Amila Aponso set to make ODI debut

Sri Lanka take on World Champions at RPS today


Sri Lankan cricketers Tillakaratne Dilshan (2L) run as teammates looks on during a practice session at the R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo on August 20, 2016. Australia will play five one-day internationals and two T20 series matches in Sri Lanka with the first One-Day International played on August 21, at the R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo.

by Rex Clementine


During their tour of Sri Lanka, Australia have been caught off guard by relatively unknown players, who have had a devastating effect in the series. A team that does lot of homework on the opposition players, Australia had little video footage to analyze the likes of Lakshan Sandakan and Dhanajaya de Silva.

The trend is set to continue as the hosts are set bring in left-arm spinner Amila Aponso to the equation for today’s first ODI between the countries at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

Aponso was in South Africa representing Sri Lanka Development Squad and arrived in Colombo only yesterday afternoon. Straight from the airport, he was rushed to the ground where the national cricket team was training and coach Graham Ford took a closer look at 23-year-old former St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa cricketer.

He is in good form as well having taken 13 wickets in his last three day game against South Africa Emerging XI that ended earlier this week.

An accurate spinner, Aponso represents Ragama Cricket Club and finished last season as the third highest wicket taker.

It’s a toss up between Aponso and fast bowling all-rounder Thisara Perera for the final slot in the playing eleven and with the wicket looking dry, the spinner has more chances to make it. 

Like in the Test series, Sri Lanka look to strangle Australia with an overdose of spin and skipper Angelo Mathews has six different options of spin bowling.

Veteran Tillekreatne Dilshan returns to the side after missing the tour of England due to personal reasons. Milinda Siriwardene, who was also left out of England series, will feature in today’s game.

Nuwan Pradeep, who was ruled out of the last two Tests with a hamstring injury, will be the only fast bowler and he will share the new ball with skipper Mathews.

Australia’s ODI side is significantly different from their Test side and there are some experienced players. Aaron Finch will open batting with David Warner while George Bailey strengthens the middle order. Mathew Wade is the wicketkeeper while leg-spinner Adam Zampa partners Nathan Lyon.

Australia, who won the World Cup last year beating New Zealand in the final, are world’s number one ranked team. Sri Lanka are ranked sixth.

Sri Lanka (Probable XI)

Kusal Perera, T.M. Dilshan, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (Wicketkeeper), Angelo Mathews (Captain), Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardene, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilruwan Perera and Amila Aponso.

Australia (Probable XI)

David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith (Captain), Shaun Marsh, George Bailey, James Faulkner, Matthew Wade (Wicketkeeper), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile or Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa.

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