Still a lot on his mind: Sri Lanka's Captain Angelo Mathew flanked by Team Manager Ashley de Silva and Coach Sumithra Warnakulasuriya

Sri Lanka made hard work of beating Scotland to win their opening encounter in the 2006 U-19 Cricket World Cup by just four wickets.

Overnight rain had made it a good toss to win by Angelo Mathews and taking the new ball himself, he took a wicket in his second over and together with fellow seamers Tisara Perera and Shalika Karunanyake had Scotland at 30 for 5 in the 14th over. Scotland’s captain Kaslam Farid played very positively from then on as Sri Lanka’s intensity levels in the field dropped. At the half-way stage, Scotland recovered to 79 with no further loss.

The sixth wicket fell at 95 but joined by Umair Mohamed, Farid continued to dominate proceedings until he was stumped, overbalancing, for a fighting 76 (89 balls, 4 fours and 2 sixes). Scotland ended on a competitive 186, which gave them a chance of putting pressure on Sri Lanka.

Pressure was duly applied and at 54 for 4 with almost forty overs left, Sri Lanka had a lot to do. Sachitra Serasinghe and Dilhan Cooray set about on a recovery job but Cooray miscued a Farid leg-break with the score on 98 and Sri Lanka’s captain came to the wicket with a lot left to do. Had Serasinghe’s slashed chance to third man been taken soon after, Sri Lanka would have been in real trouble.

Positive running by Serasinghe (64 off 91 balls) and Mathews saw Scotland frustrated and their reciprocity with extras (the teams bowled 21 no-balls and 39 wides between them) cost Scotland dear. Serasinghe fell with twenty runs left to win but by then Mathews was well and truly set and he had started finding the boundary.

Sri Lanka got home in the 40th over but the run-rate for Sri Lanka had never been a problem, Angelo Mathews said “dropped catches at vital stages” and “batsmen who threw away their wickets” were the main reasons for Sri Lanka’s poor showing. Undoubtedly they will need to improve if they are to make it to the end of the competition.

Group C: Sri Lanka v Scotland, R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field
Scotland: 186 off 49.4 overs (K. Farid 76; N. Perera 3-26, K. Karunanayake 3-34)
Sri Lanka: 187 for 6 off 39.5 overs (S. C. Serasinghe 64, A. Mathews 37*; G. Goudie 3-25)
Man of the Match: Kaslam Farid (Scotland)

Filed February 6 2006