Sports News

Asalanka’s maiden ton lifts Sri Lanka to 258 after top order slump

Sri Lanka recovered from 3 for 34 to post 258 in the fourth ODI played for the FairPlay News cup against Australia at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday (21). 

Aaron Finch won the toss for the sixth occasion in the series and decided to field first. Sri Lanka had to make a forced change in bringing in Wanindu Hasaranga for injured Dushmantha Chameera while Australia brought in Pat Cummins for Jhye Richardson. 

Sri Lanka got off to a worse possible start with the top three getting dismissed cheaply. They were 3 for 34 when Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya De Silva got to the middle. The pair took some time early on but gradually picked up to bring a much needed century stand for the fourth wicket. 

De Silva showed intent from the word go and he was unfortunate to be caught at short midwicket by Glen Maxwell who timed his jump to perfection and took a one handed catch. However, Asalanka took on the challenge and went on to reach his maiden century. Unfortunately, wickets tumbled at the death but with a valuable contribution from Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri Lanka reached 258 runs in 49 overs. 

Sri Lanka’s new Mr. Consistency  

Asalanka paced his innings to perfection. He played second fiddle to De Silva but picked up once De Silva was dismissed. He brought up his half century in 60 balls with only four fours, but took only 39 deliveries and scored six more fours to reach his maiden ODI hundred. After a disappointing debut series in England back in 2021, Asalanka has not looked back in the 50-over format. He boasts an average of 48.38 after 15 matches with a century and 5 half centuries to his name. It’s still early days in his career, but his numbers suggest that he could be Mr. Consistent in the middle for Sri Lanka. 

Dickwella’s suicidal career continues

Niroshan Dickwella was called in for injured Dhanushka Gunathilake for the third ODI. He was given another opportunity yesterday after his quick cameo at the top on Sunday. However, being the best wicket-keeper in the current lot of national players, Dikka had the best chance to cement his place back in the white-ball side. But, guess what? He throws it away again! An ODI career which started off promisingly has come plummeting down to a level where he may not get another chance in the near future. In both games, he was dismissed by Glen Maxwell and in both occasions he has only himself to blame for throwing his wicket away.  

DDS made it look so easy

There is no doubt that watching Dhananjaya De Silva bat is so pleasing to the eye. When he is on song, there is no batter in the Sri Lankan side that looks so elegant and classy. That is exactly what was on show yesterday. His little nudges down to third-man and powerful shots down the ground to the spinners, brought back memories of the great Mahela Jayawardane. After walking in at 26 for 2 in the seventh over, De Silva took the game to the Aussies. After reaching the half century, he tried to get on with it and it had to be a brilliant one handed catch from Glen Maxwell to send him back to the tent. 

Brief scores

Sri Lanka 258 for 10 (49) Charith Asalanka 110, Dhananjaya De Silva 60, Wanindu Hasaranga 21*, Dunith Wellalage 19, Mitchel Marsh 2/29 Pat Cummins 2/37, Mathew Kuhnemann 2/56, Glen Maxwell 1/49