Home » Theekshana, Janith steer Sri Lanka to win

Theekshana, Janith steer Sri Lanka to win

by Gayan Abeykoon
January 9, 2024 1:30 am 0 comment
Janith Liyanage who scored his maiden half century plays a shot

Janith Liyanage the 28-year-old right hander playing his second ODI made a fighting knock of 95 in 127 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes as Sri Lanka made a thrilling two-wicket win with one over to spare at the second ODI game against Zimbabwe played at R.Premadasa International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

After Liyanage’s departure at 43rd over Dushmantha Chameera (18) and Jeffrey Vandersay (19) added 39 runs ninth wicket stand to seal the win to get 1-0 series lead with one match to spare. Janith Liyanage was adjudged Man of the Match for his heroic knock.

Liyanage the all rounder from Ragama CC added excellent 56 runs seventh wicket stand with Maheesh Theekshana who scored 18 in 31 balls with a four made Sri Lanka steady before they were struggling 112 for 6 wickets in 30.5 overs.

Opener Avishka Fernando who scored a solitary boundary was departed in the first over which bowled by left arm paceman Richard Ngarava. Ngarava finished his career best figures of 5 for 32 while Sri Lanka top order once again failed to impress with the bat. Sadeera Samarawickrama (4), Charith Asalanka (0) also victims of Ngarava.

When the game was halted nearly one hour due to rain from 7.23pm to 8.15pm Skipper Kusal Mendis who was survived two times finally out for 17 and Sri Lanka were 53 for 4 wickets. Sahan Arachchige made a valuable knock of 21 in 39 balls with two fours also added 37 runs fifth wicket stand but Ngarava has done a superb job with his bowling.

However Janith Liyanage was unlucky out for 95 off the bowling of Blessing Muzarabani in 43rd over as Zimbabwe once again fought back strongly. But Chameera and Vandersay guided to reach the target with fighting partnership.

Earlier Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine won the toss and elected to bat first in gloomy weather conditions but their openers Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and Joylord Gumbi were unable to get good start as Tinashe was out for a duck in the first over which bowled by Dilshan Madushanka and wicket keeper Kusal Mendis took a inside edge catch.

However skipper Craig Ervine who played his 118 ODI joined with Gumbi the right hander who replaced for Takudzwanashe Kaitano (the only change of the side) added 60 runs second wicket stand.

Gumbi who played his 11th ODI played more aggressively to score 30 in 37 balls with four fours was back to the pavilion and the wicket was taken by Maheesh Theekshana in the 12th over.

Ervine the experienced left hander who survived at 38 when wicket keeper Kusal Mendis missed a stumping chance in the 18th over bowled by Jeffrey Vandersay took that advantage to complete his 20th ODI fifty also added further 43 runs third wicket stand with Milton Sumba who scored 26 in 45 balls with two fours.

Sri Lankan mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana who took 4 for 31 celebrating a wicket (Pictures by Sudath Nishantha)

Sri Lankan mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana who took 4 for 31 celebrating a wicket (Pictures by Sudath Nishantha)

The much expected Sikandar Raza couldn’t settle in this game when he scored only one run and back to the pavilion facing only five balls and leg spinner Jeffrey Vandersay took his first wicket as short third man fielder Janith Liyanage took a simple catch to dismiss Sikandar Raza and Zimbabwe were 115 for 4 wickets at that stage.

Skipper Craig Ervine used his full strength to make some pressure for Sri Lanka bowlers while skipper Kusal Mendis has to use eight bowlers to restrict Zimbabwe innings. Ervine the most successful batter of Zimbabwe was in good touch with the bat but Sadeera Samarawickrama took a superb one handed catch at point off the bowling of Dushmantha Chameera in 37th over which was the turning point of the Zimbabwe innings. Ervine hit nine fours and a six while Ryan Buri made 31 in 37 balls with a four and a six but Zimbabwe later order batsmen were unable to stay long and they were bundled out for 208 in 44.4 overs.

Maheesh Theekshana the mystery spinner finished with 4 for 31 in his 9.4 overs spell while leg spinner Jeffrey Vandersay and paceman Dushmantha Chameera took two wickets each.

Two seamers Dasun Shanaka bowled only four overs given away 14 runs with wicket less and new comer Janith Liyanage was able to bowl only two overs given away 11 runs.

Sri Lanka team played the same team yesterday while leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga further rested for this game. The third and final ODI between two teams will be played on January 11th at the same venue R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium followed by three T- 20 matches.




Dhammika Ratnaweera

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