Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 22 runs in the first semi-final of the Under-19 Asia Cup 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium today to set up a final against India who won the second semi-final against Bangladesh by a comprehensive 103 runs. Tomorrow’s final will take place at the Dubai Cricket Stadium.
Sri Lanka made 147 in 44.5 overs after opting to bat first on winning the toss. They overcame a shaky 70 for 8 after 23.2 overs, thanks to two plucky knocks of 31 apiece by Yasiru Rodrigo and Matheesha Pathirana, before bowling out Pakistan for 125 in 49.3 overs. The match winner was 17-year old right-arm off spinner Praveen Mathew who bamboozled the Pakistanis returning superb figures of 4 for 14. Skipper Dumith Wellalage was equal to the task claiming 3 for 31.
Sri Lanka owed much to the 9th wicket partnership of 47 runs between Rodrigo and Pathirana and the 10th wicket partnership of 30 runs between Rodrigo, who proved to be the anchor man, and Mathew who made a decisive 12 in getting their side back on track.
For Pakistan, Ahmed Khan top scored with 36 followed by Muhmmaah Shezad 30 and Qasim Akram 19.
Meanwhile, in the second semi-final, India had it relatively easy pumelling the Pakistani attack to the tune of 243 for 8 off 50 overs propelled by a brilliant knock of 90 by Shaik Rasheed. Bangladesh were dismissed for 140 in 38.2 overs.