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U19 World Cup | Sri Lanka stun Australia to leave group of death wide open

It was an extremely professional showing by the Sri Lankan colts as they defeated the much-fancied Australian Under 19 side by four wickets to leave the group of death at the ICC Under 19 World Cup 2022 wide open. 

Playing at the Conaree Sports Club in Basseterre, St Kitts, the Lankan spinners were all over Australia and were led by the all-around show of their skipper Dunith Wellalage as they downed Australia to now lead Group D which also includes hosts West Indies. 

Chasing a target of 176 set up by the Aussies, the Lankan colts lost the first wicket in the fourth over itself. Then they went on to lose the next three wickets within the next 34 runs and at 49-4, the team was struggling big time. It was at this moment that Anjala Bandara joined Wellalage and the dup put up a match-winning stand of 70 runs in just 85 balls to take Sri Lanka closer to victory. 

Bandara was however removed with the team score at 119 with the islanders still needing 58 from 22 overs, but with only the last recognised batting pair in the form of skipper Wellalage and Ranuda Somarathne at the crease. Thankfully though, the remaining non-recognised batters didn’t have to do much as Wellalage built yet another stand, this time of 52 runs with Somarathne. 

Those 52 runs came quickly in just 55 balls as Wellalage even crossed his fifty run mark before being dismissed for 52 by Tom Whitney. However, by the time of his dismissal, only five more runs were needed which were completed with much ease at the end of the 37th over and Sri Lanka won their second game of the tournament. 

Earlier in the day, after having won the toss and deciding to bowl first, Sri Lanka made a brilliant start, removing three Aussie batters for 61 and not giving any room to score freely at all. In fact, by the team the Aussies reached their 100 mark, 27 overs had passed. In an effort to increase the scoring rate, Australia lost wickets at regular intervals and could get to only 175 in their 50 overs, getting all out on the very last delivery of the innings as well. 

Campbell Kellaway was the top scorer for the Aussies with 54 from 77 balls while Wellalage picked up another five-wicket haul in the tournament, adding to his five wickets from the Scotland game. 

In another game from this group, West Indies bowlers were all over Scotland, dismissing the European side for only 95 and chasing that down quite easily to win the game by seven wickets. With this win, the group has opened up as now when West Indies face Sri Lanka in the last group match, they would have to win it to qualify for the quarterfinals while Australia would just look to get past Scotland with as much as ease possible to lead in the net run rate scenario.

In a Group C clash, Pakistan earned a huge victory of 115 runs against Zimbabwe. Batting first the Pakistanis scored 315-9 on the back of a brilliant century by Haseebullah even as Zimbabwean Alex Falao picked up his maiden five-wicket haul. In reply, Zimbabwe could only reach up to 200 before getting all out in the 43rd over. 

For Pakistan, Awais Ali picked six wickets while Brian Bennet scored the most runs for Zimbabwe (83 off 88 balls).

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After U-13 player clears stadium, PCB suspends tournament for age-fraud

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