Denby’s sizzling Sri Lankan smashes century off 48 balls

Sri Lankan star Shalika Karunanayake, who hammered a 48-ball century for Denby.
Sri Lankan star Shalika Karunanayake, who hammered a 48-ball century for Denby.

A sizzling century off only 48 balls by Sri Lankan star Shalika Karunanayake lit up Denby’s latest Derbyshire County League, Premier Division match.

The 30-year-old blasted no fewer than 11 sixes, as well as six fours, in his knock of 102no that lifted Denby to a huge total of 314-5 in their 50 overs.

After two early losses, opponents Rolleston declined the offer of a run chase and batted out for a losing draw, finishing on 231-5. But Denby picked up the lion’s share of the points (18 to the hosts’ eight) to cement their mid-table position.

Karunanayake only went to the crease at number six, replacing Pete Burgoyne (44, five fours) with the score reading 159-4. But he exploded from the off and shared a thrilling partnership of 154 with captain Dan Burgoyne, who wasn’t in bad nick himself, hitting 71, including two sixes and five fours. Earlier Fraser Kirk had made 27 (four fours) and Ben Chapman-Lilley 26 (five fours) before they fell to Muhammad Zaroob (3-72 in nine overs).

When Rolleston replied, both openers were picked off by Harry Wanford (2-32 in seven overs), and they still had work to do even after contributions of 48 (nine fours) from Zaroob and 24 (four fours) from Nils Priestley.

However, their nerves were calmed by middle-order duo Tom Liversage (59, five fours) and Alex Britton (55no, one six and seven fours), who put on 83 for the fifth wicket. Not even fine bowling by Pete Burgoyne (3-58 in 15 overs) could set up a Denby win.