Sharjah: Sri Lanka’s opener Hashan Dumindu, a fan of Mahela Jayawardene, steered his team to an emphatic eight-wicket win over the UAE and booked a quarter final berth in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 Cricket World Cup on Tuesday. Dumindu struck an unbeaten 113 off only 118 balls with 11 boundaries and a six.
Speaking about his century, Dumindu said: “This is my first century in international cricket though I had scored nearly 16 centuries in domestic cricket. I owe my success to many senior players as well as school and national coaches who all have helped me improve and I idolise Jayawardene.”
The hosts posted an impressive total of 205 mainly through Shorye Chopra’s elegant 69 runs off 77 balls with seven fours and a six. Commenting on his knock, Chopra said: “I should have converted this knock into a century as I was seeing the ball like a football when I got out. It is great to get a half-century against a Test playing country but for me it is important to score runs, be it Test nation or any associate country. I want to earn more consistency.”
UAE began their innings with a new pair of openers in Shiv Mehra and Dan D’Souza, who put on 51 runs in just 14.2 overs. Left-arm spinner Harsha Rajapaksha had D’Souza caught by Priyamal Perera for 23. Two runs later, Mehra too followed trapped leg before by another left-arm spinner Lakshan Jayasinghe for 22. Rajapaksha went on to trap skipper Rohit Singh leg before for a duck.
Three down for 58, Chirag Suri, who got a half century against New Zealand, joined Chopra and the pair batted beautifully, waiting for the right ball to punish. Chopra played some delectable drives and accelerated the run-rate.
The UAE later slipped to 172 for six in 40 overs. Moaaz Qazi steered them past the 200-run mark by hitting Binura Fernando over long for a six to score 20 runs off 21 balls.
The UAE’s medium pacer Pankaj Prakash, who generated excellent pace off the wicket, took an earl wicket by having Sadeera Samarawickrama caught behind by wicketkeeper Vijayakumar for seven. Samarawickrama, who hit a match-winning 82 against England, went for a pull but was declared caught behind.
Dumindu and Mendis settled down quickly and batted without attempting any risky shots. Dumindu completed his half century in 55 balls with seven boundaries. The pair put on 94 runs in 20 overs before Suri ended the partnership through a brilliant pick up and direct throw to the bowler’s end wicket from mid off to run out Mendis for 45.
Dumindu was joined by Hashen Ramanayake and they put on an unbeaten 88-run partnership in 17.4 overs to win the match with 41 balls to spare.