Sri Lanka U19s battled out with the host nation in a tight contest at Antigua in the ongoing Tri-Nation U19s Tournament in West Indies on 17th December 2019.
The visiting captain got the favour of the coin and put the hosts to bat first. The Lankans made one change to their line-up from the last game by bringing back the Richmond College speedster Amshi de Silva in place of Yasiru Rodrigo.
Amshi struck very early in the innings as he bagged the prized scalp of the Windies skipper Kimani Melius in the first over. He managed to find the edge of the other opener Mbeki Joseph to get rid of him leaving the Windies in trouble at 2 for 20 in 3 overs. The top five batsmen of the Windies U19 only had a brief stay at the centre and the most runs made by just one of them, Leonardo Julien scoring 19. Windies were looking brittle at 84 for 5 at one stage.
Matthew Patrick and Nyeem Young joined at the centre to put some light into this Windies innings. The pair added 85 runs for the 6th wicket and lifted the spirits of the Windies camp. Both Patrick (57) and Young (55) registered half centuries to their names. Thereafter, it was again a slip down the slope for the home team as the 4 batsmen who followed only added 19 runs altogether. West Indies posted 207 runs for the loss of 9 wickets.
Amshi de Silva was a little too tough to negotiate for the Windies. The right-arm seamer went wicket less in his previous two games in the series and this was a wonderful way to get back into his game. The southern boy picker 5 wickets for 44 runs at the end of his quota. Kavindu Nadeeshan, who is currently the highest wicket-taker of the series, added two more wickets to his tally in this game.
The rough patch continues for Navod Paranavithana at the top of the order. The left-hander was dismissed for a first-ball duck as he nicked it back to the keeper off Matthew Forde. This was again a similar story with the batting of the series being woefully indequate. A couple of good knocks but the rest looked absolutely pathetic. Of course, it was the trio in-form, Nipun Dhananjaya, Kamil Mishara, and Sonal Dinusha who produced the ‘good knocks’ of this game as the rest of them only managed 16 runs among them.
Nipu Dhanajaya, who is having a fantastic run, scored his second half-century in the series. He played a captain’s knock, leading by example, and took his team out of humiliation. The left-hander made 74 runs, almost earning a victory to his team.
Royalist Kamil Mishara also scored a fifty to give himself some boost ahead of the World Cp. Although he was in a flood of runs back home, his series in the West Indies has been mediocre.
Sonal Dinusha who made a match-winning knock in the first game, always rose to the occasion and produced timely knocks in the middle-order. This was also one such innings from Dinusha who fought hard but couldn’t take his team past the line. He scored a valiant 45 runs.
atthew Forde and Nyeem Young were the pick of the bowling for West Indies as the two medium pacemen used the slowness of the pitch very well to bag 3 wickets each.
Nipun and Dinusha dragged this game to the wire as Sri Lanka lost the battle only by 7 runs at the end.
Even though the host won this game, Sri Lanka had already qualified for the finals. The visitors have another first-round game against England on the 19th December and will play the finals against the same opponent on the 21st of December.
West Indies U19 207/9 (50):Matthew Patrick 57, Nyeem Young 55, Amshi De Silva 5/44, Kavindu Nadeeshan 2/40
Sri Lanka U19 200/8 (50):Nipun Dananjaya 74, Kamil Mishara 50, Sonal Dinusha 45, Matthew Forde 3/49, Nyeem Young 3/48
West Indies U19 won by 7 runs