Sri Lanka’s under 19 world cup match against Zimbabwe was reduced to 34 overs due to over night rain. The young Sri Lankan’s playing in the world cup in New Zealand are pitted into group “C” with hosts New Zealand, Canada and Zimbabwe.
The first hurdle obviously is to beat Zimbabwe, which the Sri Lankans did today convincingly in a rain reduced encounter, at Bert Sutcliffe oval in Lincoln on a cold morning under cloud cover. The sun never came out right through the match.
The Pitch at Lincoln was seamer friendly, due to overcast condition. Skipper Chatura Peris had no hesitation in inviting the opposition to bat first, after winning the toss. Sri Lanka’s seam attack led by the captain himself made in roads into the Zimbabwean top order to great effect. The opponents were trailing on 20 runs for 6 wickets, with Charith Jayampathi and Chatura Peris exposing the technical error of the Zimbabwe’s top order.
The Zimbabwean batsmen seemed committed on the front foot, and were in no mans land for deliveries bowled back of a length,and were unable to get bat to ball for long periods of time. The opponents were playing and missing; they fished at deliveries out side the off stump, and looked very vulnerable against short pitch balls on a pitch that aided seam bowlers.
All credit to Chatura and Charith,they bowled in the right areas and most importantly made good use of the bowler friendly pitch.
Zimbabwe were bowled out for 121 runs, and they were pleased somewhat given the fact that they had lost 7 wickets before reaching 50 runs, and that too in 126 balls.
TC Mutombozi made an unbeaten 42 and was involved in a 24 run partnership for the 7th wicket with Nathan Waller, who incidentally was un lucky to be ruled out caught behind, when replays clearly showed the ball hitting the pad and not the bat. Mutombodi and Mugava compiled a 47 run partnership for the 8th wicket, which helped the African nation to get to a three figure total.
Sri Lanka’s catching was excellent but ground fielding needs improvement. Upul Chandana would have made notes of the fielding error’s and will have to put it right before the Lankan’s are tested against better opposition.
Sri Lanka reached the target in 24.4 overs, and did not utilize the batting power play of 3 overs. Banuka Rajapakse who won the man of the mach award for his un beaten 54 stated that he is happy that he kept his head still and cut out his vulnerability of playing loose shots at the start of an innings.