Sri Lanka qualify for Under-19 Asia Cup semi-finals after win over Nepal

Wickramasinghe and Rajapaksa hit centuries in 223-run stand and set up victory in Sharjah

Sri Lanka's Sadisha Rajapaksa hit 131 in the win over Nepal at the U19 Asia Cup at Sharjah Stadium on Sunday, December 26 2021. Photo: ACC
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Chamindu Wickramasinghe and Sadisha Rajapaksa smashed centuries as Sri Lanka outplayed Nepal by 60 runs in the Under-19 Asia Cup at the Sharjah Stadium on Sunday.

Electing to bat first, Sri Lanka lost Shevon Daniel (17) at the start of the 11th over at 39 before Wickramasinghe and Rajapaksa stitched together 223 in a mere 197 balls.

Rajapaksa was the more adventurous of the two as he scored 131 from 119 balls. He hit 11 fours and a couple of sixes while the opener Wickramasinghe struck eight boundaries and two maximums in his 126-ball 111.

Sri Lanka captain Dunith Wellalage hit a breezy 34 not out in 24 balls to post 322-4.

Nepal were always behind but they did well to score 262 with one-drop batsman Arjun Saud top scoring with 64 while Bashir Ahamad (43) and Bibek Yadav (46) chipped in with useful contributions in the middle.

Nepal openers Santosh Karki (34) and captain Dev Khanal (28) gave their side a sound start.

Matheesha Pathirana (3-49) got the breakthrough when he got through the defence of Karki, before leg spinner Raveen de Silva (3-35) had Khanal caught by Rajapaksa.

Saud, who hit three fours and a couple of sixes in his 80-ball knock, was sixth out at 208 as Nepal's challenge faded away.

Sri Lanka thus progressed to the last four stage from Group B.

They scored 300-plus for the second time after thumping Kuwait by 274 runs but the real test will come when they meet Bangladesh in the top of the table encounter, leaving Nepal and Kuwait to play for pride and third spot; both games scheduled for Tuesday.

On Monday, India meet Afghanistan in a must-win final league phase match while Pakistan, now two from two, play UAE at the ICC Academy in Dubai.

Updated: December 26, 2021, 2:19 PM