Sooriyabandara top scores as SL juniors struggle for runs


Royal College batsman Pasindu Sooriyabandara top scored with 69 runs and three others including skipper Nipun Dhananjaya contributed with 39 runs each as Sri Lanka Under-19 laboured to post 244 runs after deciding to bat first against their Indian counterparts in the first Youth Test at NCC ground on Tuesday.

In reply, the Indian openers Atharwa Taide and Anuj Rawat added 92 runs before the latter was caught behind for a less than a run-a-ball 63 in the final over of the day.

The Indian skipper hammered eight fours and two sixes in his knock which came in 59 balls. The opening partnership and the rate in which the visitors scored put them slightly ahead of the home team at stumps on day one of the four-day encounter.

St. Anthony’s spinner Kalhara Senaratne accounted for the only wicket to fall. Batting first Sri Lanka’s top order, except opener Kamil Mishara, made promising starts but failed to capitalise on them.

Moratu Vidyalaya batsman Nishan Madushka (39 in 55 balls, 7x4s), skipper Nipun Dhananjaya (39 in 61 balls, 8x4s) and Sandun Mendis, the brother of former Sri Lanka Under-19 skipper Kamindu (39 in 59 balls, 4x4s, 1x6s) scored 39 runs each. While Niwanindu Fernando chipped in with 22 runs, Sooriyabandara was responsible for holding the top order together.

Arjun Tendulkar, the son of legendary batsman Sachin took the first wicket when he had Mishara lbw for nine runs. While Harsh Tyagi’s spin was responsible for the early damages, Ayush Badoni mopped up the tail with a four wicket haul.

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