An enterprising unbeaten 71 in only 45 balls by Kusal Janith was the highlight of the drawn three-day encounter between the Under-19 teams of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the Colts ground yesterday.
Kushal`s quick-fire innings consisted of four boundaries and five towering sixes. It took him only 32 balls to reach his half ton and he was also associated in a 55-ball 67-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Nisham Mazahir who also made another useful contribution of 32 following his 31 made in the first innings.
The local team resuming from their overnight score of 44 for 1 underwent an early setback as they lost Ashan Priyanjan who was unbeaten on 37 after having added only one run to his score.
The Bangladeshi bowlers were again battered in the latter part of the innings before the declaration was made prior to lunch. Set a target of 284 for victory with 70 overs of batting remaining the visitors lost three quick wickets and were struggling on 32 for 3 in the 12th over.
The talk of the spectators was the bowling changes made by Sri Lanka skipper Sachith Pathirana. He denied most players of exposing their capabilities with opening bowler Charith Jayampathi being given only three overs in Bangladesh`s first innings.
In the second innings he bowled a longer spell and was the most successful bowler. In contrast Pathirana sent 26 overs in the first innings and 21 overs in the second innings. Some of the other bowlers too were rarely made use of much to the annoyance of past players who were witnessing the proceedings.
Some stubborn batting by skipper Mahmudul Hasan and Nasir Hossain saw them reach a respectable score of 124 for 3 at tea. The early post tea session saw them losing two wickets that of Nasir Hossain who made a valuable knock of 64 in 94 balls inclusive of eight boundaries after adding 110 runs for the fourth wicket and Iftakara Naeem within a space of six balls as they slumped to 145 for 5. Another productive stand of 48 for the sixth wicket between skipper Hasan and Ashraful Aziz saw them recover. Skipper Hasan joined by Ariful Haq denied the Lankans of further success and took them to safety.
Sri Lanka Under-19 329 and (44/1 overnight) 178 for 4 declared (Ashan Priyanjan 38, Nisham Mazahir 32, Kushal Janith 71 n.o.))
Bangladesh Under-19 224 and 221 for 6 (Nasir Hossain 64, Mohamed Mithun 23, Ashraful Aziz 15, Mahmudul Hasan 71 n.o, Ariful Haq 19 n.o. Charitha Jayampathi 2 for 34)