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Alick Athanaze
CWC-U19

Preview: Sri Lanka U19s v West Indies U19s

ICC U19 CWC, Plate final preview

Sri Lanka and West Indies will go head to head in the Plate final of the ICC U19 CWC on Sunday in Christchurch.

Form Guide

Sri Lanka have recovered well from the disappointment of failing to qualify for the Super League quarter-finals and will be looking to finish their tournament on a high with victory over the Windies. The Sri Lankans easily overcame Ireland in their opening Group D fixture but defeats to Afghanistan and Pakistan ended their hopes of a top-eight finish. Since then they have demolished Kenya by 311 runs – racking up 419/4 with opener Hasitha Boyagoda (191) making the highest-ever score in a Youth ODI – before a five-wicket win against Zimbabwe saw them qualify for the Plate final. 

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Match Highlights: Sri Lanka thrash Kenya by 311 runs in the U19CWC Plate quarter-finals

Like their opponents in Sunday's final, reigning champions West Indies would have set their targets higher than a ninth-place finish in the lead-up to the tournament. In a strong Group A which also featured New Zealand, South Africa and Kenya, the Windies could only beat the latter. They subsequently defeated Ireland by four wickets and Canada by 187 runs to set up this meeting with Sri Lanka. 

Players to watch

Nishan Madushka (SL)

The keeper-batsman has only played two matches in the tournament but he has scored 169 runs for once dismissed. Brought into the side for the clash against Kenya, the 18-year-old right-hander struck 60 from 58 deliveries at No.3 and bettered that with an unbeaten 109 from 135 balls to steer Sri Lanka to victory over Canada. With the big-hitting Boyagoda opening up and Madushka to follow, the Windies attack will have their hands full. 

Alick Athanaze (WI)

With 308 runs so far in the tournament, just four behind the leading run-scorer, New Zealand's Jakob Bhula, Athanaze will be eyeing pole position. The left-handed opener certainly comes into the game in good form: in his last four innings he has two half-centuries and an unbeaten hundred, scored against Kenya. Can he emulate Chris Gayle, who 20 years ago finished as the top run-scorer at the ICC U19 CWC?

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The top shots from Alick Athanaze's 76 against South Africa at U19CWC

World Cup history

The best Sri Lanka have fared at the ICC U19 CWC was in 2000, when they finished runners-up after losing to India in the final in Colombo. They reached the semi-finals in 2010 and 2016.

West Indies saw off India in a tense final in Bangladesh two years ago to win the ICC U19 CWC for the first time. The best they had fared previously was their runner-up place in 2004.

Head to head

A look back at matches between these two countries in the ICC U19 CWC doesn't make happy reading for Sri Lanka. West Indies have beaten the Sri Lankans on all four occasions, with the last of those coming in 2010 when a side featuring Kraigg Brathwaite and Jason Holder claimed a four-wicket win. 

Forecast

Conditions should be mostly sunny at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, with a smattering of cloud cover and temperatures expected to reach around 26 degrees. 

Squads

Sri Lanka: Kamindu Mendis (c), Dhananjaya Lakshan, Santhush Gunathilaka, Hasitha Boyagoda, Nawanidu Fernando, Nipun Dananjaya, Ashen Bandara, Kishan Sanjula, Nishan Madushka, Jehan Daniel, Praveen Jayawickrama, Haren Buddila, Thisaru Rashmika, Kalana Perera, Nipun Malinga

West Indies: Emmanuel Stewart (c), Kirstan Kallicharan, Ronaldo Alimohamed, Alick Athanaze, Cephas Cooper, Jarion Hoyte, Kimani Melius, Ashmead Nedd, Kian Pemberton, Brad Barnes (replaced injured Raymond Perez), Joshua Persaud, Jeavor Royal, Keagan Simmons, Bhaskar Yadram, Nyeem Young

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