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Daniel top scores as Sri Lanka U19s beat Ireland

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Shevon Daniel top scored with 75 runs in the warm up game against Ireland. (File Pic)

ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup warm-ups

Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates and Scotland all recorded impressive victories as the warm-up matches for the 2022 ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup continued in the West Indies.

In Guyana, Sri Lanka notched a 128-run triumph over Ireland and Scotland were winners by 107 runs over Uganda, while the biggest win of the day came in St Kitts for UAE, as they were 250-run victors over Papua New Guinea.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s scheduled warm-up match against England was postponed due to delays in the Afghanistan squad obtaining the necessary visas to enter the West Indies.

The ICC U19 Men’s CWC starts on January 14, with all teams now entering the final stages of preparation.

Sri Lanka shine in shortened match

Despite overnight rain in Guyana shortening the match between Sri Lanka and Ireland to 43 overs per side, Shevon Daniel helped lead the Sri Lankans to an impressive 128-run victory.

Ireland won the toss and elected to bowl but opener Daniel attacked from the off as he scored 75 from 72 balls, including eight fours and a six.

Opening partner Chamidu Wickramasinghe being run out for five and No.3 Sakuna Liyanage being trapped LBW by pick of the Irish bowlers Nathan McGuire (2/40) couldn’t slow Daniel, who retired not out with the score at 122 for two.

The middle order picked up the slack from there as Sadisha Rajapaksa (22), Pawan Pathiraja (25) and Ranuda Somarathne (33) all had cameos to push the Sri Lanka total to 233 for seven from 43 overs – with three of the dismissals being run outs.

In response, the Ireland top order failed to build a foundation with Wickramasinghe clean bowling both opener Liam Doherty and captain Tim Tector to end with figures of two for seven from four overs before Wanuja Sahan (3/5) picked up the mantle to cheaply dismiss Philippus le Roux, Scott MacBeth and McGuire.

No.3 Joshua Cox was the lone source of Irish resistance as he resiliently made 44 from 86 balls but with wickets tumbling at the other end, there was little he could do to stop his side being dismissed for 105 from 31.4 overs – Jamie Forbes the last man out when he was bowled by Matheesha Pathirana for a duck.

The 128-run triumph was the perfect tonic for Sri Lanka as they continue preparations for a group that includes Australia, hosts West Indies and Scotland at the upcoming ICC U19 Men’s CWC.

UAE lay down a marker

United Arab Emirates impressed with both bat and ball as they recorded a dominant 250-run victory over Papua New Guinea in Basseterre.

Having lost the toss and been asked to bat, UAE opener Kai Smith set about punishing that decision with a brilliant innings of 145 that came off just 139 balls.

Smith plundered 19 fours and a six as he built three big partnerships with his top-order teammates, starting with an opening stand of 72 alongside Shival Bawa, before Bawa was caught by Malcolm Aporo off the bowling of John Kariko for 23.

Dhruv Parashar came to the crease and made 52 in a partnership of 133 before a third-wicket stand of 77 with Punya Mehra (41 off 25) took the UAE total towards 300.

Smith finally perished for 145 with just 13 balls remaining in the innings and the score on 298 before UAE took their final total up to 321 for five from 50 overs.

Their bowlers then capitalised on that mammoth target as Papua New Guinea were reduced to 22 for four, with Ali Naseer taking one for three with three maidens in a suffocating five-over spell, as fellow opener Nilansh Keswani (2/16) helped himself to a pair of wickets at the other end.

PNG opener Peter Karoho (14 from 18) and No.6 Christopher Kilapat (27 off 40) were the only batters to reach double figures as Aayan Khan’s three for ten helped skittle them for just 71 from 28 overs and seal a 250-run triumph.

Scotland impress to beat Uganda

Scotland may only have been a late replacement for New Zealand in the 2022 ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup but they signalled their intention to make some noise in West Indies with a 107-run warm-up win over Uganda.

Batting first, they posted a creditable total of 219 for nine from their 50 overs, with opener Charlie Tear steering the innings as he made 50.

In fact, Scotland received useful runs all the way down the order as Sam Elstone hit 29, Jack Jarvis contributed 33 before being run out and Charlie Peet added 26 late on.

The Ugandan bowlers did take wickets at regular intervals with Edwin Nuwagaba (3/29) and Juma Miyaji (2/30) doing most of the damage but the Scots still gave themselves a target to defend.

Uganda made a promising start with the bat, reaching 41 for none in the ninth over but would go on to lose all ten wickets for just 71 runs thereafter.

It was a run out that finally broke the opening partnership as Ronald Lutaaya departed for 17 before Oliver Davidson (3/14) dismissed three of the top five and another run out left them at 63 for five.

Scotland skipper Jamie Cairns went on to get himself a three-wicket haul for the concession of just 15 runs as Cyrus Kakuru (top scorer with 25), Pius Oloka (5) and Miyaji (2) all fell to the slow left-armer.

Nuwagaba was the last man out for five off the bowling of Lyle Robertson in a total of 112 as Uganda slipped to 107-run defeat in 31.2 overs.

Scores in Brief

Sri Lanka Under 19s beat Ireland Under 19s by 128 runs, Providence Stadium, Guyana

Sri Lanka

233-7, 43 overs (Shevon Daniel 75 retired not out, Ranuda Somarathne 33; Nathan McGuire 2-40, Daniel Forkin 1-21)

Ireland

104 all out, 31.4 overs (Joshua Cox 45 not out, Scott MacBeth 11; Wanuja Sahan 3-5, Chamidu Wickramasinghe 2-7)

United Arab Emirates Under 19s beat Papua New Guinea Under 19s by 250 runs, Conaree Cricket Field, Basseterre, St Kitts

United Arab Emirates

321-5, 50 overs (Kai Smith 145, Dhruv Parashar 52, Punya Mehra 41; Barnabas Maha 1-33, John Kariko 1-40)

Papua New Guinea

71 all out, 28 overs (Christopher Kilapat 27, Peter Karoho 14; Aayan Khan 3-10, Adihya Shetty 2-10, Nilansh Keswani 2-16)

Scotland Under 19s beat Uganda Under 19s by 109 runs, Everest Cricket Club Ground, Georgetown, Guyana

Scotland

219-9, 50 overs (Charlie Tear 50, Jack Jarvis 33; Edwin Nuwagaba 3-29, Juma Miyaji 2-30)

Uganda

112 all out, 31.2 overs (Cyrus Kakuru 25, Ronald Lutaaya 17; Oliver Davidson 3-14, Jamie Cairns 3-15)



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Sri Lanka clinch series after bowling out Zimbabwe for lowest total at Pallekele

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Sri Lanka wrapped up the three match ODI series against Zimbabwe with a huge 184 run win in the third ODI at Pallekele yesterday. Chasing a target of 255, Zimbabwe were bowled for 70 inside 25 overs. 

Rex Clementine at Pallekele

The deciding third ODI between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe turned out to be an anti-climax after the hosts shot out the tourists for 70 runs in just 24.4 overs to complete a massive 184 run win and wrap up the three match series 2-1 at Pallekele International Stadium yesterday. It’s the lowest total at Pallekele with the previous lowest being Sri Lanka’s 167 all out against South Africa in 2013.

It was an outstanding show by the bowlers after a below par effort by the batsmen as Sri Lanka were able to drive away the ghosts of 2017 where Zimbabwe came from behind to hand Angelo Mathews side a shock series defeat. It was their first and only series win over Sri Lanka in three decades.

There was a scare once again with Zimbabwe squaring the series on Tuesday with a 22 run win and in the final ODI Sri Lanka’s batsmen did not cover themselves in glory. The bowling, however, was terrific, putting early pressure and picking up wickets at regular intervals and it was a one-sided contest at the end.

If a current bowler resembles Michael Holding, ‘Rolls Royce of fast bowlers’, Dushmantha Chameera has got to be that. The world’s highest wicket taker in 2021, skipped the first ODI as he had not been medically cleared to play after testing positive for COVID. He was not all that effective on his comeback on Tuesday but yesterday he was on the money bowling with fire and Zimbabwe were not well equipped to take him on.

In his second over, he had Regis Chakabva caught at first slip and in the very next ball captain Craig Ervine edged one to the keeper as Zimbabwe were reduced to three for two wickets. They never recovered.

The spinners came on and tightened the grip with Jeffrey Vandersay being the pick of the bowlers claiming four wickets. Ramesh Mendis chipped in with two wickets. Only two batsmen crossed double figures and none managed a score of 20.

Pathum Nissanka batted superbly for his half-century and added 80 runs for the first wicket with Kusal Mendis. It was his second half-century in the series and he was named Player of the Series.

After a good start, Sri Lanka lost a few quick wickets and were 149 for four in the 31st over. Charith Asalanka then held the innings together stitching a few valuable partnerships with the lower middle order. He made 52. A 48 run stand for the seventh wicket between Ramesh Mendis (26) and Chamika Karunaratne (30) helped Sri Lanka to their eventual total of 254.

Apart from the series win, Sri Lanka will gladly pick up 20 points in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. Sri Lanka moved up to the fourth position in the table and need to remain in top seven to automatically qualify for next year’s World Cup.

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Athapaththu, Sri Lanka too strong for Kenya 

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ICC Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022

Sri Lanka’s spinners restricted Kenya to 87 for six before captain Chamari Athapaththu struck 57 off 29 balls to power Sri Lanka to a nine-wicket win on the third day of the ICC Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022 at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bowl in a match they dominated virtually throughout even though their bowlers got off to a shaky start, conceding seven wides in the first three overs.

Sri Lanka’s infielders were just as sharp as in the first game against Scotland that they won by 109 runs. Kavisha Dilhari’s direct hit sent opener Mary Mwangi back to the dugout before Kenya captain Margaret Ngoche was trapped in front by Inoka Ranaweera.

Kavisha Dilhari was introduced into the attack in the eighth over, bowling a maiden, which included the run out of Sharon Juma. This brought Sarah Bhakita to the crease. The powerful right-hander wasted no time, pulling a delivery into deep mid-wicket for four before she launched Ranaweera over her head for six.

Not to be left behind, opener Queentor Abel drove Dilhari against the spin and through the covers for two boundaries in the 14th over. Athapaththu broke the 45-run partnership between Abel and Bhakita, trapping the former in front with the score on 71 after 16 overs. Bhakita departed soon after, miscuing a Dilhari delivery into the hands of Ama Kanchana at mid-wicket.

Sri Lanka only conceded nine runs in the final three overs to restrict the East Africans to 87 for six.

In reply, Sri Lanka were in an aggressive mood right from the first over. Vishmi Gunaratne lofted Lavendah Idambo over mid-on for her first boundary of a run-a-ball knock of 26. Mercyline Ochieng came in for some treatment in the second over as Athapaththu cleared the off side circle twice for a pair of boundaries to get her innings going.

Things would go from bad to worse for Kenya who were helpless in the face of the assault from Athapaththu, who had struck 86 off 45 in Sri Lanka’s earlier win over Scotland. The left-hander flicked Mwangi off her pads for her first of three maximums, taking 16 off the final over of a Powerplay, which yielded 57 runs.

Two overs later, Sarah Bhakita was carted over her head for six by the Sri Lankan skipper before she was swept over the deep mid-wicket boundary off the very next delivery.

With five runs required for victory, Athapaththu was stumped off the bowling of a jubilant Esther Wachira. Sri Lanka, however, had no issues hunting down what remained of the target, winning with 63 balls to spare.

Kenya skipper Margaret Ngoche remained optimistic in spite of the loss.

“We bowled too many extras, but the girls did well. We put up a fight,” she said.

Athapaththu was asked about Dilhari’s development, and she responded by heaping praise on the off spinner.

“Kavisha is one of our main bowlers who we rely on to keep the opposition in check. Today, she flighted the ball and drew the batters to make mistakes. We hope she keeps doing this in the remaining games,” she said.

Athapaththu also took home the Player of the Match award, yet she expects even more from herself going forward in the tournament.

“This is how I always play. By my standards, I’m still not fully satisfied, and I feel I can still tighten up my game. I look forward to the next few games,” she said.

Brief Scores:

Kenya

87/6 in 20 Overs 

Mary Mwangi 33, Sarah Wetoto 29 ; Chamari Athapaththu 1/10

Sri Lanka

89/1 in 9.3 Overs.

Vishmi Gunaratne 26 not out, Chamari Athapaththu 57; Esther Wachira 1/04

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Sri Lanka Under 19s looking to keep unbeaten status intact against hosts

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by Reemus Fernando  

Sri Lanka Under 19s will enter today’s final group ‘D’ encounter almost assured of their quarter-final place and fates of Australia and hosts West Indies in the ICC Under 19 World Cup in their hands. Despite leading the points table in their group the team will look forward to registering a win against the hosts.

“The team will try to enter the quarter-finals unbeaten and will field a team that can counter West Indies’ strengths,” a team official told The Island from St. Kitts yesterday.

Mahinda Halangoda, the manager of Sri Lanka Under 19 team was speaking to The Island after fellow Group ‘D’ team, Australia beat Scotland to remain in contention for a place in the quarter-finals.

“You need to win to avoid looking at net run rates to earn your quarter-final place. The team will not take chances,” Halangoda said.

Sri Lanka will meet hosts as the only unbeaten team in Group ‘D’. While Scotland are out of contention, West Indies will be looking to register a victory to secure a place in the quarter-final in the tournament proper.

Despite Australia’s big win against Scotland on Wednesday giving them a net run-rate boost, they are not assured of qualification. If West Indies beat Sri Lanka in a very close finish, then Australia could be eliminated to the Plate round. If Sri Lanka beat West Indies, Australia will qualify.

Sri Lanka registered a four-wicket win against Australia in their second tournament match on Monday to lead the points table. “No one expected us to beat Australia as they were a strong team, one of the favourites. Dunith Wellalage did really well to guide the team. A victory on Friday will be the ideal way to conclude the group stage,” said Halangoda.

Wellalage picked up his second five-wicket haul of the tournament on Monday before scoring a crucial half-century to lead the side to victory.

The tournament’s decisive phase has seen one of the team’s leading batsmen failing to deliver while a batsman replaced him producing results. Pawan Pathiraja who was the team’s most consistent batsman until the team reached West Indies was dropped after he failed to impress. It would be interesting to see if the team would recall him for the final group match.

Sakuna Liyanage who replaced wicketkeeper-batsman Anjala Bandara did a rescue job in the first match he played scoring a match-defining half-century. Liyanage also kept wickets for Sri Lanka as both wicketkeepers were not fit to play during the initial stages. Liyanage’s form has seen him retain his place despite Bandara returning to the match against Australia.

Sri Lanka banked on spinners to earn results in this World Cup and it would be interesting to note how the team from the land of legendary fast bowlers would take the final group encounter.

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