Humanitarian gesture by Greys Captain Dasun Shanaka

Thursday, 26 August 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


SLC Greys team celebrate their win in the final


Player of the Tournament Dasun Shanaka (Greys)


Player of the Final Minod Bhanuka (Greys)



  • Contributes Player of the Tournament prize money to fix ventilator for hospital


By Sa’adi Thawfeeq

In a humanitarian gesture, the Skipper of the winning SLC Greys outfit Dasun Shanaka, who is also the national white-ball team Captain, said that he was donating his entire prize money of Rs. 200,000, which he won as the Player of the Tournament, to the Kalubowila Hospital to help them fix a ventilator.

“We came to know that they are preparing a separate unit to fix a ventilator at the Kalubowila Hospital as the situation in the country due to the current pandemic is getting worse. As cricketers what we can do is to support them to fix the ventilator. So, I am contributing my Man of the Series prize money (Rs. 200,000) to it. We are also hoping to contribute some money from the rest of the team,” said Shanaka, who led Greys to a resounding 42-run win over SLC Reds in the Dialog SLC Invitational T20 League final which concluded at the Pallekele International Stadium on Tuesday.

As champions, Greys won prize money worth Rs. 2 million, and as runner-up, Reds picked up Rs. 1.5 million. Each of the participating players of the four teams also received between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 per match.

Shanaka, with 258 runs (avg. 64.50) and a strike rate of 184.29 and three wickets (avg. 26.00) at an economy rate of 7.80, took the Player of the Tournament award. He led his team from the front, contributing largely with the bat as they went through the tournament unbeaten.

“When I came to the wicket there was a big partnership already built and my role was to continue with the momentum. Nuwanidu (Fernando) batted extremely well and the start given by Minod Bhanuka enabled us to get to 200,” said Shanaka, who played a devastating knock of 48 not out off 17 balls that took the wind out of the Reds’ sails.

“I must also mention the key roles played by the three spinners – Ashian Daniel, Pulina Tharanga and Chaturanga de Silva. The support given by them enabled us to win. In the fast-bowling unit, Nuwan Pradeep was of immense value, opening the bowling and then coming to bowl in the death overs, which he did with success. Matheesha Pathirana also bowled well along with the others who contributed their bit. We were able to get the result in our favour because everyone played their roles as they were asked to,” he said.

Shanaka said that the tournament was of immense value leading up to the white-ball series against South Africa starting next month.

“The momentum the batsmen have gained and the rhythm the bowlers have got into; I think we can give our best against the South Africans.

“I am very happy to win the final, but initially I must thank Sri Lanka Cricket and the sponsors for having conducted a tournament of this nature. It is through this tournament that you can showcase the talent of the youngsters. If you take the opposition, they had several national cricketers in their side, they had a very good team. For us to beat them, I consider it a great victory.”

Losing Captain of SLC Reds Dinesh Chandimal thanked SLC for holding the tournament in the middle of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and for giving about 60 players the opportunity to play cricket.

“The tournament afforded the opportunity for our supporters who have been confined to their homes to watch the action from their vicinity. I hope they enjoyed watching the tournament supporting their favourite teams,” said Chandimal.

Player of the Final Minod Bhanuka, who was presented a cheque of Rs. 50,000, said that they didn’t have any plans of targeting a score of 200.

“We planned to bat the first two overs normally, but I had different plans of my own, whether we lost wickets or not I was prepared to take the fight to the bowlers. After a while, we came to realise that this was a good wicket for batting and the outfield was also fast and that we have to put up a big score if we are to win,” said Bhanuka, who played his best innings of the tournament after several failures with a sprightly knock of 74 off 51 balls.

“My coaching staff backed me a lot, giving me a lot of encouragement, including the captain, the senior and junior players. They convinced me that I can score runs. I must also not forget my parents, they kept talking to me constantly and I got their blessings to play a good innings.”

Commenting on the tournament overall Bhanuka said: “This tournament was a big plus point for all of us. Playing under lights, the players got a lot of experience, the youngsters managed to showcase what they were capable of by performing. The players who have been selected to play in the South African series also performed well. We have to thank Sri Lanka Cricket for conducting a tournament of this magnitude. It has helped us immensely to prepare for the South African series.”

Leading run scorers

  • Dasun Shanaka (Greys) 258 (avg. 64.50), St/Rt 184.29, HS: 84, 50s: 2
  • Kamindu Mendis (Greens) 193 (avg. 96.50), St/Rt 167.83, HS: 74, 50s: 3
  • Dinesh Chandimal (Reds) 183 (avg. 36.60), St/Rt 120.39, HS: 59, 50s: 2
  • Pathum Nissanka (Greens) 167 (avg. 41.75), St/Rt 138.02, HS: 76*, 50s: 1
  • Sadeera Samarawickrama (Blues) 155 (avg. 38.75), St/Rt 120.16, HS: 58, 50s: 1
  • Avishka Fernando (Reds) 154 (avg. 30.80), St/Rt 120.31, HS: 82*, 50s: 1

Leading wicket-takers

  • Seekkuge Prasanna (Reds) 7 (avg. 20.14), Ec/Rt 6.41, Best: 2/9
  • Nuwan Pradeep (Greys) 7 (avg. 17.57), Ec/Rt 7.17, Best: 2/17
  • Pulina Tharanga (Greys) 7 (avg. 19.14), Ec/Rt 7.44, Best: 3/22
  • Himesh Ramanayake (Reds) 7 (avg. 12.86), Ec/Rt 8.18, Best: 4/31
  • Ashian Daniel (Greys) 5 (avg. 18.60), Ec/Rt 7.15, Best: 2/18
  • Akila Dananjaya (Reds) 5 (avg. 28.00), Ec/Rt 7.37, Best: 3/27
  • Chamika Karunaratne (Reds) 5 (avg. 24.80), Ec/Rt 8.86, Best: 3/26