Binura Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrama starred in the 5-wicket win for Sri Lanka © Getty Images


Feb 10, 2014


Sri Lanka Under-19 produced a fine performance in a warm-up game against India Under-19, as they won by five wickets against the defending champions at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday and kickstarted their preparations for the upcoming ICC Under-19 World Cup.


Earlier Sri Lanka had produced a fine performance as they skittled out India for 209 with Binura Fernando doing the damage with the ball. Binura was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers as he produced figures of four for 42 and also accounted for the first two Indian batsmen.


India, which won the toss and elected to bat first, collapsed in the face of some incisive bowling by Binura, only for Deepak Hooda to rescue them as he top-scored with 39 runs down the order which propelled India past the 200 run-mark.


Apart from Hooda, the only other Indian batsman who showed real application at the crease was Shreyas Iyer who scored 31, whereas the rest of the team could not convert the starts they had into big scores.


Skipper Vijay Zol who looked set for a good knock was dismissed for 25 by Anuk Fernando, whereas upcoming star Sanju Samson faced the same fate when he was castled by the same bowler for a mere 10 runs.


Ankush Bains (24) and Akhil Herwadkar (29) looked like giving India the ideal start initially, but their stay at the crease was cut short by Binura who dismissed both batsmen and proved to be menacing by each passing over. Binura was ably supported by the other Sri Lankan bowlers namely Anuk (two for 44) and Harsha Rajapaksa (two for 22) in restricting India to a modest total.


The Sri Lankans got off to a blazing start when Sadeera Samarawicrama and Hashan Dumindu hit the Indian bowling around the ground and gave Sri Lanka momentum in hunting down the Indian target. Samarawicrama was particularly harsh on the Indian bowlers as he slammed a solid 82 and was ably supported by Dumindu who hit a fine 48.


None of the Indian bowlers looked like having a clue of getting both the openers out and when they did get Dumindu out with the score on 125, the duo had already chopped off half of the required runs in their 100-run partnership and had put Sri Lanka firmly in the driver’s seat.


Dumindu was castled by left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who looked in great form with the ball and he gave further testimony of that fact when he trapped Minod Bhanuka (5) plumb in front of the wicket with the score at 131 and raised hopes of an Indian comeback.


Kuldeep picked up his third wicket when he had danger-man Samarawicrama stumped by Bains and reduced Sri Lanka to 155 for three in the 39th over. But it proved to be too little too late as Sri Lanka had already established momentum by that time and were cruising towards a well deserved win.


Priyamal Perera (50) stayed unbeaten till the end of the innings and though the Islanders lost the wickets of Jayasinghe Lakshan (17) and Rajapaksha (zero) to the wily off-breaks of Sarfraz Khan, they cantered home with five wickets remaining and 11 balls to spare.


Brief scores:


India Under-19  209 in 45.5 overs (Shreyas Iyer 31, Deepak Hooda 39; Binura Fernando 4 for 42, Harsha Rajapaksha 2 for 22, Anuk Fernando 2 for 44) lose to Sri Lanka Under-19  212 for 5 in 48.5 overs (Sadeera Samarawickrama 82, Hashan Dumindu 48, Priyamal Perera 50; Kuldeep Yadav 3 for 25, Sarfaraz Khan 2 for 36) by 5 wickets.