August 26, 2019
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    Sri Lanka edge out India in West Asia Baseball Cup opener

    July 16, 2019

    Sri Lanka pulled off a nerve-wracking 2-1 victory over India in the opening match of the XIV West Asia Baseball Cup at the Sri Lanka-Japan Friendship Baseball Stadium at Diyagama yesterday.The game was tied at 1-1 with Sri Lanka batting the bottom of the ninth when Sahan Gunasekera grounded out for vice-captain Naveen Anuradha to complete the winning run to jubilation of the home team after an enthralling three-hour contest.

    India played out of their skins in the Group A clash with their pitchers Ajay Kumar and Suraj Singh in particular causing some concern to the Sri Lankan batters who were slow off the blocks and lacked bite in attack at the start.The pitching was strong on both sides with Sri Lanka pitchers striking out six, while India pitchers sat down three.Bharat Kumar upstaged the defending by getting the first run in the sixth inning
    In the bottom of the seventh inning, Sri Lanka tied things up at one when Gunasekara hit a superb shot into a fielder’s choice, for Amila Pushpakumar to complete the home run. Sri Lanka could have got the lead in this innings with three bases but for a silly attempt to steal a run by the first baseman.They had to wait until the ninth inning when Anuradha breezed home after a super ground out by Gunaskera.
    Pitcher Sashika Dulshan played a key role in Sri Lanka’s win. He surrendered zero runs on zero hits over two-thirds of an inning, striking out one and walking zero. Tharindu Madumal threw two and two-thirds innings in relief out of the bullpen. Akshey Avhad took the loss for India. He surrendered one run on five hits over six and two-thirds innings, striking out three and walking zero.Sugath de Silva started the game for Sri Lanka. He went five and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on one hit, striking out three and walking zero.
    Sri Lanka racked up seven hits. Naveen Anuradha Kasthuri Mudali and Sandun Madushanka all had multiple hits for Sri Lanka. Madushanka and Kasthuri Mudali each collected two hits to lead Sri Lanka.India didn’t commit a single error in the field. Ajay Kumar had 16 chances in the field, the most on the team.
    Kishu Gomes, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, and Fazil Hussain, President of Sri Lanka Amateur Baseball / Softball Association and Executive Director of the Baseball Federation of Asia, along with other officials, inaugurated the event by throwing the first pitch.

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