Heartbreak for Zayed Cricket Academy boys
It was so near yet so far for captain Mohammed Riyan and his MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy Under-16 team.
Riyan is known to score heavily and quickly. He puts a price on his wicket. And it was one of those days again where he conjured a brilliant innings—an innings of application, discipline, patience and aggression, on a surface he doesn’t even play on.
MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy Under-16 captain Mohammed Riyan works his way to a stellar 77 from 71 balls against DS Senanayake College at the School grounds in Colombo. — Supplied photo
He almost made a mockery of the target with his swashbuckling stroke play and batsman-ship. Riyan missed out on a century which was there for the taking, but he set it up perfectly for the team to knock it off with overs to spare. But sadly, the rest of the batsmen failed to mirror those qualities.
It meant that the MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy Under-16 team lost by a narrow margin in their first game of their maiden tour of Sri Lanka. Riyan clubbed 77 from 71 balls and put on 110 runs for the second wicket with Sachin Jha but the middle order and the lower order failed to see them through as they lost to DS Senanayake College, by 12 runs at the School grounds in Colombo on Wednesday. Sachin Jha scored 27 and Yodhin Punja and Pavan Vijaykumar came up with handy knocks of 16 and 17 not out respectively. Leg spinner Aakarsh Krishnakumar, left-arm pacer Jonathan Figy and right-arm quick Yodhin Punja took two wickets each.
DS Senanayake College are in the quarter-finals of the All Island Under-15 Cricket Tournament organised by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Opting to bat, DS Senanayake College made 189 for the loss of seven wickets in their 40 overs with left-hander Afshan Masoud playing an entertaining innings after his side was in trouble.
The 15-year-old fell three runs short of a well-deserved half-century but he set up the foundation for DS Senanayake College’s competitive score.
Yodhin Punja gave the MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy a dream start by removing the openers Zeenol Jayasena (2) and Sonal Kulasekara (0) to have DS Senanayake College three for two, and in line for a hat trick. But Muditha Lakshan averted the hat trick.
Muditha and Chirath then rebuilt the innings with a crucial 57-run stand for the third wicket before Muditha departed. Chirath and Thithira Witharana then added 33 runs for the fifth wicket.
Chirath’s innings came to an end when he was caught by Yodhin at slip off Aakarsh Krishnakumar. Chirath made 34 from 55 balls with four boundaries.
Afshan Masoud and Abinash Kogul strung together 52 runs for the sixth wicket as DS Senanayake College posted 189. Afshan, who was caught by Yodhin at short mid-wicket off Jonathan, scored 47 from 56 balls and it was studded with eight boundaries. Kogul made a patient 21 before being caught by Abhishek Prakash at short cover off Jonathan. Captain Oshadha Karunaratna remained unbeaten on 23.
The MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy gave a fitting reply despite losing opener Justin D’Souza for a low score. Opener Riyan and one-down batsman Sachin Jha held the innings together and put on 110 runs for the second wicket. Riyan was at his aggressive best while Jha played the supporting role to perfection.
MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy looked like wrapping it up well before the full quota of 40 overs with the way Riyan and Jha were going.
But with Riyan and Jha gone, both falling to Muditha, the innings lost steam. Riyan stellar 77 came from just 71 balls and was peppered with 12 boundaries and a six. Jha’s 27 came from 52 balls with two boundaries.
MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy were 146 for four in 33 overs and could have pulled it off but fell agonisingly short.
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