Home series against West Indies ‘A’

Published : 8:22 am  September 30, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (635) reads | 

Untitled-3The National Selectors yesterday brought in four youth players and several misfiring National players into the Sri Lanka ‘A’ side for the forthcoming home series against the West Indies ‘A’ Team in a bid to answer some of the woes of the National Cricket Team. Among the youth players are Sri Lanka Under-19 Skipper Charith Asalanka, Batsman Avishka Fernando and Seamers Asitha Fernando and Lahiru Kumara. The quartet had an impressive run in England, leading the Sri Lanka Under-19 Team to a historic 3-0 whitewash of the England Under- 19’s. This forced the National Selectors to fast-track two players to the National side – Avishka for the ODI side and Asitha for the Test side against Australia despite both having no First-Class experience under their belt.

Avishka returned a golden duck on his debut when he was thrown into the deep-end against Australia while Asitha just warmed the bench during the Test series as Sri Lanka opted for a spin-heavy attack during their historic 3-0 victory. The team led by Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne also includes National players Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Janith Perera and Niroshan Dickewella. Karunaratne comes into the side on the back of a mediocre performance against Australia where he managed just 41 runs out of his six innings opening the batting for Sri Lanka. The selectors will keep a close eye on Karunaratne as his performance against West Indies will largely decide his future as a Test opener. Thirimanne, though, technically sound, has struggled to stamp his class in recent months and was dropped from all formats for the concluded Australian tour. Wicket-keeper Batsman Niroshan Dickwella has been in an out of the National Team since his debut even though he has been a regular player with the ‘A’ Team.

The selectors have also included ‘Chinaman’ bowler Lakshan Sandakan in the side. Also in the team is 27-yearold Roshen Silva. He has been in prolific form during the last domestic season and also scored 314 runs in six innings including a best of 109 during Sri Lanka A’s tour of England last month. Also included are batsman Asela Gunaratne, 30, all-rounder Anuk Fernando, 21, left-arm paceman Vimukthi Perera, left arm orthodox bowler Prabath Jayasuriya and Kasun Madushanka. Sri Lanka ‘A’ will play three four-day matches and three ODI matches against the West Indies starting on October 4.

Sri Lanka ‘A’ Team: Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Kusal Janith Perera (Vice-Captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Roshen Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne, Avishka Fernando, Anuk Fernando, Vimukthi Perera, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lakshan Sandakan, Asitha Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Madushanka. The schedule: 1st four-day – R. Premadasa Stadium October 4-7 2nd four-day – Pallekele October 11-14 3rd four-day – Dambulla October 18-21 1st ODI – Dambulla October 24 2nd ODI – Kurunegala October 27 3rd ODI – R. Premadasa Stadium October 30