The Bert Sutcliffe Oval at Lincoln is the host venue for the second semifinal of the under 19s World cup game between Sri Lanka and Australia, scheduled to get underway tomorrow. Pakistan has qualified for the finals after getting the better of the West Indies in first semifinal at the same venue yesterday.
Australia in the preliminary round beat Ireland and the USA, but lost to South Africa.Sri Lanka out played Canada and Zimbabwe in the preliminary round,but were outplayed by New Zealand. Both Australia and Sri Lanka despite being runners up of their respective groups in the preliminary stage came back strongly in the quarter finals.
Australia got the better of table leaders New Zealand by 62 runs, while Sri Lanka out played table leaders South Africa,and won by 146 runs.
The success in the quarter final round has paved the way for Australia and Sri Lanka to play against each other for the sixth time within the last two months.
It’s no secret that both teams know each others strength and weakness. The Australians lost a home series to Sri Lanka; this summer, hence they have a great opportunity to make amends. Sri Lanka will want to maintain their dominance,over their opponents.
Both semi finalists have match winners. Sri Lanka is blessed with quality left hand batsmen who have done well to get among the runs. The only area of concern is that they get good starts but have failed in making the three figure mark. Bhanuka Rajapakse has been very impressive. The young left hander has already won two player of the match awards; hence the batting will revolve around him. Kithruwan Vithanage , Rumesh Buddika , Udara Jayasundera, and Dhanishka Gunathilleke are in good batting form.
Sri Lankan seam attack led by skipper Chatura Peiris has been very impressive. Charith jayampathi is the leading wicket taker and has been the pick of the Sri Lankan bowling attack so far. The spin department will have to be more disciplined against the Australians. Udara Jayasundera and Nadeera Rajaguru will have to contain the strong Australian batting line up.
Mitchel Marsh is the captain of Australia. His batsmen namely Tim Armstrong, Nic Maddinson,Tom Beaton and Jason Flores have all scored heavily during this World Cup.The seam department consisting of Kane Richardson, Alister Mcdermott and Josh Hazlewood have been penetrative. The Australians have done well mainly due to their bowling all rounder’s namely Alex Keath and Jason Flores.
Australia has been impressive with their fielding, while Sri Lanka needs to improve their catching. It will be an even contest. Head coach Naveed Nawaz is optimistic that his team has the skill and the temperament to beat Australia.