Spinners Maduka and Nadeera guide Sri Lanka
By M. Shamil Amit

Right arm spinners Maduka Liyanapathirana playing in his first match and Nadeera Rajaguru guided the Sri Lanka Under 19 team to a thrilling eight run victory over the Pakistan Under 19 side in the fifth match of the Under 19 Tri Nation limited over tournament played at De Zoysa Stadium in Moratuwa yesterday.

Maduka and Nadeera from there on struck at crucial periods. The early dismissal of danger man opener Babar Azam who made a fine 127 in the previous game against Sri Lanka at Dambulla, was a great blow. Two useful partnerships for the second and third wicket proved worthless as from a healthy 70 for 2 they slid to 76 for 5 in the 18th over. A 40 runs partnership for the sixth wicket between Hammad Azam and Mohammad Awais helped them to make a recovery.

Lankan U-19 off spinner Maduka Liyanapathirana in action against Pakistan at Moratuwa yesterday. (Pic by Ranjith Perera)

Earlier in the day Sri Lanka’s top order batting failed for the second successive time in the series before some sensible batting in the middle and late order came to the home team’s rescue.

This was after skipper Chathura Peiris, winning the toss and electing to bat, which saw the local side struggling with four of their top batsmen back in the pavilion for 47 on the board in the 13th over.

It seemed that it was going to be a repeat of their earlier match against the Pakistanis at Dambulla where they were struggling on 67 for 5 chasing 268 before rain saved the day for them.

Pakistan skipper Azeem Ghumman rotated his bowlers with perfection. Openers Udara Jayasundara and Yasoda Lanka were unable to give the side a decent start as the duo were sent back to the pavilion within the space of four overs.

Big hitter Bhanuka Rajapakse along with Kithruwan Withanage too failed miserably and they have not been able to make any noteworthy contributions in the last few matches. Apart from Rumesh Buddika who has been consistent since the tour to Australia and skipper Peiris along with make shift player Denuwan Rajakaruna - all made useful contributions while the others failed.

Beside a partnership of 47 runs for the fifth wicket between Buddika and Rajakaruna there was no other significant stands. Two 30’s came from the duo with another from skipper Peiris which enabled Sri Lanka to make a respectable 182.

Pakistan skipper Ghumman though using eight bowlers, all made breakthroughs at crucial stages. The left and right hand spin combination of Raza Hasan and Junaid Ilyas were Pakistan’s successful bowlers sharing five wickets between them.

Sri Lanka is assured of a berth to the final to be played on December 8. Their opponents would most probably be Pakistan and they are scheduled to play Bangladesh in the final round robin match at P.Sara Stadium today.

Score Card

Sri Lanka U19 Innings
Udara Jayasundara c Azam b Ameer 05
Yasoda Lanka c Nizam b Aziz 07
Bhanuka Rajapakse lbw b Azam 18
Rumesh Buddika b Ilyas 30
Kithruwan Vithanage c Awais b Bhatti 01
Denuwan Rajakaruna c Ahmed b Hasan 35
Dhanushka Gunatilleke c Ahmed b Ilyas 12
Chathura Peiris c Nizam b Hasan 34
Maduka Liyanapathirana c Awais b Nizam 14
Nadeera Rajaguru c Aziz b Hasan 03
Kasun Madusanka not out 00
Extras (b2, lb8, w11, nb2) 23
Total (all out in 47.4 overs) 182
Fall: 1-10, 2-16, 3-46, 4-47, 5-94, 6-125, 7-127, 8-159, 9-182
Bowling: Abdul Ameer 7-0-38-1, Maroof Aziz 7-0-25-1, Hammad Azam 5-0-18-1, Sarmad Bhatti 5-0-18-1, Junaid Ilyas 10-0-36-2, Raza Hasan 8.4-3-17-3, Shahzaib Ahmed 3-0-12-0, Muzammil Nizam 2-0-8-1.
Pakistan Under 19 Innings
Azeem Ghumman c Rajakaruna b Peiris 00
Babar Azam lbw bLiyanapathirana 23
Shahzaib Ahmed c Peiris b Rajaguru 36
Muzammil Nizam lbw b Liyanapathirana 07
Sarman Bhatti b Liyanapathirana 02
Hammad Azam run out 25
Mohammad Awais b Rajaguru 65
Raza Hasan lbw b Rajaguru 00
Abdul Ameer lbw b Buddika 00
Junaid Ilyas c and b Liyanapathirana 05
Maroof Aziz not out 00
Extras (w12) 12
Total (all in 46.1 overs) 175
Fall: 1-0, 2-35, 3-70, 4-70, 5-76, 6-116, 7-122, 8-131, 9-161
Bowling: Chathura Peiris 10-1-59-1, Kasun Madusanka 3-0-14-1, Maduka Liyanapathirana 10-2-24-4, Nadeera Rajaguru 9.1-0-28-3, Udara Jayasundara 4-0-14-0, Rumesh Buddika 10-0-36-1.

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