The Sri Lanka under-19s clinched a thrilling 15-run victory over South Africa in the team’s first of two ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup warm-up matches in Soweto on Sunday.
The junior global showpiece will be hosted in South Africa from 17 January – 9 February.
After winning the toss and batting, Sri Lanka’s Navod Paranavithana played an anchoring role as regular wickets fell around him. The opener smashed an impressive 12 fours and a six during his 64-ball 68, to get his side past the 100-run mark before falling in the 24th over.
Despite an under-par return from most of the Sri Lankan batters, there were crucial contributions from the lower order, with Mohamed Shamaaz (32) adding valuable runs to the total as the subcontinent outfit posted 197 all out.
In reply, South Africa’s openers set the ideal foundation, as Andrew Louw (15) and Jonathan Bird combined for a 48-run partnership for the first wicket.
Although the Sri Lankan bowlers managed to take wickets at regular intervals, Bird continued his dominance to give the home side the momentum, scoring eight fours and one six for his 71 off 76 balls.
This was before a spell of 11 overs where the SA U19s lost five wickets for 39 runs and despite a valiant 46 from all-rounder, Jack Lees, the junior Proteas were bowled out for 182.
Amshi De Silva’s 2/30 led the charge for Sri Lanka, with six bowlers taking one wicket. (Courtesy SA Cricket Mag)