U13s Mumbai Player Diary: Keshana Fonseka
Keshana Fonsenka, who plays for Clifton CC, attends St Patrick’s RC High School. He is a Right Arm Off Spin bowler and a Right Hand bat scoring approximately 1000 runs since playing for Lancashire Cricket from the age of 10. In Mumbai, Keshana has hit 132 runs in just two games against high quality opposition in challenging conditions.
"I feel really pleased with the way I have played so far on the tour. To be out here in India in February before the season has started has many benefits and this is really helping me in my quest to become a professional cricketer.
"Out in the field, I have learnt many things. Generally, the quality of the outfield is poor with their lack of grass, uneven bounce and even stones in parts. The outfields here are extremely hard and you have to be brave when fielding. Getting behind the ball is important and you have to be prepared to get hit."
In the opening fixture against Parsee Gymkhana, Keshana approached his batting with confidence and was soon into a batting rhythm, eventually scoring 46 in even time. This was his first experience of batting in a competitive game in Mumbai.
"The fielders were very loud and the atmosphere around the ground was noisy, which was distracting, and their fielding was excellent. Running between the wickets mid-on and mid-off were set deep which enabled me to score singles more easily. A lot of my runs came between cover and extra cover. Although, I never really felt threatened by their bowling concentrating was difficult in the heat."
In the T20 game against Hindu Gymkhana chasing 166, Lancashire's early order batsmen found it difficult to score at the required run rate. Consequently, after the seventh over, it was looking likely the team would finish 60 runs short. Then came a remarkable recovery. After being dropped on 4, Kesh showed maturity beyond his years batting with Rohan Fernando. They proceeded to get after the bowling, hitting boundaries more often to the extent that the fielding became less intense and frequent changes of bowling ensued.
Kesh started to take charge after losing Rohan at the other end. He completely dominated the innings with George Taylor who calmly supported him. Eventually, we required 25 runs off the last two overs. Going into the final over, the team needed 16. The stage was set for Kesh to win the game in style, crashing six early on in the over and finishing the game off handsomely with two balls to spare. You will go a long way to witness a better innings in any form of U13s cricket.
"I wasn’t thinking of winning the game, just getting close to the score. When I hit the quick bowler for 16 in one over and when George Taylor came in and helped, I had a feeling it could be done. George was a calming influence and played a big part in supporting my innings. We had to run a lot, which was hard in the heat. The fielders became angry and aggressive and it was difficult, but it felt like I was getting on top of them. It was a great feeling when we won with two balls remaining. Playing for the red rose and representing Lancashire is always intense, but that was something special and something I will always remember (89 not out in 43 balls)."