Sri Lanka Emerging team held their nerve to defend their title beating the favourites, India by just 3 runs in a nail-biting final of the 3rd ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2018 at R. Premadasa International Stadium, Colombo on 15th December.

After electing to bat first, Sri Lanka posted 270 and went onto to defend their score and restrict India to 267/9 in a cracking game, which took many turns in the full course of the match.

India were struggling in their chase at 127 for 6 as the Sri Lankan spinners ran through the strong Indian middle order on a pitch which offered plenty of spin. Indian skipper Jayant Yadav and Shams Mulani added 107 runs for the 7th wicket to send jitters into the Sri Lankan camp.

Yadav made a brilliant 85-ball 71 with 5 fours, while Mulani stroked 46 runs off just 44 balls. But, Sri Lanka once again got them back to the driver’s seat through two exceptional pieces of brilliance on the field in the space of two balls.

Yet, India were kept in the hunt by Atit Sheth who made a couple of massive sixes in the final over. With 20 runs to win, ambidextrous bowler Kamindu Mendis was put to the sword by Sheth slamming 2 sixes. But, the Sri Lankan leaked only 16 runs as Sheth failed to connect the final delivery over the ropes.

Off-spinner Shehan Jayasuriya and left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya caused the early damage to India with some quality spin bowling as both took two wickets each.

Embuldeniya dismissed opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad and wicket-keeper batsman Simran Singh, while Jayasuriya clean bowled the two main pillars in the Indian lineup, Himmat Singh and Deepak Hooda.

Earlier, Sri Lankan opening batsman Hasitha Boyagoda cracked a fine half-century to lay a brilliant foundation, slamming 8 glorious fours during his well-compiled 54 off 62 deliveries.

Avishka Fernando and Sammu Ashan made 29 and 20 respectively, while Shehan Jayasuriya struck a vital 46 off 56 balls to hold the Sri Lankan middle order. All the Indian spinners took a wicket each as Sri Lanka milked them around effectively.

Once again, it was left-handed middle order batsman Kamindu Mendis, who provided to be the game changer for Sri Lanka, scoring his fourth half-century in the tournament. He struck a superb 61 off 55 deliveries with only 3 fours and 1 six as Sri Lanka posted a reasonable 270 on the board. Mendis was well-supported by Wanindu Hasaranga towards the end as he made 26-ball 31.

This is Sri Lanka’s second ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup victory in the brief history of three editions. Sri Lanka won the tournament last year in Bangladesh beating Pakistan in the final.

Winners - SRI LANKA

Sat 15-Dec

FINAL: Sri Lanka v India at RPICS, Colombo
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat
Sri Lanka: 270 for 7 off 50 overs (H.Boyagoda 54, S.Jayasuriya 46, K.Mendis 61, W.Hasaranga 31*)
India: 267 for 9 off 50 overs (R.Gaikwad 31, N.Rana 40, J.Yadav 71, S.Mulani 46; A.Guneratne 3-38)
Player of the Match: Kamindu Mendis (Sri Lanka)


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Filed December 15th, 2018