Sri Lanka Clinch Thriller Victory England In ICC U-19 World

Sri Lanka held their nerves to clinch a thrilling one-wicket victory over England and entered the quarter-finals of the ICC U-19 World Cup at the Dubai Sports City Stadium on Sunday.

Sri Lanka, chasing 231 for victory, were in big trouble when they lost their seventh wicket for 160 in the 35th over. But a timely 53-run partnership between Thilalksha Sumanasiri and AK Tyronne for the eighth wicket brought the islanders back into the match and then the last pair led Sri Lanka to a spectacular victory with seven balls to spare.

However, the Lankans started their chase in a confident fashion, with openers Sadeera Samarawickrama and Hashan Dumindu adding 46 for the first wicket in 7.2 overs. Dumindu was the first to go, falling to Rob Sayer for a 22-ball 17, and the off spinner sent back captain Kusal Mendis for a duck the very next ball.

England struck back soon in the ninth over through pacer Will Rhodes, who dismissed wicketkeeper Minod Bhanuka for 3.

But Samarawickrama revived Lanka’s chances through an aggressive half-century. The 18-year old from Colombo smashed 10 fours in his 89-ball 82 and added 38 run for the fourth wicket with Priyamal Perera (22), 36 for the fifth wicket with Binura Fernando (19) and 37 for the sixth wicket with Sumanasiri.

Despite the dismissal of Samarawickrama, Sumanasiri lifted Lankan spirits by scoring an aggressive 43 off 42 balls with four boundaries and one six. His timely partnership with Tyronne, who chipped in with a useful 20 off 36 balls, brought Lanka closer to victory.

When off-spinner Dominic Sibley dismissed Tyronne in the 48th over, Lankans required nine more runs to victory, but Anuk Fernando, in the company of last man Lakshan Jayasinge (4) guided their team home in 48.5 overs. Fernando remained not out on 10 off 14 balls with one boundary.

Earlier, an impressive 95 from Jonathan Tattersall helped England, who were sent into bat first, post 230 for nine in 50 overs.

Anuk Fernando was the pick of the bowlers as the 18-year old medium-pacer from Colombo took three for 49 from 10 overs, while Binura Fernando and Harsha Rajapaksha bagged two wickets each.

In another Group D match on Sunday, captain Robert O’Donnell smashed an unbeaten 107 to power New Zealand to a 122-run victory over hosts UAE at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

O’Donnell hit six fours and four sixes in his 117-ball knock and helped rescue his team, who were reeling at 3-50 in the 12th over, in the company of Shawn Hicks.

They added 145 for the fourth wicket and guided their team to a good total of 281 for five in 50 overs. Hicks hit an 85-ball 70 with two fours and two sixes.

Later, Leo Carter added some quick runs, smashing two sixes and four boundaries in his 36-ball 48, before falling to medium pacer Pankaj Prakash, who finished with 2-70 from his quota of 10 overs. Off-spinner Moaaz Qazi also bagged two wickets, while Omer Mohammed took one.

Though opener Shahrukh Ahmed made a 60-ball 27, wickets kept falling at the other ending, making UAE’s chase faltering from the beginning itself. Seamer Jack Hunter made the difference, picking up three for 32 from 9.4 overs and helped New Zealand bowl out the opposition for 169 in 49.4 overs.

However, Chirag Suri gave the home fans something to cheer by smashing a delightful half-century. The 18-year old batsman smashed 57 off 77 balls with six hits to the fence. Qazi too chipped in with an impressive 23 off 18 balls with three fours.