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Sri Lanka stunned by Scotland in practice game ahead of Champions Trophy

Scotland beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in the practice match.

Matthew Cross
Matthew Cross celebrates his century against SL. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The preparations for the upcoming edition of the Champions Trophy have begun for most teams. The Sri Lankan team arrived in England for their early preparations for the ICC mega event. They have a couple of warm-up games to play before they head to the tournament proper. Prior to those warm-up fixtures, the team had a practice game against Scotland recently.

What perspired on the day was an absolute shock for the visiting team. Sri Lanka were stunned by the Scots in the match as openers hit centuries for the Scotland team. Sri Lankan players, who recently had a special high altitude training in Kandy prior to their arrival in England, were seen hapless against the hard-hitting Scots.

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In the match, it was Sri Lanka who won the toss and opted to bat first. Kusal Perera and Upul Tharanga got a decent start before Tharanga was sent packing for 20 by Alisdair Evans. Kusal Mendis fell cheaply on 1 to get Dinesh Chandimal at the crease. The veteran batsman added a 77-run stand for the third wicket along with Kusal Perera. Both batsmen scored their individual fifties in the match.

Perera perished after scoring 57 off 59 balls with 8 fours to his name. Chandimal was a shade slower with 79 to his name in 105 balls with 8 fours and a six. However, the much-needed impetus to the innings was given by Chamara Kapugedara who came in at number 6. Kapugedara finished with an unbeaten 71 off just 50 balls with 6 fours and 4 sixes. His efforts, combined with late efforts of Asela Gunaratne (27 off 32 balls) helped Sri Lanka post a decent 287 before being bowled out in 49.5 overs.

And the run chase

In the run chase, openers Matt Cross and Kyle Coetzer plundered a 201-run opening stand to ensure that the Scotland team was on course for the run chase. Coetzer scored 118 off just 84 balls with 15 fours and 4 sixes. Matt Cross remained unbeaten on 106 off 123 balls (8 fours, 1 six) to ensure that the team won the match in 42.5 overs with 7 wickets in hand.

A historic win

Kyle Coetzer, one of the chief architects of the win, was very pleased with the efforts of Scotland on the day. He noted that they backed themselves to chase the target. He called the win to be a ‘historic’ one on the day. Adding further, he cited that the bowlers kept picking up wickets at regular intervals and that helped the team to restrict the Sri Lankans to a total below 300.

“It was just one of those days, if it goes your way, you’ve just got to keep riding the wave, keep taking the attack to them and putting them on the back foot. So often in the past we would have maybe gone within our shell and not felt as if we were up to the task. But going out and trying to put them on the back foot showed we were. I’m really chuffed with the guys for getting a historic win,” quoted Coetzer.

“It’s been a great day. Turned up, the sun was shining – so that was the first win – and thankfully we played a good game of cricket. We restricted them in the field and kept them below 300, which was a really, really outstanding performance. They came out and played positively from the start and at one stage it looked like we were up against it. But steady wickets, when the game was getting a bit tight – we kept picking them up, which was crucial,” the Scotland opener conceded further.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka 287/10 in 49.5 overs (Chandimal 79, Kapugedara 71, Stuart Whittingham 3/56, Alasdair Evans 3/61)

Scotland 291/3 in 42.5 overs (Coetzer 118, Cross 106*, Mathews 1/35, T Perera 1/62)

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