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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sri Lanka, New Zealand register wins in U19 Cricket World Cup

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Kimberley: The third day of ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 saw Sri Lanka overcome the Zimbabwe challenge in Group C; whereas New Zealand won against Nepal in Group D.

Sri Lanka won a rain-affected contest against Zimbabwe here. The Island nation overcame an ordinary start to register a splendid win over Zimbabwe.

In the second game of the day in East London, New Zealand won by 64 runs against Nepal. The Rhinos showed sparks of brilliance but couldn’t quite get over the line against New Zealand.

Zimbabwe U-19 team captain Matthew Schonken called it right, and elected to bowl first against Sri Lanka.

Schonken added that his side had a variety of spin and pace options to look forward to.

Kohl Eksteen backed that call with a wicket in his very first over. Anesu Kamuriwo removed the other opener in the fourth over, to leave Sri Lanka in a precarious position.

A reconstruction was in order, and the fourth-wicket pair of Ravishan de Silva and Rusanad Gamage did the same. The duo added 54 runs over the next 21.1 overs, even as the young Chevrons bowled with discipline to ensure that advantage didn’t swing the other way.

Panashe Taruvinga struck in the 26th over with the wicket of Gamage. He broke through the batters defences, and grounded his middle stump to bring Zimbabwe back at the helm. Ryan Simbi then accounted for Ravishan de Silva in the 31st over to further their advantage.

Dinura Kalupahana batted with initiative to add some crucial runs in the middle overs. He got good support from Sharujan Shanmuganathan, and Sri Lanka added 80 from 72 for the sixth wicket. However, Kalpuhana’s fall to Schonken unravelled the Zimbabwe innings. The Asian side were bowled out for 204.

Sri Lanka fought back at the back of their spin prowess. Vishwa Lahiru gave merely three runs in his opening spell of four overs, and brought the first breakthrough for Sri Lanka.

Malsha Tharupathi backed up by producing the second wicket, and then contributed in the third dismissal by taking a sharp catch off Kalupahana. Zimbabwe were placed at 30 when inclement weather stopped play.

While lightning forced the umpires to take the players off the field, rain followed soon after and caused an extended delay.

The match resumed later, with Zimbabwe being set a revised target of 129 from 22 overs. Requiring an ask of over 10 runs an over, the Chevrons tried to hit the Sri Lanka bowlers out of the park to close in on the target.

Disciplined work from Sri Lanka, however, ensured that the African side was bowled out in the 23rd over.

New Zealand won the toss and made the same call as Pakistan did yesterday, electing to bat first against Nepal.

The Kiwi openers looked positive on a wicket where the ball came to the bat with ease. Tom Jones and Luke Watson added 53 in the first Powerplay. Watson then fell to the spin of Subash Bhandari in the 11th over.

The Rhinos, who had lacked discipline in the initial overs, regained initiative with this wicket. An absolute beauty from leg-spinner Tilak Bhandari got rid of the set Jones, the young Black Caps were in trouble. Oliver Tewatiya’s loss for a duck compounded their issues.

Skipper Oscar Jackson then joined forces with Snehith Reddy to see off a tricky period. The duo opened their arms in subsequent overs, with Jackson doing particular damage with a flurry of sixes. His fall to the medium-pace of Aakash Tripathi, followed by Gulshan Jha’s double strike brought Nepal back into the game.

However, the set Snehith played a dream innings and helped New Zealand add 99 runs in the last 10 overs. He hit 11 fours and sixes during his 147 not out.

New Zealand were among the wickets when they got on to the field. Sharp catches from Zac Cumming and Lachlan Stackpole brought wickets for Mason Clarke and Matt Rowe.

Stackpole’s effort was impressive in particular, as the fielder ran in from the deep before stretching to take a wonderful one-handed catch. Arjun Kumal and Dev Khanal held fort for Nepal thereafter.

Khanal’s aggressive play helped Nepal move ahead at a positive pace. However, after playing a brisk cameo, the batter fell to his opposite number Jackson.

One brought two as Uttam Magar fell to Ewald Schreuder in the very next over. There were great hopes from Gulshan Jha. However, the experienced southpaw ended up throwing his wicket away to a rank long-hop from Zac Cumming.

Kumal played a brilliant lone hand, scoring a fighting 90 with 12 fours to his name. The Nepali tailenders fought till the end, and ensured that the side wasn’t bowled out.

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