ICC U19 Cricket World Cup : Lanka strong favourites against Ireland | Sunday Observer

ICC U19 Cricket World Cup : Lanka strong favourites against Ireland

After the closely contested Group D opener between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the second clash between Ireland and Sri Lanka at the Cobham Oval in Whangarei on Sunday (14 January) has a lot to match up to.

It possibly could though, what with there being quite a few interesting observations to be made: What does the future of Test cricket’s newest entrants look like?

Can Sri Lanka’s youngsters take the wounded lions back to the top? We can’t expect definitive answers, of course, but this clash should certainly hint at things to come.

Sri Lanka U19’s record in 2017 doesn’t make for great reading. They played 17 one-day matches, losing ten of them. Five of their seven victories came at the beginning of the year, in a tri-series in South Africa also involving Zimbabwe. However, in the seven matches they’ve played since, they have won just twice. But with those wins coming against tournament front-runners Australia and Afghanistan, it would seem they are not be discounted.

Ireland sealed their spot at the World Cup after a qualifying campaign in which they won all the six matches they played, including a dramatic six-run victory over Scotland. They had their moments too during the warm-up match against England, despite the 125-run losing margin. Though they struggled with the ball, a total of 247 represented a good effort batting second.

The best Sri Lanka have ever fared in an Under 19 World Cup was in 2000, when they lost to India in the final at home in Colombo. Thereafter, they have reached as far as the semi-finals in 2010 and 2016, but have failed to leave an indelible mark on the tournament.

Ireland have made seven appearances at the Under 19 World Cup over the years, going back to 1998 when they made their debut in South Africa. They have never made the knockouts, but their highest finish of 10th did come on these shores in 2010. They played the 2016 tournament only because Australia withdrew, and they ended the campaign in 13th spot.

The three Under 19 ODIs played between these sides have all ended in Sri Lanka’s favour. The Asian side won their first encounter in the 1998 Under 19 World Cup by a thin margin of two wickets. Thereafter, it’s been comprehensive – Sri Lanka won by eight wickets in Colombo in 2000, and by 109 runs in Brisbane in 2012.


NEW ZEALAND, AFGHANISTAN MAKE IMPRESSIVE STARTS

New Zealand started with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over defending champions Windies while Afghanistan pulled off a five-wicket win over Pakistan on the opening day of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup today.

Number three batsman Finn Allen, a second-timer at the U19 CWC, was the star for the hosts with an unbeaten 115 in Tauranga while Darwish Rasool’s 76 anchored Afghanistan’s victory in Whangarei after a fine bowling effort by the Asia Cup champions.

On a day which saw four matches being played across three cities, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe also notched wins, though their matches in Christchurch were reduced to 20 overs per side owing to rain. Bangladesh defeated Namibia by 87 runs and Zimbabwe beat Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets.

Scores:

* Afghanistan beat Pakistan by 5 wickets (Group D) at Whangarei

Pakistan 188 in 47.4 overs (Rohail Nazir 81, Ali Zaryab 30, Azmatullah Omarzai 3-34, Qais Ahmad 3-38, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-30)

Afghanistan 194-5 in, 47.3 overs (Darwish Rasool 76 not out, Ikram Ali 46, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 31, Hassan Khan 2-45)

Player of the match: Darwish Rasool

* Bangladesh beat Namibia by 87 runs ( Group C) at Christchurch

Bangladesh 190-4 in 20 overs (Mohammad Saif Hassan 84, Naim Sheikh 60)

Namibia 103-6 in 20 overs (Eben van Wyk 55 not out, Hasan Mahmud 2-12, Qazi Onik 2-14)

Player of the match: Mohammad Saif Hassan

* New Zealand beat Windies by 8 wickets (Group A) at Tauranga

Windies 233-8 in 50 overs (Keagan Simmons 92 n.o., Kimani Melius 78, Rachin Ravindra 3-30, Matthew Fisher 3-61, Felix Murray 2-37)

New Zealand 234-2 in 39.3 overs (Finn Allen 115 n.o., Jakob Bhula 83).

* Zimbabwe beat Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets (Group B) at Lincoln

Papua New Guinea 95 in 20 overs (Igo Mahuru 26, Wesseley Madevere 3-19, Milton Shumba 2-19)

Zimbabwe 98-0 (Wesseley Madevere 53 n.o., Gregory Dollar 48 n.o.)

Player of the match: Wesseley Madevere.

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