Abu Dhabi: Defending champions India and 2012 runners-up Australia suffered shock defeats in their first warm-up matches ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup here on Monday.
Sri Lanka opener Sadeera Samarawickrama hit an impressive 82 and Priyamal Perera scored an unbeaten 50 to steer their side to a five-wicket victory over India at Zayed Cricket Stadium.
At the Abu Dhabi Oval 1, Ryan Burl lead the Zimbabwe chase with a fighting 60 that proved enough to beat Australia by three wickets.
India started positively, with openers Ankush Bains (24) and Akhil Herwadkar (29) putting on a half-century opening stand, but they then lost wickets in a heap and were bundled out for 209 in 45.5 overs. Had it not been for the heroics of number eight batsman Deepak Hooda, who top scored with 39, they would have struggled to post a respectable total.
But Sri Lanka were cruising towards victory after Samarawickrama and Hashan Dumindu (48) put on 125 for the first wicket. Kuldeep Yadav took three wickets and Sarfaraz Khan claimed two to gave India hope, but Perera saw the Lankans home with an unbeaten 62-ball 50.
“It was a pretty good comeback in the end. There are some positives. As far as the failures are concerned, we will buck up. It has been a good eye-opening practice game for us,” India coach Bharat Arun said after the match.
“The last couple of games against Sri Lanka were tight and so it was today. There are still a few areas that we need to work on, more on the mental side. We need to work on those areas. There were three batsmen who got starts and didn’t build on it. It was a slow wicket and couldn’t play shots.”
India will play against Pakistan in their World Cup opener on Saturday.
“We played them [Pakistan] twice earlier — one loss and one win. It was pretty close. On any day we have respect for our opposition and will not take them lightly. We will not take anything for granted. This loss early has given us time to work on a few things. We will be up for the game against Pakistan.”
Sri Lanka bt India by 5 wickets. India 209 all out in 45.5 overs (Deepak Hooda 39, Shreyas Iyer 31; Binura Fernando 4-42) Sri Lanka 212-5 in 48.5 overs (Sadeera Samarawickrama 82, Priyamal Perera 50no).
Zimbabwe beat Australia by 3 wickets. Australia 195 all out in 46.1 overs (Jaron Morgan 36; Deven Bell 3-38) Zimbabwe 196-7 in 48.3 overs (Ryan Burl 60).
South Africa beat Namibia by 5 wickets. Namibia 204-8 in 50 overs (Malan Kruger 58, Xander Pitchers 52, Jano Coetzee 48) South Africa 205-5 in 47.3 overs (Aiden Markram 53ret, Kirwin Christoffels 30ret).