Sri Lanka U19s defeated the visiting Bangladesh U19 in the first Youth ODI of the tour by 42 runs at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium today, 15th October 2021.
The Sri Lanka youth skipper Dunith Wellalage, leading the team in his first match as captain, won the toss and opted to bat first.
Sri Lanka U19 playing XI: 1. Jeewaka Shasheen 2. Sadeesh Jayawardene 3. Shevon Daniel 4. Pawan Pathiraja 5. Sadisha Rajapaksha 6. Raveen De Silva 7. Dunith Wellalage (C) 8. Chamindu Wickramasinghe 9. Traveen Mathew 10. Yasiru Rodrigo 11. Matheesha Pathirana
Bangladesh U19 playing XI: 1. Mahfijul Islam 2. Iftikher Hossain 3. Prantik Nawrose Nabil 4. Aich Mollah 5. SM Meherob (c) 6. Ariful Islam 7. Tahjibul Islam (WK) 8. Golam Kibria 9. Naimur Rohman 10. Ripon Mondol 11. Ashikur Zaman
The right-handed duo Jeewaka Shasheen and Sadeesh Jayawardene opened the batting for Sri Lanka but some disciplined bowling effort from Bangladesh opening pair helped them snatch the first breakthrough in the fourth over dismissing Jayawardene for just 4 runs.
The Bangladesh fast bowlers used the overcast conditions at Dambulla to great effect dismissing two more wickets in the Sri Lankan top order pushing Sri Lanka onto the back foot at 32 for 3 at the end of the first 10 overs.
It was a tough surface to bat on and the Lankan batters adjusted quickly enough to save Sri Lanka from crashing prematurely.
Pawan Pathiraja was the first to apply brakes on the fall of wickets and take control of the innings. It was the kind of surface where you had to grind for a long time. The deeper you dig the better. Pathiraja did exactly that on his fantastic knock of 67 runs off 88 deliveries. He was very strong square of the wicket and rocked back deep into the crease in a flash as he kept slapping the short ones away through square leg. His lazy-looking drives through covers too was an odd joy to watch.
He was well-supported by the middle-order batters, Sadisha Rajapaksa (28) and Raveen de Silva (29), who withered away from the storm very carefully.
The left-arm seamer, Yasiru Rodrigo, added the icing to this fine innings with a quick 25 runs off 15 deliveries.
It was a very mature bowling effort from the Bangladeshi bowlers. They were tactically savvy and capable of hitting the hard yards consistently.
Ripon Mondol was the pick of the bowling for the visitors as he bagged 3 wickets for 59 runs. The right-arm seamer used the angles brilliantly as he kept the batters guessing all the time. His surprising outswinger was a killer as it was always disguised behind a streak of in-goers.
Bangladeshi batters struggled to adjust to the conditions and need not mention that the Lankan bowlers exploited that weakness to the max.
Only two batters managed to get to double figures while there 3 ducks and another couple of batsmen only got 2 runs each.
While his peers went down in that fashion Aich Mollah, the right-hander with extraordinary control over his shots, made it look as if he was batting on a completely different surface. It was not rocket science, on a slow surface like that, you have to play as late as possible or go down the track and boy did he do those two right!
The lofted straight drives he played by stepping out were a delight to watch.
Mollah made 86 off 93 before falling as the last soldier of the visiting brigade.
The debutant Traveen Mathew was the major wrecker from the Lankan camp. The right-arm offie was painstakingly disciplined and earned himself 4 scalps as a reward giving away only 29 runs.
Skipper Wellalage knew exactly which weapon to use in all situations of the game. His decision to bring on his schoolmate Shevon Daniel, the number 3 batter of the side, into attack paid off quite well. The skiddy off-spinner picked 2 wickets in his very first over and gave no breathing space for the batters, returning figures of 2 for 21.
Sri Lanka sealed the game with 22 balls to spare.