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12 February 201610:47

ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup Day 18 Preview

Full preview of third-place play-off match at U19 CWC Day 18, where Bangladesh U19 meets Sri Lanka U19

ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup Day 18 Preview - Cricket News

Sri Lanka's batting unit, which has blown hot and cold, needs to come together and produce the one big show that they have been promising to.

Charith Asalanka, the Sri Lanka Under-19 captain, has won admirers for his skill and demeanour in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016. His side may have lost to India Under-19 in the semifinals, but the last goal before Asalanka is of guiding Sri Lanka to a win in the third-place play-off match against a formidable Bangladesh Under-19 team at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah on Saturday (February 13).

Sri Lanka finished runners up in the 2000 edition of the ICC Under-19 World Cup at home, when it lost in the final to Mohammad Kaif’s India. That apart, its next best standing in the tournament is fourth, which was achieved in the 2010 edition in New Zealand, losing the third-place play-off against West Indies.

Asalanka has a chance to go one better before ending his Under-19 career. For success, he will once again rely on his spinners, who have done an excellent job throughout the tournament except for one bad day against India. He will also be expecting the batting unit, which has blown hot and cold, to come together and produce the one big show that they have been promising to.

While the batting revolves around Asalanka, Sri Lanka will be hoping either one of Avishka Fernando, Kaveen Bandara and Kamindu Mendis, who has generated much interest with his ambidextrous spin bowling, score a century.

On paper Sri Lanka appears a tad stronger than Bangladesh, but the match is expected to generate a big crowd, and the voluble fans have often lifted the home team, acting as an unofficial 12th man, particularly in the knockout games.

In the quarterfinal, Nepal Under-19 found the crowd pressure too hot to handle, while in the semifinal against West Indies Under-19, the home team was able to take the game into the 49th over because of the momentum built by close to 15,000 people chanting ‘Banglaadesh…Bangladesh’.

The stadium in Fatullah is not as overwhelming as that in Mirpur, but Mehedi Hasan Miraz, the highest wicket-taker and the most-capped captain at this level, will be expecting the fans to come in large number in his farewell Under-19 game.

Like him, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, the highest run-getter in the history of Youth One-Day Internationals, Saeed Sarkar, Joyraz Sheik and Zakir Hasan, will also be ending their stint after making two ICC Under-19 World Cup appearances.

Bangladesh’s biggest issue has been the failure of the openers, and that has invariably put pressure on the middle order. Against the West Indies, the lack of a proper start forced the batsmen to go into a defensive mould very early in the game.

Just when Miraz had resurrected the innings with a fine 60, the team lost three wickets in a space of three overs and was bowled out at least 20 runs short of a total it would have hoped to put on the board.

Sri Lanka will be aware of Bangladesh’s strengths and weaknesses, and vice-versa. The team that makes fewer mistakes will help its captain end his junior cricket career on a high.

Bangladesh: Mehedi Hassan Miraz (capt), Nazmul Hossain, Joyraj Sheik, Pinak Ghosh, Saif Hassan, Zakir Hasan (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Shafiul Hayat, Saeed Sarkar, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Abdul Halim, Saleh Ahmed, Ariful Islam, Jaker Ali, Mossabek Hossain Sun.

Sri Lanka: Charith Asalanka (capt), Sammu Ashan, Kaveen Bandara, Jehan Daniel, Avishka Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Wanidu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Kamindu Mendis, Charana Nanayakkara, Thilan Nimesh, Vishard Randika, Lahiru Samarakoon, Damitha Silva.