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Andrew Fidel Fernando
October 29, 2013
3rd T20 Sri Lanka A 125 for 2 (Kusal 81, Jayasuriya 32) beat Kenya 122 for 9 (Tikolo 29, Mendis 4-14) by eight wickets
Kenya's second weak batting performance in the day, and another star turn by a Sri Lanka A opener handed the hosts a third comfortable victory in the seven-match Twenty20 series, in Colombo. Batting first, Kenya were waylaid by the spin of Jeevan Mendis and Milinda Siriwardana, who took 6 for 28 in eight overs between them, and mustered just 122 for 9.
Kusal Perera then hit two thirds of that total by himself, as he struck five sixes and six fours in his 47-ball 81, that secured Sri Lanka A's unbeaten streak in the series.
Kenya opened the batting with Irfan Karim, who had batted well in the first match of the day, but he managed only 3 this time, as Steve Tikolo provided much of the early impetus for Kenya. They continued to lose wickets however, and though several batsmen in the middle overs got starts, none were capable of an innings that reversed the early pressure back onto the hosts. Tikolo was dismissed for 29 by Mendis, and though Ragheb Aga remained unbeaten on 20 off 13 at the end of the innings, the remaining batsmen had scored too slowly to lift Kenya to a competitive total.
Shehan Jayasuriya hit a relatively sedate 32 from 41, while opening partner Perera plundered the Kenya bowling at the other end. The pair were separated with only seven runs needed for victory, and the target was eclipsed with four overs to spare.
2nd T20 Sri Lanka A 187 for 7 (Gunathilaka 70, NN Odhiambo 3-38) beat Kenya 134 for 6 (Karim 32, Obuya 26, Prasanna 2-21) by 53 runs
An unbeaten 70 from 44 balls for opener Danushka Gunathilaka set up a 53-run win for Sri Lanka A in the second Twenty20 against Kenya, at the Nondescripts Cricket Club. Gunathilaka combined with captain Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne, who both made busy 20s, to build a strong base early in the innings, before aggressing in Dilhara Lokuhettige's company towards the death.
Gunathilaka's four sixes and seven fours helped propel Sri Lanka A to 187 for 7, despite the efforts of Nelson Odhiambo and Nehemiah Odhiambo, who took three wickets apiece, albeit at economy rates nearing 10.
Sri Lanka A's opening bowlers were cheap in comparison, and removed both openers inside the Powerplay to begin the opposition's slide. Captain Collins Obuya attempted to rebuild, as he hit 26 from 33 balls, but his reticence, and the regular clatter of wickets at the other end effectively sealed Kenya's fate.
Kenya's batsmen had more success after the game had already slipped away from them, as Irfan Karim scored 32 from 19 balls after coming to the crease in the 16th over, but the Sri Lanka bowlers escaped without major damage to their figures, having bowled so economically until then. Legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna was the best of the hosts' bowlers, taking 2 for 21 from his four overs.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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