x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Win gives Sri Lanka a chance at U19 Asia Cup

South Asian team rebound from defeat to Afghanistan with 255-run victory over Malaysia as Group B gets competitive, reports Amith Passela.

Kuldeep Yadav, of India, celebrates with his teammates after dismissing Nepal’s Raju Rijal during the Under 19 Asia Cup at the ICC Global Academy in Dubai on Sunday. India won by nine wickets to top Group A. Satish Kumar / The National
Kuldeep Yadav, of India, celebrates with his teammates after dismissing Nepal’s Raju Rijal during the Under 19 Asia Cup at the ICC Global Academy in Dubai on Sunday. India won by nine wickets to top Group A. Satish Kumar / The National

ABU DHABI // Sri Lanka put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals of the Under 19 Asia Cup on Sunday after beating Malaysia by 255 runs at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council Oval 2.

It was a perfect response from the south Asian side after they lost their opening game to Afghanistan by three wickets.

They now have to beat Bangladesh, who lead Group B on four points from their two wins. Even if they win, their net run-rate will decide their fate.

If Afghanistan beat Malaysia – who fared poorly against Bangladesh on Saturday – there could be three teams tied atop Group B with four points each. Two teams advance to the semi-finals. At the moment, Sri Lanka have the top net run-rate of 2.483. Bangladesh are on 1.616 and Afghanistan minus-0.062.

Bangladesh made it two out of two after a 16-run win over Afghanistan at Oval 1.

“We have to play positive and see what we can do when we meet Bangladesh,” said Naveed Nawaz, the Sri Lanka coach. “Our game plan may have to change according to the situation on the pitch, with the net run-rate coming into effect.”

After Sri Lanka were shocked by Afghanistan in the opener, Nawaz said it took time to learn to play on a slow pitch.

“That result is behind us,” he said. “We have played two games and we know the conditions better going into this crucial match.”

The Bangladesh bowlers did an excellent job to defend a modest 169 all out by bowling out Afghanistan for 153.

“Our place in the semi-finals is not guaranteed despite winning both games,” said Mehedy Hasan, the Bangladesh captain. “We will do our best to win against Sri Lanka. They obviously are the strongest team in the group.”

apassela@thenational.ae