Sri Lanka outclass Nepal 
in U-19 Asia Cup tournament

Sri Lankan players celebrate a wicket during the match against Nepal. (Asian Cricket Council Twitter)
Sri Lankan players celebrate a wicket during the match against Nepal. (Asian Cricket Council Twitter)

The Lankans displayed their batting might through centuries from Sadisha Rajapaksa and Chamindu Wickramasinghe



Published: Sun 26 Dec 2021, 11:49 PM

Sri Lanka beat Nepal by 60 runs on the back a brilliant all-round performance in the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

The Lankans displayed their batting might through centuries from Sadisha Rajapaksa and Chamindu Wickramasinghe to post a huge total of 322 for four in 50 overs. Nepal fought valiantly in reply, but could make only 262 runs in 47.5 overs.

Sri Lanka’s opener Wickramasinghe cracked 111 off 126 balls with eight boundaries and two sixes while one-down batsman Rajapaksa scored 131 off 119 balls with 11 boundaries and two sixes.

Nepal chased through Arjun Saud, who top scored with 64 runs. Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana and leg spinner Raveen De Silva restricted Nepal’s innings with three wickets each.

Sri Lanka elected to bat after winning the toss. Openers Wickramasinghe and Shevon Daniel put on 39 runs in 10.1 overs before Daniel got caught and bowled by Nepal skipper Dev Khanal for 17.

Rajapaksa joined Wickramasinghe and steadily increased the run rate. In the 16th over Wickramasinghe hit two boundaries off Sher Malla to steer the total past 75 runs.

Rajapaksa used his feet well to pick the gaps and scored at a steady pace. Wickramasinghe was the first to reach his half century in 74 balls. At the half way mark, Sri Lanka were placed at 126 for 1.

Wickramasinghe lifted Malla over long-on for a mighty six in the 26th over. Rajapaksa hit a six off Basir Ahmad and Sri Lanka went past the 200 run mark in the 36th over. Rajapaksa was the first to reach his century in 93 balls. Wickramasinghe too followed reaching his century in 119 deliveries.

Sri Lanka raced towards the 300 run mark with Wickramasinghe hitting his second six off Khanal. Rajapaksa hit consecutive boundaries off Mohammad Aadil Alam in the 43rd over. Then Aadil Alam struck in the same over ending Wickramasinghe’s knock of 111. The pair had put on a whopping 223 runs partnership off 197 deliveries.

Bibek Yadav gave away only six runs in the 44th over while Aadil Alam’s next over yielded just seven runs.

Skipper Dunit Wellalage hit successive boundaries off Yadav and steered Sri Lanka past the 300 run mark in the 48th over. Rajapaksa’s innings of 131 ended when he went for a slog shot exposing his wicket to Aadil Alam and got bowled. He had also added another 39 runs with Wellalage for the third wicket. Wellalage remained unbeaten on 34 off 24 balls with three boundaries and a six to help Sri Lanka post 322 for 4 in 50 overs.

Rajapaksa, who was named the player of the match, said: “I am happy to have contributed to my team’s success. I enjoyed batting with Wickramasinghe who also hit a century and helped our team get a big score. Though I have got many centuries in school’s cricket, this is my first century in such a high level tournament.”

Sri Lankan captain Dunith Wellalage feels his team batted and bowled equally well.

“It was good to have two of our batsmen get centuries and our pacer Pathirana also bowled very well. Three of Nepal’s batsmen too batted very well, and overall it was a very good game especially before our match against Bangladesh. We want to improve more and perform well in the coming matches.” (Courtesy Asian Cricket Council)

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka beat Nepal by 60 runs.

Sri Lanka: 322 for 4 in 50 overs (C. Wickramasinghe 111, S.Rajapaksa 131). Nepal: 262 all out off 47.5 overs (A.Saud 64; R.DeSilva 3-35, M.Pathirana 3-49). Man of the Match: Sadisha Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka)


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