Sri Lanka Development Squad 123 for 7 (20 overs)
Lyth 3-8 dots-17-0
Sidebottom 4-5 dots-37-1
Ashraf 3-4 dots-24-0
Coad 2-8 dots-2-2
Rashid 4-7 dots-16-3
Rafiq 4-13 dots-18-1
Yorkshire 125 for 4 (13.2 overs)
Yorkshire win by six wickets
Yorkshire have won the opening game of the four-match T20 series against the Sri Lanka Development squad by six wickets at the Paragoda Army Grounds, Colombo.
Set 124 runs for victory. The Vikings reached their total with 40 balls to spare.
Yorkshire’s bowlers were outstanding alongside some aggressive fielding restricting the hosts to a small total. Young seamer Ben Coad was the pick of Yorkshire’s bowlers taking two wickets in successive balls and only conceding one run from his two overs. The spin partnership of Adil Rashid and captain Azeem Rafiq were also in good form, with the Sri Lanka top order struggling to get going.
Yorkshire strolled to victory but were assisted strongly by the middle-order pair of Gary Ballance 28* and Adil Rashid 25. They put on 40 for the fourth wicket to set the White Rose up for victory.
Left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom got off to a good start taking a wicket in his first over with Jeeshan getting trapped in front for 15. The Sri Lankan had hit Sidebottom for a four and a six earlier in the over with some exquisite shots over extra cover but couldn’t add to his positive start.
Coad started exceptionally well taking two wickets in successive balls in his first over. With Dan Hodgson immediately up to the stumps to the seamer, pressure was building from the outset on the Sri Lankan batsmen. In his fifth ball, Coad struck with Janith holing out to Sidebottom at mid-on for 9. In his next delivery, Hodgson took a world-class catch down the leg side to dismiss Vishwa with the right-hander getting the faintest of touches for 11.
Bowling in tandem, Yorkshire’s spinners continued to restrict Sri Lanka’s batsman with leg-spinner Rashid and skipper Rafiq getting the ball to turn on the dry pitch. Rafiq struck early with Shehan caught in the deep by Jack Leaning for 5. The next over Rashid had Chandrasiri trapped in front for 2 as the Vikings took wickets at regular intervals. With their offensive play and aggressive fielding, the Sri Lankans had no answer to Yorkshire’s positive intent to get the job done and conserve energy in the humid conditions.
Rashid continued to cause aghast amongst the Sri Lankan players with his prodigious turn and took two wickets in successive balls in his third over. Hodgson adding to his tally with a stumping and then the next ball Rafiq taking a sharp catch at first slip to dismiss Charith for a golden duck.
For the eighth wicket Sri Lanka rallied from 73 for 7 to finish strongly on 123 for 7 from their 20 overs thanks to 51 not out from Sri Lanka under 19s captain Kusal Mendis, who punished the bad ball with some fine strokeplay, which included five boundaries and one maximum. His partnership of 50 with Umer (14 not out) helped the Development squad to three figures giving their side some chance to put pressure on the Yorkshire top order.
Hodgson and Leaning headed to the middle to open Yorkshire’s account and the pair started positively taking eight runs off the first over from seamer Charith. Hodgson was dropped in the second over at first slip by Shehan and he went onto make 19 before he was brilliantly caught by Kusal at backward point, diving full-length to take a world-class catch off the bowling of Bandara.
The first wicket was taken with the score on 30 as left-hander Lyth came to the middle and continued with some positive cricket shots. The Whitby-born top order batsman ably assisted by Leaning went on the ascendency to dominate the Sri Lanka bowlers with some exquisite timing of the white ball. After a positive partnership of 27 runs, Leaning was trapped in front for 17 in the sixth over succumbing to spinner Chanaka. Lyth failed to progress and soon after was bowled by the talented Kusal for 19, with Sri Lanka’s spinners gaining plenty from the dry surface.
In-form batsmen Ballance and Rashid both took on the bowling with some fine shots. Ballance was patient looking to score off the bad ball whilst Rashid continued where he left off from last week’s internal two-day match, where he was unbeaten on 51, with some aggressive batting, which included two successive sixes from spinner Chanaka. Eventually, going for another big cover drive, he mistimed he shot which looped to backward point for the effervescent Kusal to take another outstanding catch. The Bradford-born batsman scoring 25 from 17 balls including two sixes and two fours.
With 40 balls remaining, Ballance finished the game in style smashing Umer for a huge six over mid-wicket to see Yorkshire go one-nil up the four-match series.