Vice captain Asalanka leads the charge with century

Charith Asalanka

Colombo, Jan 6, Sat –  Charith Asalanka stole the show in his first appearance as vice-captain for Sri Lanka. Positioned at number 5, Asalanka left an indelible mark by notching up a spectacular century, guiding Sri Lanka to a formidable total of 273/9 in 50 overs in a thrilling opener of the Nippon Paint three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe at the R Premadasa Stadium, .

Asalanka played a pivotal role in the middle overs with 101 runs, facing 95 deliveries and delivering an impressive performance with four sixes and five fours. Though his innings concluded with a run-out in the last over, his remarkable display resonated with fans and cricket enthusiasts alike.

Sadeera Samarawickrama emerged as another star for Sri Lanka, taking charge at number three due to regular opener Pathum  Nissanka’s absence due to sickness . Skipper Kusal Mendis, in tandem with Sadeera Samarawickrama, stabilized the innings with a strong 63-run partnership for the second wicket.

Opener Avishka Fernando, making a comeback after a year, faced an early setback, departing for a duck in the opening over. Janith Liyanage batting at number four, receiving his ODI cap from former captain Thilina Kandamby, displayed promise, contributing 24 runs off 34 balls.

However, not every player found smooth sailing in the Sri Lankan innings. Former captain Dasun Shanaka struggled in the middle, managing just 8 runs off 19 balls. Sahan Arachchige, stepping in at number 6 for Dhananjaya de Silva, couldn’t replicate his previous ODI success.

Despite these mixed performances, Asalanka’s outstanding century and the significant contributions from Samarawickrama and others have set the stage for an electrifying second innings. Fans are on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating more action and hoping for a strong finish from the Sri Lankan team in this closely contested match. The Nippon Paint series promises more excitement as the teams ready for a battle that could go down to the wire.

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