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Highest wicket-taker Wellalage, only SL player in the ICC Most Valuable team 



Dunith Wellalage is the only Sri Lankan player named in the ICC Most Valuable team of the Under 19 World Cup after the Sri Lankan skipper finished as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker.

Despite taking only a single wicket in the in his last two matches, Wellalage finished as the Under 19 World Cup’s highest wicket taker. His closest rival in that list was England’s Joshua Boyden who finished with just 15 wickets after taking a couple of wickets in the final against India.

Pakistan’s Awais Ali too finished with 15 wickets, while Bangladesh’s Ripon Mondol finished the tournament as the fourth highest wicket taker (14). All top four bowlers in that list are selected in the 12-strong line up as champions India lead the way with three players included.

The ICC announced the Upstox Most Valuable Team of the Tournament yesterday with Yash Dhull, the captain of the victorious team chosen to skipper a line-up of future stars.

Overall, eight nations are represented in the team.

Pace is provided by the likes of Josh Boyden, Awais Ali and Ripon Mondol.

All-rounders Tom Prest and Dunith Wellalage provide the spin options alongside Vicky Ostwal.

Wellalage had an aggregate of 264 runs from the tournament which included a century. In the list if highest scorers Wellalage’s 264 runs is ranked seventh.

Wellalage captained Sri Lanka to the sixth place, their best result in three editions, and he was the only bowler to take two fivefers, doing so against Scotland and Australia.

South Africa’s Dewald Brevis was announced as the Player of the Tournament for the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in West Indies for his record-breaking run haul.

The side was pulled together by a selection panel including commentators Samuel Badree, Natalie Germanos, ICC Match Referee Graeme Labrooy and journalist Sandipan Banerjee.

Yash Dhull, who captained India to the title at the  ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022, takes up his place at number four having hit 229 runs in the competition, including one century, and his deployment of his bowlers was crucial in leading his side to overall victory in the tournament.

His opposite number in the final, England’s Tom Prest, sits one place below them in the batting order of the Upstox Most Valuable Team of the Tournament having hit 292 runs in six games, the third most of the competition.

Dewald Brevis, a right-handed batter, received the accolade of Player of the Tournament after crashing 506 runs across six matches to become only the second player to hit over 500 runs at an Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup.

In doing so, the 18-year-old passed Indian legend Shikhar Dhawan’s total for the most runs in a single tournament, hitting one more run than Dhawan managed in 2004.

Brevis also took seven wickets in the competition returning best figures of 2-18 against Uganda during the group stages.

Haseebullah Khan from Pakistan is named as one of the openers after scoring 380 runs across the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup, his high score of 136 one of two centuries he made in the tournament, Brevis was the only other batter to make two centuries.

Haseebullah is also selected as the wicketkeeper having taken eight catches and two stumpings, the fourth best return of the competition.

His opening partner is Australia’s Teague Wyllie who tied with Angkrish Raghuvanshi for 278 runs, the joint fourth-most of the tournament.

 Wyllie hit 39 fours, the second most, including eight in his 101 not out against Scotland, one of three fifty-plus scores in the tournament.

Raj Bawa is another all-rounder who has impressed throughout the World Cup, hitting a tournament-high 162 not out against Uganda, on his way to 252 runs for the competition.

Bawa was Player of the Match in the final against England taking five for 31 to put India in a strong position and take his wicket tally to nine.

Just below him in the line-up is teammate Vicky Ostwal who took 12 wickets across his six matches with his left-arm orthodox including five for 28 against South Africa.

Bangladesh’s representative in the team comes in the form of right-arm seamer Ripon Mondol, who took wickets in all but one of Bangladesh’s games.

And, against Canada and India he took four-fers to end the tournament on 14 wickets, the joint third-highest of the 2022 competition.

The other bowler who sits above him in the wicket standings is Awais Ali of Pakistan who claimed 15 wickets in his six matches, including six for 56, one of only two six-fers in the tournament.

The right-arm medium pacer opened up the tournament with those six wickets against Zimbabwe and was consistent as Pakistan finished in the top five for the fifth consecutive competition.

England’s Josh Boyden earns his place for his extremely economical bowling, chalking up 15 wickets in the tournament with an economy of 3.21 and an average of 9.86, the best in the tournament for any bowler with seven wickets or more.

The final name on the team sheet is Afghanistan’s Noor Ahmad. The all-rounder took wickets in every World Cup game on his way to 10 wickets, with best figures of two for 18 against Papua New Guinea.

With the bat, Ahmad made three scores over 24 to provide useful runs in the lower order as Afghanistan finished fourth, their joint-highest finish at an ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022.

The team of the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 (in batting order) is:

Haseebullah Khan (WK, Pakistan)

Teague Wyllie (Australia)

Dewald Brevis (South Africa)

Yash Dhull (Captain, India)

Tom Prest (England)

Dunith Wellalage (Sri Lanka)

Raj Bawa (India)

Vicky Ostwal (India)

Ripon Mondol (Bangladesh)

Awais Ali (Pakistan)

Josh Boyden (England)

Noor Ahmad (Afghanistan)

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New Zealand cruise past Pakistan’s 345 with five wickets in hand




Despite not being full fit, Williamson looked in rhythm during his half-century (Cricbuzz)

Kane Williamson’s return to action headlined New Zealand’s first official warmup match of the 2023 World Cup as they hit the right notes with the bat in a high-scoring game in Hyderabad. Mohammad Rizwan (103) and Babar Azam (80) provided a good platform and the middle order got amongst the runs to help Pakistan post 345. The total, however, proved insufficient as New Zealand, led by Rachin Ravindra’s 97 and three other half-century scores, including that of Williamson, pulled off the chase with 6.2 overs to spare

After Devon Conway was dismissed by Hasan Ali for a golden duck, Ravindra and Williamson got together and added 179 runs in just 22 overs to power New Zealand’s chase. Williamson decided to retire after crossing fifty while Ravindra was dismissed by Agha Salman before he could get a ton. Usama Mir then picked up the wickets of Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips in quick succession but fifties from Mark Chapman and Daryl Mitchell, and an important 33 from James Neesham, helped New Zealand over the line in the 44th over.

Earlier, After opting to bat, Pakistan lost Imam-ul-Haq in the second over to Matt Henry while Mitch Santner had Abdullah Shafique out stumped. Babar, who started watchfully, found his groove while Rizwan also scored at a steady rate as they raised a century partnership to set things up nicely for Pakistan. Babar, however, missed a hundred while Rizwan retired after reaching three figures, giving Pakistan’s lower middle order some time out in the middle. Saud Shakeel (75) and Agha Salman (33*) came up with handy contributions to propel Pakistan past 340.

Brief scores:
Pakistan 345/5 in 50 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 103, Babar Azam 80; Mitch Santner 2-39) lost to New Zealand 346/5 in 43.4 overs (Rachin Ravindra 97, Mark Chapman 65; Usama Mir 2-68) by 5 wickets

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Mahedi, Tanzid, Litton and Mehidy star in breezy Bangladesh win




Kusal Perera looked in good touch before retiring hurt (pic Cricinfo)

Half-centuries from Bangladesh’s top three of  Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das and Mehidy Hasan Miraz took their side to a comfortable win over Sri Lanka in their first warm-up fixture ahead of the ODI World Cup, in Guwahati on Friday.

Bangladesh bowled Sri Lanka out for 263 and chased it down with eight overs to spare; other than all the issues these facts point to, Sri Lanka will also worry about their opener Kusal Perera, who walked off the field in the 10th over of their innings with a strain in his right shoulder. He hit 34 off 24 before retiring hurt.

Apart from the result, Bangladesh would have been pleased with Tanzid – who made his debut during the Asia Cup in August and has played just five ODIs so far – as he eases into the international scene. His breezy knock of 84 off 88 balls, which included ten fours and two sixes, blunted a Sri Lanka attack that struggled to exert any pressure. His 131-run opening stand off 124 balls with Litton, who notched up 61, laid a fine platform for the team to chase down Sri Lanka’s 263. Mehidy, who was Bangladesh’s captain for the game, followed the openers’ efforts with an unbeaten 67. He had also bowled 10 tight overs, taking 1 for 32.

After they opted to bat, Sri Lanka began promisingly, with Pathum Nissanka adding a combined 104 with Perera and Kusal Mendis, before they lost their first wicket in the 15th over. Nissanka top-scored with an aggressive 68 and Dhananjaya de Silva made 55 at No. 6 but most of the middle order struggled to get going, with offspinner Mahedi Hassan picking up 3 for 36 in his nine overs. Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed and Mehidy also chipped in with a wicket each to bowl Sri Lanka out for in the final over.

Bangladesh will play their next warm-up game against England on Monday while Sri Lanka will meet Afghanistan on Tuesday. Both matches will be played at the same venue.

Brief scores:
Bangladesh 264 for 3 in 42 overs (Tanzid Hasan  84, Mehidy Hasan Mirza  67*, Litton Das 61, Mushfiqur Rahim 35*) beat Sri Lanka 263 in 49.1 overs (Pathum Nissanka 68, Kusal Perera 34, Kusal Mendis 22,  Dhananjaya de Silva 55, Mahedi Hassan 3-36) by seven wickets

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Danushka Gunathilaka found not guilty in sexual assault trial



Danushka Gunathilaka had been arrested last November following Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup campaign

Sri Lanka batter Danushka Gunathilaka has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a Tinder date through the act of “stealthing”.Judge Sarah Huggett acquitted the 32-year-old as he sat at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Thursday listening to the decision. He said he was looking forward to returning to playing after his acquittal.

“The evidence establishes that there was no opportunity for the accused to remove the condom during intercourse because that intercourse was continuous,” the judge said in handing down the verdict.

Judge Huggett found the complainant, who cannot be legally named, appeared to be an intelligent, calm and responsive witness who did not deliberately give false evidence.

However, at times the woman gave the impression she was “motivated by a desire to paint the cricketer in an unfavourable light”, the judge said.

“I find that the evidence regarding the complaint far from supports the complainant. Rather it undermines the reliability of her evidence.”

The cricketer’s defence team signalled he will apply for the Crown to pay his legal costs of defending the allegation.Outside court, Gunathilaka thanked his lawyers, parents and others who supported him during what he described as a very hard 11 months.

“I’m happy my life is normal again,” he said. “I can’t wait to go back and play cricket.”

Gunathilaka and the woman matched on the dating app and met for drinks at Opera Bar in November 2022 before having pizza together in the Sydney CBD and then catching a ferry to the woman’s eastern suburbs home.

Police initially brought four charges against Gunathilaka, who was arrested at the Hyatt Regency hours before the Sri Lankan cricket team was due to fly out of the country. Prosecutors later dropped three of those charges.

In statements to police and the court, the woman accused the batsman of various acts of aggression and violence such as slapping her buttocks, forcefully kissing her and bruising her lips and choking her during sex.There was no suggestion by prosecutors at trial that any of these acts constituted an offence, although the woman in her evidence said the sex was non-consensual.

Gunathilaka always maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent relating to the cricketer’s alleged “stealthing”, or removing his condom during sex without the woman’s consent.

During the judge-alone trial, defence lawyers questioned the credibility of the complainant, claiming her story shifted over time and that she edited her version of events to paint Gunathilaka as an aggressive person.

Judge Huggett also heard evidence from two of the woman’s friends who described her as fragile and distraught the day after the cricketer attended her home.Police officers who spoke to the woman were also questioned about the way they handled the case, including omitting crucial details, throwing out notes and potentially contaminating witnesses.

Judge Huggett on Thursday described the conduct of police in prosecuting Gunathilaka as “very concerning” and “far from satisfactory”.

Gunathilaka has been on bail during the trial but was unable to play international cricket or return to his hometown of Colombo.


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