Interloop T-20 Asia Cup: Sri Lanka Triumphs in Match 3

Photo Cred: Ghazal Khan

After persistent rain forced the abandonment of the first game, the TU International Cricket Ground was not yet ready to handle a second game either. That is why a second match was forced to be abandoned due to bad weather and ground condition. Fortunately, the Pakistani (Pak) and Sri Lankan (SL) wheelchair cricket teams were able to take the field in game 3, allowing me to provide a review of the match.

Match Information and Result

Date– October 5th, 2023.

StadiumTribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground: Know More About Stadium Capacity, History & Recent Matches Played

Photo Cred: Sportskeeda

Toss– Pakistan won the toss, chose to field/bowl.

Overs– Five overs a side, 30 balls each innings.

Result– Sri Lanka won by 19 runs.

Player of the Match (PotM)– Sarath Galahitiyawa (Sri Lanka).

Photo Cred: YouTube- International Council of Wheelchair Cricket ICWC; screenshot taken by me

Scores– First innings: Sri Lanka 63/1 (5), 12.6 run rate (RR). Second innings: Pakistan 44/1 (5), 8.8 RR.

Extras– First innings: one no-ball (nb), four wides (wd). Second innings: three nbs, two wides, one bye.

Umpires– Kazi Abdullah Al Amin (Bangladesh), Pravin Wankhede (India).

Playing XIs

Sri Lanka– 1 Sumith K, 2 Sarath G, 3 Thusitha M (captain, wicket-keeper), 4 Sadun W, 5 Jayathilaka B, 6 Nalinda B, 7 Sujeewa D, 8 Roshan C, 9 Chanaka K, 10 Mohamed A, 11 Mohamed H. Head Coach: Manjusri Rajapaksha.

Pakistan– 1 Misal K, 2 Sajid A, 3 Ahmed Y, 4 Muhammad Z, 5 Imran A, 6 Muhammad A, 7 Mozan N, 8 Muhammad S, 9 Mohsin T, 10 Asif N, 11 Zulfiqar S.

Live Match Player Appearances

Key: #- Jersey Number, LHB- Left-Handed Batter, RHB- Right-Handed Batter, RHSp- Right-Handed Spinner, RHSe- Right-Handed Seamer, LHSe- Left-Handed Seamer, LHSp- Left-Handed Spinner.

Source: YouTube- International Council of Wheelchair Cricket ICWC: Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka || Interloop Asia Cup 2023 For Wheelchair Cricket

Sri Lanka– #11: Sumith Karunarathne (RHB)- Opener, #06: Sarath Galahitiyawa (LHB) (LHSp)- Opener, #05: Roshan Chandimal (RHB) (RHSp)- No. 3 batter, #60: Chanaka Pushpa Kumara (RHSe), #99: Thusitha Mahindasiri- wicket-keeper, #01: Mohamed Ali (LHSe).

Pakistan– #24: Mozan Nawaz- wicket-keeper, #14: Mohsin Thabel (RHSp), #22: Imran Amin (RHSp), #58: Misal Khan (RHSe) (RHB)- Opener, #4: Ahmed Yar (LHSe) (LHB)- No. 3 batter, #2: Sajid Ali Abbasi (RHB)- Opener.

Wait, Isn’t That Familiar?

The commentators in this game were engaging, with one of them making a bold prediction particularly regarding SL’s performance. After the first over, there was speculation among them that Sri Lanka might score 70 runs or more, given that 19 runs were scored in the first over. They also drew interesting comparisons between players:

  • Sarath Galahitiyawa reminded them of prime Sanath Jayasuriya, honoring his aggressive batting during the early overs/powerplay.
  • Misal Khan bowled a remarkable yorker, which brought back memories of Waqar Younis, a tribute to his skill and execution.
  • Sumith Karunarathne’s 6 reminded the commentators of M.S. Dhoni’s signature helicopter shot.

My Top Performers of the Game

  1. Sarath Galahitiyawa was the standout player, scoring 24 runs in 10 balls and boasting a 240 strike rate (SR). Five of the first six balls he faced this game went to the boundary ropes! The man was on fire, simply unstoppable until Misal Khan’s yorker.
    • He also made a spectacular catch to dismiss Misal Khan for a duck.
    • Lastly, he bowled two overs as well, only conceding 12 runs total (6.0 economy rate (ER)). This was a truly all-around performance by him!
  2. Sumith Karunarathne may have started off slow while batting on a 3-ball 2 at the time Galahitiyawa was out. However, he finished strong with a 13-ball 25 not out (n.o.), becoming SL’s top scorer. His innings included the team’s only 6 and three 4s, ending with a 192 SR.
  3. Misal Khan may have taken Pakistan’s only wicket but he was expensive, so the guy I am going to mention is spinner Imran Amin. He was the only Pak bowler to give up less than 10 runs compared to his fellow teammates, with nine runs (9.0 ER) coming off his lone over bowled.
    • Surely, Pakistan was hoping that Misal would be able to replicate his wicket-taking delivery, which is why he was given a second over. Unfortunately, he just piled on more runs.
  4. Chanaka Pushpa Kumara had a brilliant opening over in the second innings, only conceding four runs (4.0 ER) and picking up a wicket. His over contained three dot balls, and only the one no-ball ruined what could’ve been a fourth dot.
  5. Ahmed Yar was Pakistan’s top scorer with 21 runs off 14 balls n.o. and a 150 SR. During his time at the crease, he hit three 4s. Honestly, he was Pak’s best all-around performer as well, giving up one boundary to the Sri Lankans in his only over bowled. However, four wides and three additional singles ended up inflating his economy rate to 11.00.

Photo Cred: YouTube- International Council of Wheelchair Cricket ICWC; screenshot taken by me

Requirement of a Third Umpire?

In the second ball of the fourth over in the second innings, there was a close call that went against SL. A run-out could have been called on Ahmed Yar, potentially disallowing a second run. In my eyes, I believed that Yar was short of his ground as Roshan Chandimal whipped the bails away. The throw from the fielder was on time, so I believe that this should have been called a run-out. The commentators debated the possibility, thus highlighting the need for third umpires in wheelchair cricket.

Photo Cred: YouTube- International Council of Wheelchair Cricket ICWC; screenshot taken by me

Another opportunity for a third umpire arose at the start of the fifth over during Pak’s batting. Galahitiyawa appealed for a leg before wicket (lbw) decision but was denied. It seemed too close to call but, to me, the ball had spun just enough inside to catch the legs of Yar. Especially more so when Yar moved his wheelchair around to get a better chance at completing a shot.

Areas for Improvement

  • Pakistan needs to focus on an all-round effort. They bowled too many wides and conceded too many boundaries. Their batters were also not able to contribute enough, despite their aggressiveness. There were a lot of one-handed shot attempts that were ineffective. Sticking to their strengths is essential.
  • The Sri Lankan team, despite winning, should work on discipline among their bowlers. No-balls lead to free hits, and three of each is usually not sustainable long-term. Reducing extras will be crucial for success.
    • Roshan Chandimal bowled an 11-ball over that cost him 16 runs. This is something he will need to work on personally, as he bowled two wides and a no-ball in the over. He started off well, allowing only six runs in his first three balls, but then he proceeded to give up a wide and two 4s.

Points Table

Win = 2 points, loss = 0 points, draw = 1 point, no result = 1 point.

Source: Calculated by me, with assistance from ESPNcricinfo.

Team Games played Wins Losses Draws No result Points Net Run Rate For Against
Sri Lanka 2 1 0 0 1 3 +3.80 63/5 44/5
Bangladesh 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.00
India 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.00
Nepal 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.00
Pakistan 1 0 1 0 0 0 -3.80 44/5 63/5

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