Sri Lanka and the West Indies have been two impressive teams in this year’s under 19s World Cup. Sri Lanka should have made it to the finals; unfortunately their batting let them down in their semifinal game against the Australians. The Caribbeans suffered the same fate against the Pakistanis in their semifinal encounter.
Tomorrow at Christchurch the battle for supremacy is for a third place ranking. Sri Lanka has batted well, however the two games they lost in this tournament, was due to poor batting. Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand in the preliminary round, defending a small total of 195 runs, but out played South Africa by accumulating a match winning score of 293, in the quarter final game.
In the semifinal encounter against Australia they defended a paltry total of 205, and nearly beat Australia, thanks to exceptional bowling spells by Charith Jayampathi and skipper Chathura Peiris. Sri Lanka as a fielding unit has been one among the best in tournament, alongside Australia and South Africa.
West Indies will be very competitive. Kraigg Brathwaite is the leading run scorer in the under 19s World Cup so far, with Shane Dowrich and skipper Andre Creary contributing valuable runs to the West Indian totals throughout this tournament. Jason Holder is rated as the quickest bowler in the under 19s this year. Yannic Cariah who bowls leg break has been very impressive.
The West Indies lost to Pakistan in the preliminary round by 40 runs and lost their semifinal game to the same opponent by 4 wickets. They beat Bangladesh by one run, in a nail biting encounter in the preliminary round to qualify for the quarter finals. Their noteworthy performance was against England in the quarter final game, when they beat the much fancied England team by 18 runs.
Sri Lanka will come out as favorites, but they need to bat well to be ranked as the number three team in this year’s under 19s World Cup.