Opening batsman Dhananjaya Lakshan struck a 120-ball 101 and Skipper Kamindu Mendis a run a ball 74 sharing in a record highest wicket alliance of 157 for the fourth wicket in ODIs to steer Sri Lanka to an emphatic 3-wicket win over Ireland in a rain-reduced 48-over Under-19 World Cup match in Whangarei, New Zealand.
While Lakshan decked himself in brilliant three figure honours, Mendis capped an all-round performance having claimed 3 for 35 in reducing Ireland to 207 for 8 from a healthy 73 for no loss and 145 for 4 batting first on the toss. Lakshan’s knock spanned 151 minutes and was studded with 8 boundaries and a six while Mendis’ run a ball innings came in 98 minutes inclusive of 6 boundaries. His all-round show marked a captain’s qualities of rising to the occasion.
Sri Lanka recovered from an initial hiccup of 9 for 2 within four overs before Lakshan and Krishan Arachchige put on 42 runs for the third wicket to steady the innings.
Ireland’s top scorer was Jamie Grassi who made 75 off 117 balls containing 7 boundaries and a six. He put on 73 runs with Mark Donegan who made 36 off 53 balls. Mendis broke their partnership in the 20th over. It sparked the collapse with the others from No. 3 downwards making more than 25.
Sri Lanka Under-19s 208 for 3 (Lakshan n.o. 101, Mendis n.o. 74, Cawley 2-26) beat Ireland Under-19s 207 for 8 (Grassi 75, Mendis 3-35) making more than by 7 wickets.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-