleased to see Maharoof back in action and making such a huge contribution.
Umar Bhatti was the top scoring batsman for Canadian side (34) and busy with the ball too, restricting Chamara Kapugedera to 13 runs.
Sri-Lankan born Canadian player Trevin Basiampillai made a fine contribution with his 33 runs before getting bowled out by Jeewan Mendis.
Fellow Canadian Henry Osinde took the wicket of Mahela Udawatte, no doubt Osinde was reminded of his last appearance at the NCC where he bowled 3 overs in December 09 for Tamil Union Cricket club.
Mahela Udawatte, a brilliant young Cricketer who started off his national career with so much promise, still seems to be struggling with his form. Mahela managed to score distinctively unimpressive 8 runs.
Test opener Tharanga Paranavithana who has been given the chance to open for A team with Mahela Udawatte also failed to impress with the 20 runs scored at a strike rate more suited for Test than a 50 over match.
Canada, Afghanistan & Ireland currently visiting Sri-Lanka and taking part in a four nation series and play against a very strong and capable Sri-Lanka A team.
Meanwhile in the dry zone of central Srilanka, Ireland is braving the dust and heat of Dambulla and battling it out with Afghanistan as part of the Intercontinental Cup series.
Four day match between Ireland and Afghanistan started on the 21st of Jan. At the stumps on day 2, the power of Guinness was very much in evidence when the Irish captain Portersfield scored 78 runs, followed by Gary Wilson’s 53 and John Mooney’s unbeaten 58.
Despite my initial concerns for his health and safety in the sweltering heat of Dambulla, Red headed Niall O’ Brian scored a fantastic 66.
However, not to be outdone by the Irish, Afghanistan is fighting back with style and spirit.
Mangal scored 84, Ali 53. Will Shehza at 60 not out, make history for Afghanistan in historic Rangiri Dambulla tomorrow?
I am holding my breath to see whether the Irish will treat Dambulla spectators to their enchanting Chicken dance. If they do, I am supporting the Irish cause for Test status.