Sri Lanka put itself in a strong position to qualify for the semifinals, beating Malaysia by 255 runs at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council Oval 2. Set 288 for a win, Malaysia failed to get off the blocks. Anuk Fernando, the left-arm pacer, ran through the top order to leave Malaysia struggling at 5 for 4. Harvindran Rajendran was the only batsman to reach double figures – he scored ten runs – as Binura Fernando, the left-arm pacer, claimed 4 for 12 in 6.3 overs to dismantle the Malaysian chase. Earlier, three Sri Lankan batsmen – Sadeera Samarawickrama, Priyamal Perera and Thilaksha Sumanasiri – scored half-centuries to take Sri Lanka’s total to 288 for 6.
It was a perfect response from Sri Lanka after it lost its opening game to Afghanistan by three wickets. It now has to beat Bangladesh, the Group B leaders with four points from its two wins. Even after a win, the net run-rate will decide Sri Lanka’s fate.
If Afghanistan beat Malaysia, there could be three teams tied atop Group B with four points each. Two teams advance to the semifinals. At the moment, Sri Lanka top the run-rate charts with plus-2.483. Bangladesh is on plus-1.616 and Afghanistan minus-0.062.
Bangladesh, on Sunday, made it two out of two after a 16-run win over Afghanistan in a low-scoring clash at Oval 1. Bangladesh restricted Afghanistan to 153 in 48.4 overs after Nazmul Hossain Shanto’s 58 helped post a fighting total of 169.
Group B At Abu Dhabi: Sri Lanka U19 287/6, 50 overs (Priyamal Perera 68, Thilaksha Sumanasiri 59; Pavandeep Singh 3-60)
Malaysia U19 32 in 22.3 overs (Anuk Fernando 3-11, Binura Fernando 4-12).
Result: Sri Lanka U19 won by 255 runs.