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.
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.