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Monday, January 17, 2022

Sri Lanka meets Scotland in curtain raiser of Under-19 World Cup

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The 14th edition of the ICC under 19 world cup cricket tournament will commence today (14) in West Indies when Sri Lanka will play their first match against Scotland in Georgetown. Guyana and host West Indies will meet Australia in Providence, Guyana.

Sri Lanka under 19’s led by all rounder Dunith Wellalage will compete in Group ‘D and Scotland, Australia and West Indies are in this same group. Sri Lanka will take on Scotland today with more confidence after having back to back victories against Ireland and Uganda in their two warm-up games both played in Providence, Guyana. The two opponents were comprehensively beaten by Sri Lanka and both were one sided games dominated by Sri Lanka. Wellalage and the team defeated Ireland by 128 runs while opener Shevon Daniel made a good knock of 75 and second warm up game against Uganda skipper Wellalage came to the fore with 4 wickets for no runs in his three overs spell. To gain an easy 231 win over Uganda. Sadisha Rajapaksa the number three batter made 75 (retired) against Uganda to post a total of 277 for 8 wickets while Uganda were bowled out for just 46 runs in 21.4 overs.

Winning both warm up games always gave good confidence but both are not strong teams and Sri Lanka couldn’t take lightly the main world cup tournament commencing from today. But facing Scotland first today could provide an opportunity for the Sri Lanka team to build momentum in their attempt to qualify for the Super League play-offs.

“We are planning match-by-match, we always analyses our opponents the day before the match. Our batting and bowling are strong, and we are working with a plan. We only think of the positives.I think we can bring something good back to Sri Lanka,” said Sri Lanka skipper Dunith Wellalage.

Sri Lanka has never won the under 19 World Cup during the previous 13th editions and the best achievement was in year 2000 Sri Lanka finished with runners up under the leadership of Malintha Gajanayake and at the final India led by Mohammed Kaif beat Sri Lanka at the SSC grounds. In addition, Sri Lanka has also twice reached the semi-final stage and lost, in 2010 under the captaincy of left-arm fast bowler Chatura Peiris in New Zealand, and in 2016 when Charith Asalanka led the side in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka’s lead up to the World Cup has been impressive, beating the current champions Bangladesh 5-0 and following it up with a 3-2 win over England, and then finishing runner-up to India in the Asia Cup final.

This is a good opportunity to take a maiden world cup win for Sri Lanka. “The first match we will play against Scotland and then Australia on January 17 and West Indies on 21st. I think we can give a good fight to the West Indies and Australia who are two good sides in the group,” said Wellalage.

“We have a lot of all-rounders in our team and the team is ready to adjust to any situation, either batting or bowling. Although batting is our strength, we also have good bowlers, a balanced side and that is a good advantage to go forward said Wellalage. He further said that he expected big contributions from their five key batsmen whom he named Chamindu Wickramasinghe, Shevon Daniel, Sadisha Rajapaksa, Pawan Pathiraja, and Ranuda Somaratne. The coaching staff gives good support to us while consultant coach Mahela has helped our team and he has great knowledge. We can do a great job with him,” said Wellalage.

Sri Lanka under 19 world cup squad

Dunith Wellalage(Captain), Shevon Daniel, Anjala Bandara, Pawan Pathiraja, Sadisha Rajapaksa, Sadeesh Jayawardena, Wanuja Sahan, Raveen de Silva(Vice-Captain), Ranuda Somarathne Malsha Tharupathi, Abhishek Liyanaarachchi, Traveen Mathew, Yasiru Rodrigo, Matheesha Pathirana, Chamidu Wickramasinghe Vinuja Ranpul, Sakuna Liyanage. Avishka Gunawardena (Head coach), Chamila Gamage (Fast bowling coach), Sachith Pathirana (spin bowling coach), Upul Chandana (fielding coach), Mahinda Halangoda (Manager), Ranjith Madurusinghe (Selector on tour).

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