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28 January 201616:34

All-round Sri Lanka U19 overpowers Canada U19

Bandara, Asalanka, Ashan, Vishad hit fifties to take side to 315 for 6, before bowlers ensure 196-run victory

All-round Sri Lanka U19 overpowers Canada U19 - Cricket News
Sri Lanka opened its ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 campaign with an authoritative, dominant performance against Canada to seal an mammoth 196-run victory at the Sylhet District Stadium on Thursday (January 28). There were four half-centurions in the line-up as Sri Lanka posted 315 for 6. In response, Canada was bundled out for 119 as Sri Lanka sealed victory with minimum fuss.

Canada might have hoped to emulate Nepal, who sprung the first upset of the tournament, beating the much-fancied New Zealand in Fatullah earlier in the day. However, Sri Lanka was merciless, and wasn't willing to budge an inch. It chose to bat and was on the front foot almost throughout the match, even accounting for its tendency to lose quick wickets. Arslan Khan was Canada’s lone positive, his defiant 71-ball unbeaten 42 propping it up even as wickets fell all around him.

Kaveen Bandara and Avishka Fernando gave Sri Lanka a good start, the two putting on 44 within ten overs, their runs coming in singles and doubles. Canada, however, claimed two wickets in the tenth over, sent down by Abdul Haseeb, the medium pacer. Fernando (16 off 23) was trapped in front and Kamindu Mendis was bowled for nought.

Sri Lanka refused to be bogged down though as Charith Asalanka, the captain, came in to partner Bandara. The two dug in initially, before taking Sri Lanka forward with a 109-run stand for the third wicket. Asalanka was particularly aggressive, scoring a 69-ball 76 that comprised nine fours before he fell to Miraj Patel, the offspinner, in the 29th over. Two overs later, Sri Lanka lost another wicket when Bandara was run out for an 84-ball 61 and was reduced to 169 for 4.

But Canada couldn’t capitalise on the breakthrough. Shammu Ashan, the in-form middle order batsman, and Vishad Randika joined forces, putting on 92 for the fifth wicket. Ashan assumed the role of the accumulator as Randika (51 off 27) attacked, and he had just crossed the half-century mark when he holed out of Abraash Khan.

Ashan was then joined by Wanidu Hasaranga, who was also on the attack. The two launched an all out assault in the death overs, adding 52 for the sixth wicket in just 3.4 overs. Hasaranga scored a 13-ball 28, comprising three fours and two sixes, before holing out in the penultimate ball. Ashan, meanwhile, ended unbeaten on a 61-ball 74, comprising three fours and as many sixes.

It was a tall chase, and Canada got off to a rocky start, losing Thursaanth Anantharajah in the third ball of the innings. Bhavindu Adhihetty and Akash Gill then added 41 for the second wicket, but that was the last bit of cheer for Canada. The stand was broken by Lahiru Kumara, when he had Adhihetty (22 off 33) caught at point. Wickets fell in a flurry thereafter.

Harsh Thaker was dismissed for nought, trapped in front by Thilan Nimesh, the left-arm spinner. Gill holed out off Hasaranga for a 47-ball 17 and Abraash (15 off 21) sent Nimesh straight to point. Arslan was the lone resister. He poked and prodded around, but the tail offered him little support, and Canada’s innings ended in 39.2 overs.