Kamindu Mendis’ side fought until the very end but failed to see past a strong Afghan outfit after beating Ireland quite comprehensively in the ongoing ICC U19 World Cup in venues across New Zealand. Sri Lanka is still in with a chance but will have to beat Pakistan later this month.
With two wins in two games, the Afghans are well on top in Group D and already through to the next round. Ireland with two back to back defeats are at the bottom of the table and in no position to qualify.
Sri Lanka v Ireland
After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, Ireland got off to an excellent start but failed to maintain a healthy rate of scoring in the middle overs of the innings. Jamie Grassi’s half century steered the side to 207 for 8 in the given 48 overs.
Skipper Kamindu Mendis emerged as the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 35 in 10 overs.
In response, Dhananjaya Lakshan’s unbeaten ton followed by the skipper’s Kamindu Mendis’ impressive half century led Sri Lanka to a comprehensive 7 wicket win with over 10 overs to spare.
Dhananjaya Lakshan was adjudged player of the match.
Sri Lanka v Afghanistan
Afghanistan after winning the U19 Asia Cup and thrashing Pakistan earlier in the tournament, had all the firepower to beat Sri Lanka. Despite losing the toss, they posted an excellent score of 284 for 7 in 50 overs. Ibrahim Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil and Darwish Rasooli scored half centuries for Afghanistan.
Malinga and Rashmika picked two wickets a piece for Sri Lanka.
In response, the openers were dismissed quite cheaply but the middle order resisted, taking the game to the very end. Rain interrupted play a couple of times, altering the target. Kamindu Mendis’ dismissal swung the game in favor of Afghanistan, taking them to a 32 runs win over Sri Lanka.
Naveen Ul Haq emerged as the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan.
What Sri Lanka has to do to qualify for Round 2
The equation is simple, Sri Lanka has to beat Pakistan on Friday. Failing to do so, they’ll be disqualified from the tournament. The task is uphill but the young Sri Lankan outfit has what it takes to beat the men in green.
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