Teenagers from Sri Lanka shine at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010

I didn't think it would excite me at all. Nope. Not one bit. But it did! Boy, did it!?

I've never followed an Under19 World Cup before. Didn't think it was even televised to be honest. ESPN/Starsports has been covering a few of the matches from the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010, and it has just been a treat to watch.

After months of watching Sri Lanka play the same opposition (India/Bangladesh/Pakistan) over and over, seeing the under19s was refreshing. Sri Lanka's next generation looks to be in good hands. Two stylish openers capable of good footwork on green Kiwi wickets and a solid middle order, made good viewing. Andri Berenger and Udara Jayasundera mean business at the top of the innings. All though they didn't score big runs they looked well equipped to handle the moving ball and tonk the bad one with stylish elegance.

What more can one say about Bhanuka Rajapaksa? He had Ian Smith and Majrekar purring on commentary. Rajapksa has so much time to play his shots and times the ball sweetly. Unlike other subcontinental batsman, Rajapaksa has a high batting grip which gives him that Gower like elegance.

Andri Berenger and Udara JayasunderaHow about that little pocket rocket Buddika? When other teams look to consolidate and build during the middle overs, Buddhika hits the gaps hard with amazing precision.

In Kithruwan Vithanage Sri Lanka has a brilliant slip fielder and a stylish left handed batsman who hits the ball a long way. If Vithanage arrives during the powerplays the runs will flow.

Sri Lanka's bowling attack does not have a bowler who hits the high 130 or 140KM/H mark. But they have good exponents of swing bowling. Two left arm seamers who can bring the ball back to the right handed batsman is an asset at any speed. Jayampathi who bowls left arm quick has been devastating on these tracks, he has picked up 9 wickets at an average of 12.22.

As the wickets bask in a bit of sunshine, the spin department looks worrying for Sri Lanka. The spinners have not had decent go in the middle. They weren't really required so far with the quick men doing all the wicket taking.

A berth at the Semi Final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010 is a sensational achievement for the teenagers from Sri Lanka. But they know it, the icing on the cake will be a place in the Final.

Good luck to you young cubs! Bring this one home!

Photo: Udara Jayasundera and Adri Berenger ahead of the Quarter Final match against Aouth Africa at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010. Click image for credits.


NSK's picture
Member since:
23 December 2008
Last activity:
6 years 33 weeks

 Brilliant article! I agree, it's really exciting and I havent really followed since 2000 where we got to the final..but this time on these green wkts we've done so well and I believe we can win these two games and take the world cup :) Come on U19s!!!

Sujan's picture
Member since:
27 December 2008
Last activity:
1 day 23 hours

 Well written as always ! Thanks for giving a short intro on these upcoming players.

SMSD's picture
Member since:
20 December 2008
Last activity:
7 years 9 weeks

 Must admit. This is the first time I watched U19 so closely as well.

Last time I paid attention because of Dinesh Chandimal, but didn't watch games.

Probably goes to show how sick all of us are of repetitive India Sri Lanka games. 

But the cubs are very good and entertaining to see. I am glad half of them will be playing in English League games this summer, definitely be keeping an eye out for them.

Thanks for the article Merlin.

Ian's picture

Yeah. It was nice watching these youngsters play. They did us proud.

Isuru79's picture

Well played guys!

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
2 days 5 hours

Good post Merlin.

By the way, take a look at this scorecard: http://www.cricinfo.com/u19wc2008/engine...

This was the 5th place play offs in 2008. Pathirana was the top scorer batting at number 6.

In the top four, no one managed to score a 50. In my opinion, this is what Sri Lanka needs to work on.

Even the national squad has got four guys at the top who all want to have a go at the bowlers. Maybe we need two solid batsman in the top four who know how to build partnerships, rotate the strike, and not look for ambitious scoring shots.

Before WC 2011 we need to rethink our batting line up. How many times have we seen our batting order crash and burn and the middle order having to do too much? Too many times. It happens every time we tour  Australia.

Here is another example: http://www.cricinfo.com/u19wc2008/engine...

The above scorecard was the match before the 5th place play offs in 2008.

In recent times we have to be thankful to Dilshan, or we would still be struggling with our batting. What's also sad is that we have not developed an accurate bowler who can bowler in the high 140KMH to 150KMPH mark.

If you watched the 2009 IPL, you would have seen how well Sachin managed Malinga and the performances Malinga delivered for Mumbai. Sangakkara hasn't managed to get the same out of Lasith. The next 12 months may well be the end of Mainga's career if he doesn't work this out.

You can't bring a bowler back to form by leaving him out, or not showing enough faith in him when he has a bad day.

We are losing Murali and Malinga and I think the skipper needs to recognize that and see what he has done wrong in the last few months. It's annoying to see the fields set ffor a bowler like Malinga. With no cover straight on the On-Side and no cover deep on the leg side, Malinga can't bowl a single yorker without going for runs. You just can't give Malinga an Off-Side field and ask him to bowl one side of the wicket?

OK this rant is getting too long ha ha!

Dilasha Tennakoon's picture
Member since:
13 February 2010
Last activity:
5 years 14 weeks


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