Sri Lanka sounded the winning board by 35 runs on the DLS method against Scotland in the second ODI breaking its eight match ODI drought with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne leading from the front with a workmanlike 77 and youth find Avishka Fernando striking 74 in a 123-run alliance for the first wicket at Grange Edinburgh on Tuesday. Karunaratne’s 88-ball knock contained 7 boundaries while Fernando reeled off 5 boundaries and 3 sixes in a 78-ball firecracker innings. After pinch hitter Thisara Perera, promoted to No.3, fell for a cross batted duck, next man in Kusal Mendis provided the sparks with a breezy 56-ball 66 spiced with 4 boundaries and 3 sixes a six in a total of 322 for 8 wickets. Lahiru Thirimanne, at No.6, smashed 40 off 44 with 3 boundaries and a six. Nuwan Pradeep stepped in to do the damage with the ball claiming 4 for 34 as Scotland crashed to 199 all out in 33.3 overs.
It was the perfect start to the 30-year old Karunaratne’s ODI career captaining the side as Sri Lanka put behind a shaky past for its first series success since 2016. He made the Scottish ground his hunting ground bringing up his second ODI half century in the wake of his first as well against Scotland eight years ago. Both openers benefitted from spilled chances.
Karunaratne brought up his 50 off 65 balls in the 26th over going on to post 77 for the second wicket with Kusal Mendis before holing out a catch to the mid on fielder. Sri Lanka continued to lose the wicket of Angelo Mathews within 20 balls making it 210 for 4. But Kusal Mendis took charge batting sensibly stabilising the innings going into the 40th over before launching into the Scottish attack with a six as Sri Lanka took 99 off the last 10 overs and 35 off the last 12 balls.
Scotland, failed to match a solid 325-run performance few days ago against Afghanistan despite posting 50 for no loss in 9 overs with skipper Kyle Coetzer striking four boundaries in the space of 11 balls. Coming to the party for Sri Lanka with the ball was pace bowler Nuwan Pradeep in a significant pleasing return to form after long injury lay off accounting for the wickets Coetzer and Calum Macleod to start the slide with Isuru Udana accounting for the wicket of Craig Wallace.
With rain causing a stop start damper to the game, Scotland’s run chase never reached reality set 103 off just seven overs under the revised DRL method despite a lusty 55 by M.H. Cross before Nuwan Pradeep returned to spread-eagle his stumps with a perfect Yorker. Pradeep then clean bowled Safyaan Sharif heading for a hat-trick to finish with figures of 4 for 33. M. Munsey top scored with 61.
Sri Lanka 322 for 8 (50 Overs)
(Dimuth Karunaratne 77, Avishka Fernando 74, Kusal Mendis 66, B.T.J. Wheal 3/49)
Scotland 199 all out (33.2 Overs)
(M. Munsey 61, M.H. Cross 55, Nuwan Pradeep 4/34, Suranga Lakmal 2/55)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-