Duleep Mendis anchored Oman Topple Sri Lanka


Oman created an upset on the opening day of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup on Thursday(14), when they defeated the defending champions Sri Lanka by 4 wickets at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

This win becomes even more eye catching as the man anchoring this enthusiastic Oman team is Duleep Mendis who was once involved as a coach and administrator at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Since taking over as Oman Coach in 2012, Mendis has made sure Oman made giant strides as a cricket nation before helping them gain ODI status in April 2019.

After being sent into bat, Sri Lanka Emerging got off to a steady start through a half century stand between Minod Bhanuka and Pathum Nissanka, before they fell for 33 and 40 respectively. A slight middle order wobble was put to amends through an entertaining stand of 59 between skipper Charith Asalanka and Ashen Bandara with both batsmen making fluent half centuries.

Sri Lanka Emerging couldn’t finish with the flourish they would have liked, as they lost their last 6 wickets for just 66 runs in the last 10 overs of the innings. Ramesh Mendis used the long handle to good affect during his 23 ball 28, but 268 all out on a decent batting track kept Oman in the game. Mohammed Sanuth was the pick of the bowlers for Oman as he returned top figures of 3/41 in his quota of 10 overs.

Oman fielding their national team were reduced to 90/4 in the 20th over as Sri Lanka spinners led by Amila Aponso seemed to have things under control. Aponso captured three crucial wickets of the middle order before a breathtaking fifth wicket stand of 148 runs between Jatinder Singh and Suraj Kumar brought Oman back into the game. Kumar was dismissed for 70 to give Sri Lanka a slight oppertunity, but opening batsman Singh made sure he batted right through to remain unbeaten on a superb 131 as Oman won the match with seven balls to spare.

India, Bangladesh and Pakistan Emerging teams recorded wins over Nepal, Hong kong and Afghanistan in their respective encounters on the opening day. Sri Lanka will take on Pakistan Emerging on the 16th of November at the same venue in a must-win game to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament.

Sri Lanka Emerging 268 (50) Ashen Bandara 62, Pathum Nissanka 40, Charith Asalanka 57, Minod Bhanuka 33, Ramesh Mendis 28, Mohammad Sanuth 3/41, Jay Odedra 2/52

Oman 269/6 (48.5) Jatinder Singh 131*, Suraj Kumar 70, Mohammad Naseem 21, Amila Aponso 3/40

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