ICC U19 WORLD CUP 2020
Sri Lanka went down to New Zealand by 3 wickets in a battling U-19 World Cup Group A match having posted a formidable 242 for 9 wickets in 50 overs at the Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein on Wednesday. The Kiwi batsmen too were game to it in the absorbing contest that ensued finishing on 243 for 7 wickets in 49.5 overs. With just one more preliminary match to be played against Japan, it meant Sri Lanka had failed to qualify for the next round.
Having been put in to bat by New Zealand, all of Sri Lanka’s top order batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking with 20 plus scores except for skipper Nipun Dananjaya who fell for a duck. After openers Navod Paranavithana with 23 and Kamil Mishara 21 had posted 42, Sri Lanka collapsed to 112 for 5 before Sonal Dinusha, who made 46 off 52 balls inclusive of 4 boundaries, added 29 for the sixth wicket with Sudeera Thilakaratne who stonewalled to 6 as Sri Lanka reached 141 for 6 when the latter exited. It brought Ahan Wickramasinghe to the wicket as he led a fight back top scoring with 64 off 48 balls
filled with 9 boundaries. He added 78 runs for the seventh wicket with Dinusha who fell with the total on 219. Wickramasinghe added a further 22 for the eighth wicket with Kavindu Nadeeshan (7 n.o.) before holing a catch to Jesse Tashkoff off Kristian Clarke and the total read 241 for 8 as New Zealand proceeded to tighten their grip on the match.
The Sri Lankan bowlers hit back reducing New Zealand to 15 for 1 and 2 for 47 with the dismissal of Ollie White for 4 when Ashen Daniel had him caught by Dananjaya and co opener Fergus Lellman too followed for 13 taken by Paranavithana off Sudeera Thilakaratne. But New Zealand fought back through a 111-run third wicket alliance between Rhys Mariu who made 86 off 106 balls inclusive of 6 boundaries and Beckham Wheeler-Greenall who struck 80 off 111 balls with 4 boundaries and a six. Skipper Jesse Tashkoff made 30 off 35 with 2 boundaries as New Zealand reached 217 for 4 in 47.1 overs. It put New Zealand on course reaching 221 for 5 by the fourth ball of the 47th over. Sri Lanka again hit back reducing New Zealand to 229 for 7 in 48.4 overs before the eighth wicket pair of Joey Field 5 n.o. and Kristian Clarke 9 n.o. rallied their side to victory.
Sri Lanka 242/9 (50 Overs)
(Ahan Wickramasinghe 64, Sonal Dinusha 46, Navod Paranavithana 23, Ravindu Rasantha 29, Abhishek Kahaduwaarachchi 25, Kamil Mishara 21, Kristian Clarke 2/36, Jesse Tashkoff 2/40)
New Zealand 243/7 (49.5 Overs)
(Rhys Mariu 86, Beckham Wheeler-Greenall 80, Jesse Tashkoff 30, S. Thilakaratne 2/52)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-