Sri Lanka Emerging cricket team led by Dhananjaya Lakshan will play their first T-20 match today (25) against Surrey in Guildford, England. Both teams played their 4 day game on this same grounds which ended in a draw last Monday and after one day’s rest once again they will meet each other in this T-20 game. During the four day three match series Emerging team got good match exposure in English conditions while they are expected to get same exposure in this white ball three match series.
According to the reports from England Surrey team led by Cameron Stell is expected to add a few T-20 specialist players for the game. Surrey team took major honours with a first innings lead in the four day game while Sri Lanka Emerging team scored 372 for 9 wickets and 290 for 6 wickets at close. Surrey made a bold reply by scoring 556 all out.
Nipun Dhananjaya who was the captain of the Emerging team four day matches stole the limelight with a superb knock of 150 not our which was his career best first class knock and he was once again among the runs scoring 81 in the second innings to dominate against Surrey bowlers in the four day game. In fact Nipun was not among the runs as an opener in their prervious two four day matches scoring eight against Kent and two and three against Hampshire but as a number five batter Nipun really performed well during the Surrey game and it is a good advantage for the Sri Lanka Emerging team as today’s T-20 game against the Surrey team on the same grounds. The 19-year-old leg spinner Dunith Wellalage was the pick of the bowlers of the Emerging team taking 5 for 143 in his 53 overs spell and this was Wellalage’s first class best spell which came on English soil. The National under 19 skipper who performed well with both bat and ball during the last Under 19 World Cup was able to find a place in the Emerging team and has been named for the Provisional ODI and T-20 squads focused on the next Australia series.
Dhananjaya Lakshan the skipper of Emerging team was rested for the last four day game against Surrey is hoping to put up a better show in this three T-20 series. Lakshan the 23-year-old left hander and useful right arm medium placeman having played a solitary ODI against England once again came to the front with his fine all-round performances at the recently concluded National Super League tournament in which he captained the Galle side. Lasith Croosepulle and Nishan Madushka will open the batting for the Emerging team. Madushka who scored record knock of 269 against Kent on the opening four day game is expected to perform well in this T-20 series. Avishka Tharindu the 20-year-old former Wattala St Anthonys right hander scored an unbeaten 103 in the last four day game against Surrey while Nuwanindu Fernando and Nipun Dhananjaya will strengthen the betting in this T-20 series. Two under 19 players Dunith Wellalage the spin all-rounder, Yasiru Rodrigo the left arm medium paceman and Udith Madushan a product of Debarawewa Central also in the probable team today. However, the final eleven will be selected after the practice session which was scheduled to be held yesterday evening.
Sri Lanka Emerging team will play their second T-20 game against Somerset at Taunton on May 27 while the final T-20 game will be against Gloucestershire in Bristol on May 29.