It was just a couple of weeks ago that New Zealand batting all-rounder James Neesham witnessed a tragedy as his childhood coach David James Gordon passed away while watching an intensely contested cricket World Cup final. It was just after Neesham hit a six in the super over that his Gordon breathed his last and Neesham’s tribute to him later had moved the cricketing fraternity.
On Sunday, something similar happened at Premadasa Stadium in Colombo where Sri Lanka were playing Bangladesh in the second game of their three-match ODI series. Sri Lankan opener Avishka Fernando came up with a match-winning knock of 82 in 75 balls as his team successfully chased 239 to pocket the series.
However, as the 21-year-old batsman was cruising smoothly, bad news erupted as his father, who was watching his son from the stands, collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital. Fernando though had no idea and he continued to play his knock. It was Fernando’s second fifty in ODIs and it came just after a few matches after his 104 against the West Indies in the cricket World Cup.
Fernando knew about father’s illness after the match
The cricketer came to know about his father’s illness after returning to the pavilion. It was learnt that Fernando’s father is diabetic. Fernando later told the media that he was out of danger. “I was batting in the middle when my father collapsed and I was totally unaware of the fact. I only got to know about it after I was dismissed,” Fernando said. About the game, he said he had no regret over missing a century since his team won and he bagged the Man of the Match.
Sri Lanka opener Avishka Fernando's father has been admitted to hospital after he was fainted while watching 2nd ODI between Sri Lanka & Bangladesh played at R Premadasa stadium. Avishka on 77*. #SLvBAN pic.twitter.com/wLXhD1UShn
— Manjula Basnayake (@BasnayakeM) July 28, 2019
Former Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala was seen attending Fernando’s ailing father inside an ambulance.
Earlier, Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal won the toss and elected to bat. Banking on Mushfiqur Rahim’s 98 not out, the visitors made 238 for 8 in 50 overs but Sri Lanka overhauled the target losing just three wickets in 44.4 overs. The islanders had also won the first match by 91 runs and it was the final ODI for Lasith Malinga who took a wicket in his final ball.
The series win marked a welcome change of course in Sri Lankan cricket as the team has struggled in the recent past, including in the World Cup in which they could win only three matches.
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