Sri Lanka lost two out of three, failing to qualify for round 2 of the all-important ICC Under 19 World Cup in Whangarei, New Zealand earlier today.
The two defeats were narrow but both Afghanistan and Pakistan had the edge over Sri Lanka throughout the contest.
Earlier today, batting first against Pakistan, Sri Lanka kept losing wickets quite frequently. All-rounder Jehan Daniel was the only player to score a half-century for the men in blue. Bandara’s 37 in the latter part of the innings led Sri Lanka U19 to 188 in 48.2 overs. Suleman Shafqat picked 3 for 29 for Pakistan.
In response, Sri Lanka had Pakistan in some trouble, picking 3 for 57 in the 11th over but Ali Zayrab Asif’s half-century followed by a couple of twenties led Pakistan to the target with 3 wickets to spare. Rashmika bagged 3 for 47 in 9 for Sri Lanka.
However, Ali Zayrab was adjudged player of the match.
With Afghanistan in top form after winning the Youth Asia Cup, Sri Lanka had to work hard to get through to Round 2. They were quite good at times but not good enough to end up on the winning side.
The selectors and the cricket board and can take positives out of the tournament, especially the way Kamindu Mendis and Jehan Daniel handled pressure. Captain Mendis has the potential to go all the way and represent Sri Lanka in the near future. His ability to bat and ball makes him the perfect all-rounder in all formats of the game. He is also ambidextrous and bowls with both right arm and left arm.
Janiel Daniel is another a good all-round prospect for Sri Lanka. He top scored in the two games against Afghanistan and Pakistan but unfortunately ended his spell wicketless.
Moreover, Thisaru Rashmila has been absolutely brilliant throughout the series. He almost had Pakistan in trouble picking vital three wickets when the game was running out of Sri Lanka’s hands.
Sadly, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are the only two top sides to crash out of the World Cup in the group stages.
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