Sri Lanka claims Plate despite nervy finish

Published : 9:00 am  January 29, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Openers Boyagoda and Lakshan put on a double-century stand


Sri Lanka survived few anxious moments before defeating the West Indies by three wickets in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Plate final played at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday.

Sri Lanka were cruising along at 203 for no loss at one stage needing 52 from 84 balls. But a sudden middle order collapse put them under tremendous pressure before they scraped through with two deliveries to spare.   

The openers Hasitha Boyagoda (116) and Dhananjaya Lakshan (98) led the run chase in a spectacular manner while putting on 218 runs from 38 overs. 

Man-of-the-Match Boyagoda was exceptional, once again, playing an innings that was at least the equal of his record breaking 191 against Kenya as he hammered 17 boundaries and one six. 
Scoring all round the ground, with an array of sweeps and scoops allowing him to find space behind the wicket, he seemed entirely at ease until he was dismissed. 

And he was ably supported by Lakshan, who almost joined him on two hundreds for the tournament, rotating the strike and allowing his more aggressive partner to have his way, while also chipping in himself with 12 fours and a six.

However, Boyagoda spooned a catch to Nyeem Young at mid off and Nishan Madushka (1) was run out while Jehan Daniel (6), and Lakshan, trying to reach his hundred with a boundary and relieve some pressure, was caught at mid off as well.

All of a sudden a stroll had turned into a contest, and it was only made closer when Bhaskar Yadram bowled a double wicket maiden, removing Kamindu Mendis (1) and Ashen Bandara (0). 
Runs were coming, but slowly, and the game tightened again when with six to win, Nawanidu Fernando (14) tried to finish it in one blow and was well caught on the boundary.

A chipped four to end the 49th over left Sri Lanka one to win, and seemed to have settled the matter. Three dot balls to start the 50th over unsettled it. And then a rushed single, and jubilant celebrations, and the inevitable result finally transpired. 

Sri Lanka Captain Kamindu Mendis said they were happy with the Plate championship win after failing to make the Super League.

“We kept them under 260 and after that we put on a big partnership so that we could win easily. Unfortunately, our middle-order batsmen fell very quickly because I think we relaxed a bit. It became a very tight situation but we managed it well in the end.”